Blood pressure is created when the heart pumps blood though the blood vessels and the blood pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. Blood pressure helps move blood throughout the body so each part can get oxygen. Healthy arteries, the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body stretch to allow more blood to push through them. How much they stretch depends on how hard the blood pushes against the artery walls. It’s important for blood pressure to be within a healthy range to help the arteries stay healthy. Blood pressure can be found using a blood pressure monitor and is recorded as two numbers, the systolic pressure, the upper number, is how much pressure is exerting on the artery walls while the heart is pumping blood.
The diastolic pressure, lower number, is how much pressure blood is exerting against the artery walls while the heart is resting between beats. High blood pressure usually doesn’t have a cause and many people don’t have symptoms. Sometimes it is even called the silent killer for this reason. There are some risk factors in developing high blood pressure that can’t be controlled like, family history, age, gender, and race.
Whereas there are some that can be controlled like, lack of physical activity, and an unhealthy diet. High blood pressure, if not treated, can cause the heart to get bigger, because it must work harder to supply the blood the body needs. It can also lead to many serious heart and health conditions. Blood pressure can be controlled by limiting salt intake and eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat protein sources, and low fat dairy products. Finally, always remember to talk with your own medical provider to discuss the best plan of action for your health.