HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Definitions and Causes
The Silent Killer. Nine out of ten North Americans will be diagnosed with hypertension, or High Blood Pressure; “the silent killer” by age fifty. There’s nothing “silent” about that statistic, it’s actually screaming. There is nothing silent about obesity. Listen to your commanding thoughts as you feel others judging your weight. There’s nothing silent about having more than two drinks every day. There’s nothing silent about the shaker of table salt that you reach for at every meal. There’s nothing silent about the tension you experience while driving to work. Or with some co-worker when you get there. There’s nothing silent about the rage you might express a little too often at your spouse or children. Quite simply, I would like to rename this disorder as The Screaming Killer.
Blood pressure is the force of blood in the arteries. When the heart beats, blood pushes through the arteries with pressure. This is called systolic blood pressure. When the heart relaxes after each beat, the pressure of the blood flow drops, called diastolic blood pressure.
Hypertension is now commonly understood to be a systolic pressure of more than 140 and the diastolic pressure of more than 90. Please be aware that four or five years ago it was pegged at 160 over 95.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the heightened or chronic state of elevated pressure in the arteries. A person with systolic and or a diastolic blood pressure consistently above the normal range of 120/80 is said to have hypertension.
The American National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, classifies blood pressure as; normal, pre-hypertension, hypertension stage 1, and hypertension stage 2.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF BLOOD PRESSURE:
Category SBP MMHG DBP MMHG
Normal <120 and <80
Pre-hypertension 120-139 or 80-89
Hypertension Stage 1 140-159 or 90-99
Hypertension Stage 2 >160 and >100
However, before we begin to raise our own blood pressure reading this, let’s look at the some indicators or symptoms of high blood pressure, so you know what to look for before you get there.
HBP symptoms are;
- Palpitations and or pain in the heart area
- Constant headache
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Poor concentration and poor mental health.
- Waking in the morning with a pain at the back of your head where it meets your neck, then goes away quite quickly as you get up and move around.
- Flushed face
- High frequency of urination
- Shortness of breath
Secondary hypertension has an organic cause, such as kidney disease or pregnancy. They must be evaluated, diagnosed and monitored by a physician, since the underlying causes must also be attended to. This second stage of high blood pressure can produce such symptoms as certain types of kidney disease, abnormal functioning of the adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands.
It’s an emerging epidemic in North America: One out of every three people has some form of pre-hypertension; this condition is known to lead to high blood pressure. And most don’t know it and are not aware of it.
These days there’s a high blood pressure machine in just about every pharmacy, with clear and simple instructions to follow.
So why then do we have an epidemic on our hands?
Stress, unhealthy lifestyle and diet, too much salt, high cholesterol and over consumption of bad fats, uncontrolled anger, chemical exposure, electromagnetic pollution and smoking all seem to be contributing factors. There doesn’t seem to be just one thing that cause hypertension. So we need to take a multi-dimensional approach to this silent killer, with a focus on treating the cause and the symptom at the same time. Take your medications (symptoms) while changing your lifestyle and diet (cause) at the same time, working with your doctor in reducing your meds so you don’t suffer from their side effects.
-Stephanie Waymen (Rolfe) CNC