October 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Tabitha's Articles

This is commonly known as High Blood pressure, and is characterised by a blood pressure (taken 3 times by your medical professional) of 140/90 mmHg or more.

It causes a problem because there is too much pressured blood pushing against the heart and blood vessels, and can cause damage to the smaller blood vessels, as well as leading to heart attacks, strokes, aneurisms and thromboses.

Hypertension is usually asymptomatic (does not have symptoms), except a mild headache sometimes.

Causes of Primary hypertension (high blood pressure not caused by another disease), include:

  • Central Obesity and insulin resistance
  • A diet high in alcohol and fats
  • Smoking
  • High stress levels
  • Salt-sensitivity (a genetic type of hypertension where salt intake needs to be restricted)
  • Deficiencies have been suggested to be responsible for the onset of hypertension (omega 3 fatty acids – fish oils and salmon oils; potassium deficiencies)

Treatment usually includes weight loss, exercise, dietary adaptation towards lower GI and lower fat diets, and a lifestyle change incorporating less stress. Salt restriction is sometimes advocated in specific population groups, but not all hypertension groups. Dietary change and weight loss have been shown to have the biggest impact.

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