Blood Pressure, an Important Indicator

It is somehow odd that most people do not care much when their body’s most important indicator, blood pressure, rises and enters the red zone just to remain there. Having a high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke or heart attack two to four times. Not worried yet?

The problem is that most people do not visit the doctor often (as a preventive measure). Most frequent reason for visiting the doctor is cough. The information people have about most common diseases and conditions is therefore usually very outdated. Since modern medicine is making new discoveries every day, it is a good idea to have the latest information possible, meaning more frequent visits at the doctor’s office. Not every day or month of course or you will soon be labelled as hypochondriac.

For blood pressure, normal values used to be 120/80 mmHg, but newest studies have shown that value of 120/80 may represent early stage of hypertension. According to National Lung, Heart and Blood Institute, values below 120/80 mmHg are considered normal, while a value of 120/80 mmHg may indicate hypertension (refer to this blood pressure chart). For those of you wondering what is hypertension – it basically means that your heart must work harder in order to pump the same amount of blood through your arteries than it did before. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work to pump your blood. Heart is a muscle as well and can get exhausted too!

What increases blood pressure? Stress. Number 1 issue for all modern diseases – and elevated blood pressure sure is one of the most common ones. But stress is not that bad. At least it was not thousands of years ago when stress was always related directly to the threat – an approaching sabre tooth tiger maybe. In tense situations, the body defends itself by releasing adrenaline, causing blood pressure to rise as blood flow is increased. But this is momentarily. So stress, causing the release of adrenaline, may actually save your life. However, chronic stress – the one we are experiencing every day – causes permanent increase in blood pressure. And that is bad.

Sure, exercising and eating less salty food lowers blood pressure. If you quit drinking and smoking, even better. But the real troublemaker is stress. Try to avoid it as much as possible. I know it is easier said than done, but remember the gauges – red zone is red for a reason. Try to avoid that zone! In the end, it is only you that is crashing down, and not your boss – and sometimes it is just not worth it!

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