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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Hypertension


Hypertension:  Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body. Blood pressure readings are usually given as two numbers -- for example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg). One or both of these numbers can be too high. The top number is called the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure.
  •  Normal blood pressure is when your blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mmHg most of the time.
  •  High blood pressure (hypertension) is when your blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or above most of the time.
  •  If your blood pressure numbers are 120/80 or higher, but below 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension.
If you have pre-hypertension, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure. If you have heart or kidney problems or if you had a stroke, your doctor may want your blood pressure to be even lower than that of people who do not have these conditions.

Many factors can affect blood pressure including the amount of water and salt you have in your body, the condition of your kidneys, nervous system or blood vessels and the levels of different body hormones.

Prevention: You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by:
  •     losing weight if you need to
  •     reducing the amount of salt you eat
  •     exercising regularly
  •     eating a healthy diet
  •     cutting back if you drink too much alcohol
  •     stopping smoking
  •     cutting down on caffeine

The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have your blood pressure measured. All adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. If you haven’t had yours measured, or you don’t know what your blood pressure reading is, ask your doctor to check it for you.


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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