Know what contributes to high blood pressure and what to do about it

High blood pressure is a common disease that causes the blood to flow through your blood vessels at a higher than normal pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. And the CDC says that about 70 million Americans have high blood pressure - that's one in every three American adults.
The Mayo Clinic explains that high blood pressure is determined by both the amount of blood your heart pumps, and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more your heart has to pump, and the narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure will be.
Causes and risk factors 
High blood pressure is caused by a wide range of risk factors and causes, which is why it might affect so many people.
Age: Blood pressure usually rises with age, but anyone can develop it - even children and teens. 
Race and ethnicity: High blood pressure is more common in African American adults. The NHLBI says African Americans tend to get high blood pressure earlier in life, and when they do have high blood pressure their numbers are higher than others.
Being overweight.  You are more likely to develop high blood pressure if you are overweight or obese, according to the NHLBI.
Gender. Men are more likely to develop high blood pressure before the age of 55, but women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after the age of 55 - according to the NHLBI.
Lifestyle habits. Unhealthy lifestyle habits like eating too much sodium, too little potassium, not getting enough exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, and even stress increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. 
Family history. You're more likely to develop high blood pressure if someone in your family has developed it, according to the NHLBI
Kidney and salt balances:  If your kidney isn't functioning properly - by regulating the body's salt balances - then you can develop high blood pressure according to the NHLBI
Some medications. Certain prescription medications, like those for asthma or hormone therapies like birth control, can cause high blood pressure. Even over the counter medicines - like for the common cold - can cause high blood pressure.
Other medical conditions. Certain conditions, like kidney disease, sleep apnea, and thyroid problems can also lead to high blood pressure. the NHLBI explains this is because these other conditions change how your body controls fluids, hormones, and sodium in your blood. 
Blood vessel structure: some people are born with certain defects in their blood vessels that causes high blood pressure.
A lof of the time, people with high blood pressure don't feel any signs or symptoms - even if their blood pressure is at very high, and dangerous levels.
Sometimes though, people can have headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds according to the Mayo Clinic. But, these symptoms are specific to high blood pressure  so it can be hard to diagnose, and sometimes doesn't happen until the blood pressure is so high it's life threatening. 
Luckily, testing for high blood pressure is routine at doctors appointments. So it's important to see the doctor regularly so they can check your levels. It's also important to check for high blood pressure because it can lead to a bunch of other serious health conditions including:
- Heart attack and stroke
- Heart failure
- Aneurysm
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidney's 
- Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes (which can lead to vision loss)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Memory and trouble understanding
all information provided by the Mayo Clinic
Treatment and prevention
Lifestyle changes are usually a major part of controlling high blood pressure. Your doctor will talk to you about ways you can help get your blood pressure back in check like: eating healthier, quitting smoking, and exercising more, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications that can help lower your blood pressure on top of lifestyle changes. But it's important to talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
When it comes to preventing high blood pressure, it's all about lifestyle. Don't smoke, eat well, exercise, and generally take care of yourself. Especially if you're genetically predisposed to develop high blood pressure, keeping a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your high blood pressure in check. 
Resources Mayo Clinic and WebMD does not give medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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