High blood pressure, or hypertension as it is frequently called, is not just a serious problem, it’s a serious disease. One of the major difficulties is that it usually has no symptoms; people with it say that they feel fine and don’t think they are in any danger. But they are. This is why high blood pressure is frequently called the “silent killer.” Indeed, if it is left untreated, it can cause many problems including stroke, aneurysm, heart attack, and kidney problems; it can even cause death. Even mild hypertension can cut your life span by two to four years. This is why it is important to deal with it as quickly as possible.
Your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers referred to as systolic and diastolic. It is generally recommended that these readings are in the range:
Systolic: 100 – 120
Diastolic: 70 – 80
In general, you want to keep the systolic under 140, and the diastolic under 90. In the range 120 – 140 and 80 – 90, however, you are considered to have pre-hypertension, and if it gets up to 140 – 160 and 90 – 100, you are said to be in stage 1 hypertension.
What should you do to reduce these numbers? Let’s begin by looking at the major reasons for high blood pressure. They are:
Below I will give you a 10-point program for reducing blood pressure, but first let’s look at diet. A diet called DASH (Diet Appropriate for Stopping Hypertension) has been shown to be very effective in decreasing hypertension. Its major components are: