Do I Suffer From High Blood Pressure? Am I At Risk?

Causes of High Blood Pressure

1. Smoking

Smoking is a well-known risk factor associated with many health issues, such as lung cancer, chronic pulmonary diseases, immunological conditions, and even some eye diseases. However, studies have also shown that chronic smoking habits increase the chances of developing high blood pressure over time. A study published by the National Institute of Health reviewed the potential effects of the nicotine on the heart and blood vessels. The nicotine contained in cigarettes causes your blood vessels to constrict more frequently, which increases the blood flow to all organs, including your heart.

Since more blood is sent to your heart, it also has to pump blood at a faster rate to avoid it from building up and sending it once again to all your body. The increased output can damage the cardiac muscle fibers over time and it can lead to a point where your heart is no longer able to compensate the extra work. Thus, it can eventually lead to heart failure. On the other hand, the narrowing of the blood vessels makes it easier for blood clots to form, which can obstruct the blood flow completely and lead to a heart attack or stroke.

2. Obesity

Increased weight and obesity are widely known health problems linked with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and hypertension. In the United States, approximately more than one-third of the population is obese, which further denotes the high chances of suffering from any of the previous diseases, including high blood pressure.

Scientifically speaking, obesity signifies a continuous state of inflammation because major organs, such as the thyroid, liver, kidneys, and pancreas, are producing many chemicals and hormones to maintain your body metabolically stable. This includes normal blood sugar levels, proper urinary output and regulating body temperature. However, this ongoing surgeon compounds causes your blood vessels to swell, which narrows blood flow.

3. A High-Fat Diet

We know that fried chicken, french fries, and pizza are culinary wonders worldwide, but a diet rich in fats and fast food has a hazardous effect on your body, including your blood pressure. Apart from disrupting your blood sugar levels and causing the famous “sugar crash”, excessive fat consumption can cause your liver to overload. If you did not know, your liver is the one in charge of breaking down fat to produce energy and other bodily functions. but also storing it to use it later.

However, if you consume too much fat, your liver will start to deposit it in the lining of your blood vessels, which are known as atheromas. These plaques will begin to form in various parts of your body, including your heart, brain, and kidneys. The atheromas will reduce the space between your blood vessels, altering their ability to dilate and constrict. Additionally, they will narrow the passage of blood. However, these plaques will become bigger over time and can close up a blood vessel completely. For this reason, it increases blood pressure and the chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

4. Excessive Salt Consumption

When people say to reduce your salt consumption when you suffer from hypertension, there is a simple biological explanation. Your kidneys are the ones in charge of maintaining your body hydrated by controlling your urine output. However, they also filter certain solutes, including salt, because sodium attracts water.

Therefore, if you consume a lot of salt, there will be more water flowing in your bloodstream, which causes your heart to pump more blood to compensate the overload. Although your kidneys will eliminate some salt through your urine, the amount of salt that still remains in your blood will continue to attract water, maintaining high blood pressure ranges.