What is “hypertension”?

High blood pressure or hypertension doesn’t cause symptoms which makes it a “silent” disease. You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms which is why it’s important to have your blood pressure checked when you see your doctor. There are several lifestyle factors which may contribute to getting hypertension, so knowing what they are and what do to lower your risk is important

What is Hypertension?

Blood pressure is based on the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.  Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is when the force of the blood against your artery walls is higher than normal. If this is the case over time, it can lead to both heart attack and stroke.

Common Symptoms

High blood pressure or hypertension doesn’t cause symptoms which makes it a “silent” disease. You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms which is why it’s important to have your blood pressure checked when you see your doctor.

Potential Causes

Several factors may play a role in developing high blood pressure, including:

 smoking
 being overweight or obese
 lack of exercise
 too much salt or alcohol consumption

In some cases, the underlying cause of hypertension cannot be determined and this type of high blood pressure is called essential hypertension.

What can you do ?

You can lower high blood pressure by:

 not smoking
 achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight
 being more active by exercising about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
 reducing salt in the diet (Note: most sources of salt in the diet is ‘hidden’ in other foods)
 limiting alcohol consumption to not more than 1 – 2 drinks / day

How BetterByDesign Nutrition can help

BetterByDesign Nutrition’s Registered Dietitian can help you learn about “hidden” sources of salt in your diet and work with you to make changes to your diet to help you reduce high blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke. Click on the “Contact Us” tab above to find out about how to set up an appointment.  We look forward to hearing from you.