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High Blood Pressure – The Silent Killer

High blood pressure is often called the silent killer as it doesn’t have any obvious symptoms. This makes it unpredictable as it can be very dangerous to your health if left untreated. Despite being a largely common condition, most people either fail to understand the seriousness of its consequences or are unaware that they have hypertension. 

That’s why it’s important to spread awareness on this condition and get your blood pressure checked often. While hypertension is a serious condition, knowing about the condition and taking the required precautions can greatly reduce the risks. 

Here are some important factors of high blood pressure that you should watch out for. 

Being overweight or obese

Your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body if you're overweight or obese. This puts a lot of pressure on your arteries, which oppose the flow of blood and raises your blood pressure. 


Lack of physical activity

Leading an active lifestyle that comprises of regular exercise and a proper diet will help you avoid those excess weight gains; which is a common factor for high blood pressure. Exercise increases blood flow through all arteries in the body. This leads to an increase in the release of natural hormones and cytokines that relax blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure.


Stress

High levels of stress can lead to a dramatic increase in blood pressure. To cope with stress, people who smoke or consume alcohol will only make their high blood pressure problems worse. The best options to combat stress related problems are relaxation and meditation. 


Family history

Family members share genes and tend to follow a particular lifestyle within the same environment. You're more likely to develop high blood pressure if you have a family history of it. It's crucial to remember that having a family history of high blood pressure doesn't guarantee you'll have it, but it does raise your odds.

 

Lack of potassium in your diet

Potassium helps to keep sodium levels in your cells in check. It relaxes the smooth muscle cells in your arteries, lowering blood pressure. Avocados and bananas contain high potassium and can be consumed to balance your potassium intake. 

 

Too much sodium in your diet

A diet high in sodium (salt) is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Too much sodium in your diet causes your body to retain fluid and constricts the arteries. Both of these factors can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Moreover, majority of the additional salt intake in our diet comes from packaged foods, so try to avoid them whenever possible.