Here’s a tough subject to talk about light heartedly, high blood pressure. It’s a serious condition. It affects millions of people. Like 78 million people have high blood pressure. Every year these numbers climb. That means one out of every three adults over the age of 20 have high blood pressure. That’s huge. All the more huge because of what high blood pressure does to your health. It’s a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The death rate from high blood pressure (hypertension) has risen 36 percent in the past decade. And it rarely shows symptoms. It is a silent disease. Untreated, high blood pressure creeps along over the years building up plaque in the arteries preparing for mayhem.
I know so you’re twenty years old and the last thing you’re worried about is having a stroke. Or, you feel like you are twenty years old. Even better and you think I’m going to live forever. I mean who cares about high blood pressure? But I’m here to tell you it affects all ages and it can even be hereditary. Hypertension happens without you even knowing it. But, rather than get all up into your face about who should be doing what or this or that, let’s talk first about blood pressure highs and lows.
The ideal blood pressure for a twenty year old or any age for that matter, is 120 over 80. Those are the magic numbers. What does that mean? Are we talking roulette? No, this isn’t Las Vegas. We’re talking ratio. Blood pressure in vessels measured during a heart beat over blood pressure measured between heartbeats. Blood pressure of 120 systolic over 80 diastolic to be precise. A pre-hypertension blood pressure would be 120 over 139. Pre-hypertension is smart thing to identify and correct immediately. Once high blood pressure develops you can be dodging it for a lifetime.
There’s good news. High blood pressure can be treated and controlled and for many transformed entirely. Go to the doctor. Make sure they tell you what your blood pressure is. Buy a blood pressure cuff and check several times a day to see if you’re in the right range or if you are showing a reading for pre-hypertension. But, be reassured it can be treated. Some simple lifestyle changes will work wonders. Exercise for one. Trying out a low sodium diet can be helpful. Salt makes the body retain fluids so the heart works harder.
Hypertension can be due to poor diet and stress, but also on lesser known factors such as thyroid problems and insulin resistance. There are medications to help control hypertension. Educate yourself. Be safe, be smart, be sure. Monitor your blood pressure regularly and maintain that twenty year old feeling for a lifetime.