Jul 28

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High Blood Pressure – Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

This article concentrates on explaining what is considered High Blood pressure, causes of high blood pressure, various symptoms of high blood pressure, and how to prevent high blood pressure from damaging the most valuable asset anyone could have – The body.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Human heart pumps blood, and it does so at a consistent rate. The force or the rate at which this blood flows through and pushes the walls of the arteries is called “Blood Pressure”. When this pressure goes out of the normal, rises and stays high, it is called as High Blood Pressure. This can cause severe damage to the organs in the body in many ways.

High Blood Pressure has no specific symptoms. In most cases the cause for High blood pressure is unknown and that’s the reason it is called ‘The Silent Killer’. High blood pressure can damage your heart, blood vessels and other body organs without your knowledge of its presence. You have to always keep track of your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, you have to take up treatments to prevent any further damage to other organs in your body.

The normal blood pressure is 120/80. This notation is a combination of two pressures. One, when the heart beats while pumping the blood called as Systolic blood Pressure and the other when the heart is at rest called as the diastolic blood pressure. Always while referring to blood pressure numbers, it is put as Systolic blood pressure before diastolic pressure. So, the normal blood pressure is 120 (systolic blood pressure)/ 80 diastolic blood pressure.


High Blood pressure can be caused due to various factors.
Salt intake may be an important factor as High blood pressure is mostly prevalent in communities where salt intake is higher than normal (Around 5-6 grams daily).

Genetic Factors:

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is also, attributed to genetic factors. It has been observed that if a parent is affected by the high blood pressure, the individual has two times the chance of being diagnosed with High Blood Pressure when compared to an individual whose parents do not have High Blood Pressure.

Abnormalities in Arteries:

A blockade, a portion of an artery with thick walls causing a less passage for blood, are also put as main reason for the cause of high blood pressure. When there is a blockade in an artery, either due to more consumption of fat or due to lack of exercise, blood has very small path way to flow through and hence it gets streamlined and the pressure at which the blood flows increases, in order to maintain the same amount of blood flow to the body parts on the other side of the blockade.
If you recollect basic Physics, pressure is indirectly proportional to cross section of a passage. You can test this in your backyard with the pipe that you water the plants. When you turn the pump on, the water flows through the pipe and exits out of the opening at a certain pressure, but what happens when you put a finger across the opening of the exit, doesn’t water exit out with much higher pressure than it did previously? Same thing happens in the arteries in our body. Hence, the blockades in arteries, or resistance due to stiff walls, causes High Blood Pressure.


Though, High Blood Pressure creeps up on you silently, there are some reported symptoms. People complain about headache, dizziness, blurred vision and sometimes kidney failures.


  • As we have already talked, one of the reasons for acquiring High Blood Pressure, is consumption of more salts.
  • Reduced amounts of salts (or) just consuming enough amounts of salts necessary to the body would a good point to start with as a prevention measure of High Blood Pressure.
  • Decrease in consumption of high fatty foods, getting enough exercise every day, to burn off bad fat, are the best steps to prevent High Blood Pressure. Get back to a healthy weight.
  • Consume lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not drink more than 2 glasses of alcohol everyday.
  • Smoking can cause High Blood Pressure too, Stop it!

If you are someone with High Blood Pressure, and have something else to share to this article, please include it in the comments. Also, please share this article with others and grow more awareness towards the ‘Silent Killer’ – High Blood Pressure.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.explainstuff.com/2009/07/28/high-blood-pressure-causes-symptoms-prevention/


  1. Jane Whitmore

    Helpful stuff. Blood pressure and hypertension have been interests of mine for a long time, and I think that a balanced holistic approach is overall the most promising. You have to eat healthy, exercise, and regularly watch your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and then things should be not too hard. We have lots of info on all that on our site, everyone interested is welcome to take a look.

  2. gre practice test

    Your article is a good explanation of why we (society as a whole) need to cut our daily intake of salt and to exercise more. It may be difficult to cut out a lot of fat from our diets but it looks like it’s certainly worth it long term.

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