High Blood Pressure? Are you one of the 80%?

High Blood Pressure can be scary and dangerous. But the good news is that the more you learn about your blood pressure, the more you may be able to control it. Using proper diet and lifestyle changes as well as medication. You don’t be scared – educate and empower yourself.

Over 80% of the population has blood pressure issues! Even scarier, most people and doctors do not address or understand the underlying issues that caused it in the first place.
Blood Pressure complications diagram

As you can see from the diagram above, persistent hypertension can subject you to conditions that ultimately will kill you.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of our blood against the walls of the arteries. These carry the fresh oxygenated blood away from the heart and out into the body. Blood pressure can vary throughout the day, but generally stays within a general range. This depends on body position, breathing, stress, fitness, medications, and time of day. Blood pressure is usually lowest at night and rises quickly upon waking.

Your blood pressure is measured with two numbers—the top number is called “systolic”, and the bottom number is “diastolic”. The systolic number, measures the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels as it is pumped out of your heart. The number on the bottom, the diastolic measurement, represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Generally, a healthy blood pressure regarded as being between 90-120 systolic, and 60-80 diastolic. Blood pressures measured above 120/80 are considered high and termed “pre-hypertension”. Blood pressures of 140/90 or above are considered “hypertension” and usually require medical treatment or a change in your lifestyle. A ‘hypertensive crisis’ is a dangerous situation when your blood pressure rises dramatically high and means that your blood pressure is 180 or higher (systolic), over 100 or more (diastolic). Mine hit 200 when I had kidney stones.

Hypertension Categories as determined by the American Medical Association

The American Heart Association lowered these standards back in 2017. The Medical Industry opted for greed  to include more ideal customers. In fact they effectively doubled the number of ideal customers for their members in a single stroke.

Greed trumps science

The definition of hypertension (high blood pressure) has changed considerably over the years. Back when the Medical Industry when driven by health concerns and not greed, the medical community set the upper limit for healthy blood pressure at 140/90 mm/Hg. If your blood pressure crept above 138/88 mm/Hg the Doctors intervened.
Then, in 2017 the American Heart Association (AHA) lowered the hypertension threshold significantly. They classified normal blood pressure as under 120/80 mm/Hg. That’s the “safe zone” to reduce your risk of stroke and other complications. The question that immediately sprang to mind when I found this out was “Why?”
The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older. This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy.

So now that the Medical Industry is telling over 80% of the population they have hypertension what are they doing about it? They are doing what they always done, push drugs onto you instead of trying to find the cause and treat that. 

As a group Doctors are the most successful drug pushers in the world. Their bosses (The Pharmaceutical Industry) are the Drug Overlords who have managed to convince Governments that their drugs are good for the population. Statistics show that this is not the case as deaths caused by Pharmaceuticals being misprescribed or over prescribed is now the 4th highest cause of death in the USA. This is more than the deaths caused by illegal drugs.

This is similar to what the American Medical Association did with obesity. See the article here.

Why Does It Matter If You Have High Blood Pressure?

Having hypertension means that your arterial walls have stiffened due to a variety of factors that is discussed later in another article. 

When blood vessel walls lose their elasticity, you run the risk for deadly heart disease, strokes, and aneurysms (dangerous bulging of arterial walls).

As an example, think of an old garden hose that is stiff and cracked. If you turned the water on full blast, then pinched the hose, you’d create buildup of pressure in the hose. Often that pressure will create a leak.

The same thing happens when you have high blood pressure. Arterial walls get stiffer, and surges of blood can actually create bulging and ballooning in the walls of the arteries, even in the aorta or the brain. If and when these bulging areas rupture, you have a hemorrhagic stroke or a ruptured aneurysm. This is often Deadly.

One of my dancing teachers had an aneurysm in the brain in the middle of a dancing competition, she was dead before she hit the ground. She was never diagnosed with a hypertension before she died. If you have hypertension then you need to start looking after yourself before it is too late.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

While not a lot is known about the direct causes of high blood pressure, there are several key things that come into play. Often there is a genetic factor but genetic factors do not CAUSE high blood pressure. They simply make you more likely to get it at some point. What is interesting here, is that some people may be more susceptible to certain things while other factors have virtually no effect on them. Age also makes a difference. As we age, our blood vessels tend to get less elastic, so that lifestyle factors affect us more.

The above statement is the one that is the most common one that Doctors use. The reason why is that have no idea what is causing your hypertension. And to be honest it is a load of BS.

It was know as far back at the beginning of the 1900's that people who lived in underdeveloped countries and ate mainly vegetables and plants. They had the occasional meal of meat and had a "normal" blood pressure well into their old age. By this I mean the records show that the normal blood pressure was 120/80 (or less) from their teens to the day they died in their 70's and 80's. They also walked everywhere and worked had with manual labour.

So now the Doctors take the easy option. They prescribe pills instead of telling their patients to walk more, dig the garden and do some sort of manual labour to keep the body in good shape. Going to the gym doesn't really cut it as the whole body needs to be working, and not just a selected number of muscle groups.

Unhealthy Lifestyle factors that you can change

Here are a few unhealthy lifestyle factors that definitely contribute to hypertension, but they often do not show up until middle age. These include:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Diet high in processed and starchy foods.
  • Being obese or overweight.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Sodium (Salt) intake.

The Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension

The problem with high blood pressure is that it generally has no obvious signs or symptoms. Many people may have hypertension and never even know it, unless they visit their doctor. However, measuring your blood pressure is actually quick and painless. Everyone should be getting it checked on a regular basis.

Occasionally some people with hypertension may have some unexplained headaches or pressure in their head. Generally hypertension has no symptoms, unless you are in what is called a “hypertensive crisis”. Even then this condition may have subtle or no symptoms. This is when blood pressure has risen over 180/100.

Blood Pressure Testing in Doctors office

Hypertensive Crisis

A hypertensive crisis is divided into two categories: urgent and emergency. In an urgent hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high, but your doctor doesn't suspect you have any damage to your organs.

In an emergency hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high and has caused damage to your organs. An emergency hypertensive crisis can be associated with life threatening complications.

Signs and symptoms of a severe hypertensive crisis may include:

  • Very bad chest pain
  • Severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

This is a medical emergency and may require a visit to Urgent Care or ER. Medical complications of a hypertensive crisis can include stroke, and damage to the blood Vessels.

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Michel Van