Hypertension, also known as hipertensi in Malay community as common as it sounds, is a disease that has the potential to bring about morbidity and mortality. What makes it even difficult to combat is the fact that these patients are usually symptomless and have no warning signs. Diagnosis is made inadvertently when blood pressure readings are taken before a procedure or during a doctor’s visit for some other problems. The best way to shield yourself from this danger is by being aware of the risk factors that may bring about the problem and taking proactive measures to change them. These risks are namely ones that you can change (modifiable risk factors) and those that are predetermined and cannot be changed (non-modifiable risk factors). It is key for you to be aware of these risk factors and evaluate how high your risk is at developing high blood pressure. Listed are the top 5 risks that you should look out for.
Good genes are not the only one you inherit from your family. Unfortunately, you inherit bad ones too. If your parents, grandparents or immediate family members suffer from hypertension, there is a good chance that you might develop it, too. It is also likely that people within a family share the same environment and other potential risk factors that increase the likelihood of them developing the same health problems. The diet and physical activities in a family is something that may greatly affect the overall health of everyone in the family. Genes and bad lifestyle choices intensify your chances of getting hypertension.
The older you get, the higher the plausibility of you developing high blood pressure. Age, unfortunately is not just a number. As you age, the body matures and ages as you do. In affairs concerning blood pressure, as we age, the vessels in our body tend to lose it elasticity, and the heart tends to start inefficiently pumping. This makes it harder for the body to accommodate increased blood pressure. There is also a tendency of older aged people to over salt their food as there is a decrease in taste bud sensitivity. The interior changes and the lifestyle changes that occur due to ageing is a serious cause for hypertension.
Inadequate physical activity is dangerous for your health. There is a higher tendency for your to develop diseases like diabetes and hypertension. This especially applies to people who have desk jobs. Even if you feel tired and sluggish after a long day’s work, you have to bear in mind that physical exertion was at a minimum all day long. Spending too much time sitting down is bad for both your heart, waistline and blood pressure.
Stress is not as bad as what is being portrayed. A good amount of stress generates better work quality. Stress becomes bad when there is too much of it and you are not able to cope with it. Too much stress for a long period can affect systems in our body that respond to physical and mental stress. In coping with stress, a mind is a self-sufficient machine that can device a coping mechanism to release the accumulating tension. This is why different people deal with it differently. Some exercise, read, listen to music, shop or meet people but stress can also drive a person to make poor choices to deal with the pent-up tension. These include eating unhealthily, smoking tobacco, and even resorting to alcohol and recreational drugs for emotional comfort.
5)Smoking and drinking habits
If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, it’s time that you quit. Smoking is a well-established risk factor of hypertension. The stigma around smoking and the belief that it only affects respiratory health is false. Smoking causes a lot of other problems in the body; one of it being cardiovascular problems. Chronically smoking over a long period affects the blood vessels. It narrows the lumen of the arteries and decreases the amount of blood flow. These changes are typically seen more evidently in the vessels supplying the heart as these vessels are comparatively smaller and have the tremendous workload of supplying the heart muscles that are constantly working. This is why smokers are more predisposed to heart attacks and high blood pressure.
Hypertension is an illness that is silent but with grave complications. It is known to bring about intracranial haemorrhage, stroke, heart attack and chronic kidney disease. Other risk factor may put you at risk of hypertension, but these are the most common ones that you should look out for. Change the ones that you can to compliment the risks that you inherit. Take baby steps in changing hard-core lifestyle issues. This would give you better results and ensure you do not slip up to your old habits.