Steer clear of canned soup and that extra glass of wine.
By Toni Gasparis
Are you always confused by the numbers you hear when your blood pressure is taken? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a result of many different factors that make it harder for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. This disruption in the body can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. In order to avoid these serious health conditions, as well as others, it's important to know exactly what causes high blood pressure.
Some things may surprise you. It turns out that some of your everyday habits could be the culprit. While knowing your family history is important, factors like what you eat and how often you exercise can help or harm your body. Take a look at these five reasons your blood pressure could be high so you can make informed lifestyle choices to decrease it. Plus, learn about the eating plan that can help lower your numbers. Always remember to get your blood pressure checked at your yearly physical — and if the numbers confuse you, ask the doctor to clarify.
Understanding High Blood Pressure
Before you know some of the causes of hypertension, you should familiarize yourself with the basics. You may have noticed that at your annual physical your doctor takes your blood pressure by placing an arm cuff on you, pumping air into the cuff, and then releasing it. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 or less (but not too low). When the numbers are higher than that your physician may want to monitor you or have extra tests done. The first number in a blood pressure reading is the systolic number which indicates how much blood is pressuring your arteries while your heart is beating. The second number is the diastolic number which indicates how much blood is pressuring your arteries in between heartbeats. Higher numbers indicate the blood is not properly pumping and is instead causing stress on your arteries which can lead to dangerous health problems in the future.