High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.

  • For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure.
  • This type of high blood pressure, called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.
  • Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension.
  • Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension.
  • Normal blood pressure rises steadily from about 90/60 at birth to about 120/80 in a healthy adult.
  • In the U.S. alone, more than 30% of American adults have high blood pressure.
  • Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and a major cause of heart attack.
  • Along with injuring blood vessels, hypertension can damage the brain, eyes, and kidneys.

Symptoms of high blood pressure:

  • High blood pressure, often called the "silent killer," is largely a symptomless condition.
  • Only when blood pressure readings soar to dangerously high levels (systolic of 180 or higher OR diastolic of 110 or higher) may obvious symptoms occur.
  • In addition to extreme readings, a person in hypertensive crisis may experience:
    • Severe headaches
    • Severe anxiety
    • Shortness of breath
    • Nosebleeds

Treatment Options:

  • Eat a better diet, which may include reducing salt
  • Enjoy regular physical activity
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid tobacco smoke
  • Comply with medication prescriptions
  • Limit alcohol consumption

How is high blood pressure related to your mouth?

C-reactive protein levels are associated with future development of high blood pressure, which suggests that hypertension is in part an inflammatory disorder. The C-reactive protein is a marker of systemic inflammation that has been associated with an increased risk of incidence of heart attack and stroke. Oral inflammation has also been hypothesized to play a role in the development of hypertension, and cross-sectional evidence demonstrates higher C-reactive protein levels among those individuals with elevated blood pressure.

Resources

http://www.heart.org

http://www.mayoclinic.com

http://www.webmd.com

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