The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Insomnia is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.
What Is "Normal" Blood Pressure?A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80. It's read as "120 over 80." The top number is called the systolic, and bottom number is called the diastolic. The ranges are:
- Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
- Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
- Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120 -- See a doctor right away
What causes high blood pressure?The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several things may play a role, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much salt in the diet
- Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
- Older age
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
Essential HypertensionIn as many as 95% of high blood pressure cases in the U.S., the underlying cause can't be found. This type of high blood pressure is called "essential hypertension." Essential hypertension is also greatly influenced by diet and lifestyle. The link between salt and high blood pressure is especially compelling. People living on the northern islands of Japan eat more salt per capita than anyone else in the world and have the highest incidence of essential hypertension. Most people with high blood pressure are "salt sensitive," meaning that anything more than the minimal bodily need for salt is too much for them and increases their blood pressure. Other factors that can raise the risk of having essential hypertension include obesity; diabetes; stress; insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium; lack of physical activity; and chronic alcohol consumption. Secondary Hypertension
Who Is More Likely to Develop High Blood Pressure?
- People with family members who have high blood pressure
- Pregnant women
- Women who take birth control pills
- People over the age of 35
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who are not active
- People who drink alcohol excessively
- People who eat too many fatty foods or foods with too much salt
- People who have sleep apnea
Things that can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure
- are overweight.
- eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables.
- do not do enough exercise.
- drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
- do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep.
- are over 65.