Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hypertension or high blood pressure, as it is more commonly known, is regarded as a silent killer. It is a disease of the modern age. The fast pace of life and the mental and physical pressures caused by the increasingly industrialised and metropolitan environments have a role to play in the rise in blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called sphygnomanometer in millimetres of mercury. The highest pressure reached during each heart beat is called systolic pressure, and the lowest between two beat is known as diastolic pressure. Most young adults have blood pressure around 120/80. It increases normally with age, even going upto 160/90.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Pain at the back of the head and neck

The first symptom of hypertension may appear as a pain at the back of the head and neck on waking in the morning, which soon disappears.

Dizziness, Palpitations

Some of the other common symptoms are dizziness, palpitations, pain in the region of the heart, frequent urination, nervous tension, fatigue, and difficulty in breathing.

Causes of high blood pressure

Stress and faulty life style

The main causes of high blood pressure are stress and a faulty style of living. Smoking and an excessive intake of intoxicants, tea, coffee, and refined foods destroy the natural pace of life and prevent the expulsion of waste and poisonous matter from the body. Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), obesity, and diabetes lead to hypertension.

Excessive intake of common salt, and high fat diet

Other causes of high blood pressure are an excessive intake of common table salt, and eating a high fat and low fibre diet.

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