What Is High Blood Pressure?

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Filed Under: Blood Pressure, Heart Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Learn how hypertension and cardiovascular disease go hand in hand

High blood pressure, or hypertension, has become so prevalent in our society that it's perceived as a "minor" problem. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You may not feel the effects of high blood pressure (if your blood vessels had nerves you certainly would), but your heart does. High blood pressure contributes to atherosclerosis by making your arteries more vulnerable to fat deposits and clogging. Consequently, your heart must work much harder to circulate blood, and it demands more oxygen from your lungs to get the job done. This is why people with severe high blood pressure can experience shortness of breath and dizziness.

The additional stress on the heart caused by high blood pressure also raises your risk of other cardiovascular problems. For example, hypertension makes you—

  • Three times more susceptible to dying from a heart attack
  • Four times more susceptible to heart failure
  • Seven times more susceptible to stroke

Fortunately, there are many natural treatments for high blood pressure, minimize (or avoid altogether) the need for unnecessary and potentially dangerous medications, and prevent heart disease.

More Dr. Williams Advice on Blood Pressure

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