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HBP Patient Guide

Risk factors that you can control nnLack of physical activity: Not getting enough physical activity as part of your lifestyle increases your risk of getting high blood pressure. Physical activity is great for your heart and circulatory system in general, and blood pressure is no exception. nnAn unhealthy diet, especially one high in sodium. Good nutrition from a variety of sources is critical for your health. A diet that is too high in salt consumption, as well as calories, saturated fat, and sugar, carries an additional risk of high blood pressure. On the other hand, making healthy food choices can actually help lower blood pressure. nnOverweight and obesity: Carrying too much weight puts an extra strain on your heart and circulatory system, and can cause serious health problems. Being overweight increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also increases your risk of getting high blood pressure. nnDrinking too much alcohol. Regular, heavy use of alcohol can cause many health problems, including heart failure, stroke, and irregular heartbeats. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide, and accidents. It can also cause your blood pressure to increase dramatically. In addition to these risk factors, there are others that may contribute to high blood pressure, although how is still uncertain. These include: nnSmoking and tobacco use: Using tobacco can cause your blood pressure to temporarily increase and can contribute to damaged arteries, which can make high blood pressure worse. nnStress: Stress is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. But too much stress may contribute to increased blood pressure. Also, too much stress can encourage behaviors that increase blood pressure, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, and using tobacco or drinking alcohol more than usual. nnSleep apnea: This is a condition in which some of the tissues in the throat collapse during sleep and block the breathing passageway. In response to that, the brain awakens the sleeper, who then gulps for air in order to open the trachea again. This cycle often repeats many times a night, leading to severe fatigue the following day from a lack of good sleep. Sleep apnea can be a contributing factor to high blood pressure. 7


HBP Patient Guide
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