Blood pressure is the force of blood upon walls of arteries.
There are two relevant blood pressure readings that are usually taken to gauge the health of an individual. The systolic reading captures the blood pressure when the heart muscle contracts and the diastolic is when the heart is refilling with blood.
Hypertension describes raised blood pressure levels, which is detrimental to health.
The systolic and diastolic reading norms are 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) mm/Hg.
A variation from this norm should not be taken lightly. A reading of 138/90 mm/Hg can be regarded as the upper level of pre-hypertension stage and a reasonable warning that high blood pressure and cardio-vascular problems are quite likely in the future.
The kidneys are responsible for removing metabolic waste and can be damaged by years of high blood pressure which disrupt kidney function. Hypertension could be due to kidney problems or actually cause kidney disease.
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease. Firming up of arteries enables the collation of cholesterol in blood vessels which raises the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Cardiac health improvements can be complicated by obesity, hypertension and raised cholesterol levels.
Eating a good amount and variety of fruit helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. A typical profile of a hypertension sufferer is not eating enough fruit.
Hypertension should be taken serious at pre-hypertension stage, so that dietary and lifestyle stages can be taken as preventative measures before hypertension.
Technology has advanced, as has availability of blood pressure machines, which can be used safely and accurately at home. Readings can be taken during the day to measure changes in blood pressure and assessing the influence of day to day activities.
Constant, raised blood pressure exerts strain on blood vessels and the heart, increasing risk of suffering a stroke and heart attack.