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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions. It causes excessive pressure in the walls on the arteries. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and blindness. In most cases, an exact cause of high blood pressure cannot be identified. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. The top number is called the systolic, which is the pressure that is exerted on the arteries when the heart beats. The bottom number is called the diastolic, which is the pressure in the arteries between beats. High blood pressure starts at levels that are at 140/90. People who have a blood pressure that is between 120-139/80-89 are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

Fortunately, making a few lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure and prevent complications. Exercising, losing weight and quitting smoking can help treat high blood pressure. Exercise can help lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who perform moderate exercise at least thirty minutes a day can reduce their blood pressure a few points. Losing weight can also help lower a person’s blood pressure. Being overweight puts extra pressure on the heart and causes it to work harder. The harder the heart has to work, the higher the blood pressure will be. Losing weight can lower blood pressure by reducing the pressure on the heart.

Many people that have high blood pressure are smokers. Smoking also puts extra pressure on the heart and causes it to work harder. A person can drastically reduce his or her blood pressure within a few weeks of smoking cessation. Many people are able to lower their blood pressure with making a few lifestyle adjustments. However, individuals who have severe hypertension and/or are not responding to lifestyle changes will have to take medication to control their blood pressure.

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