You hear so much about high blood pressure (HBP) when it comes to how to avoid/control it: what foods not to eat, what medications to take, how genetics may play a role, etc. But actually, high blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is a widely misunderstood medical condition….many people don’t really understand what it is or why it can cause so many dangerous problems.
Some people think that those with hypertension are tense, nervous or hyperactive, but hypertension has nothing to do with personality traits. The truth is, you can be a calm, relaxed person and still have HBP.
Let’s look at the facts about blood pressure so you can better understand how your body works and why it is smart to start protecting yourself now, no matter what your blood pressure numbers are.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure measures the force pushing outwards on your arterial walls. The organs in your body need oxygen to survive. Oxygen is carried through the body by the blood. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped arteries and veins, also known as blood vessels and capillaries.
The pressure – blood pressure – is the result of two forces. The first force occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force is created as the heart rests between heartbeats (these two forces are each represented by numbers in a blood pressure reading).
Why is a healthy blood pressure level so important?
• Reducing your risk of your vascular walls becoming overstretched and injured
• Reducing your risk of your heart having to pump harder to compensate for blockages
• Protecting your entire body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs
What’s the problem with too much blood force?