High blood pressure or (hypertension) is (according to the Mayo Clinic), a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.
The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
People of Color More At Risk
The American College of Cardiology says that African-Americans are More Likely to Develop High Blood Pressure by Middle Age.
Basically in a recent study, it was found that 75% of blacks had developed high blood pressure, compared to just 55% of white men and 40% of white women.
Depending on participant’s initial blood pressure, this difference translated to 1.5–2 times greater risk for hypertension among black adults than whites.
They also found that regardless of race, a number of factors were associated with increased risk for hypertension, such as being overweight or obese and having a family history of high blood pressure.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is generally a silent condition. Many people won’t experience any symptoms. It may take years or even decades for the condition to reach levels severe enough that symptoms become obvious. Even then, these symptoms may be attributed to other issues.
Symptoms of severe hypertension can include:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- visual changes
- blood in the urine
These symptoms require immediate medical attention. They don’t occur in everyone with hypertension, but waiting for a symptom of this condition to appear could be fatal.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension.
Physical changes: If something in your body changes, you may begin experiencing issues throughout your body.
Environment: Unhealthy lifestyle choices like lack of physical activity and poor diet can take their toll on your body. This can lead to weight problems, and being overweight or obese can increase your risk for hypertension.
Resources to Help
In an effort to help you be more aware of your medical condition, we have assembled a series of videos from the Healing Hypertension Summit hosted this past week by Dr. Turshá Hamilton, a practicing Naturopathic Primary Care Physician in New Orleans.
Listen to the conversations below.