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What causes High Blood Pressure in Young Adults

Diabetes Monitoring

High blood pressure or Hypertension is when your blood pressure is higher than what’s considered normal. Although it isn’t particularly a disease, high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart diseases, like heart attack, when left unaddressed for a long time.

Blood pressure refers to the pressure at which the blood flows through the vessels.

It’s often called a “silent killer” as it can do significant harm to your body over time. Your blood pressure is measured in two categories, called systolic and diastolic pressure.

The former measures your blood pressure when your heart beats, while the other shows your blood pressure between the beats. In this post, we will discuss the causes of high blood pressure in young adults. Keep reading.

Table of Contents

All You Should Know About Normal and Elevated Blood Pressure

Hypertension is bad for your heart, as it puts excess pressure on your vessels and contributes to the thickening of the arteries, increasing your risk of getting a stroke or an attack. It can also lead to kidney failure.

Your blood pressure frequently fluctuates throughout the day. However, if you are diagnosed with elevated blood pressure for most of the day, that’s a cause for concern.

Unfortunately, there’s no permanent cure for high blood pressure. But certain things can help you manage the symptoms. Living with hypertension can be challenging.

 

Even though it doesn’t cause any serious discomfort or pain, it puts you at a higher risk of complications.

The American Heart Association has divided blood pressure into four categories. The top number in each category specifies your systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is diastolic.

  • Normal: Equal to or below 120/80 mm Hg
  • Elevated: Systolic blood pressure is between 120 and 129, and diastolic is below 80 mm Hg.
  • Mild Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure is between 130 and 139, and diastolic is between 80 and 89.
  • Moderate Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure is above 140 mm Hg, and diastolic is above 90 mm Hg.

If your blood pressure crosses 180 mm Hg (top number) and 120 (bottom number), it’s considered a medical emergency.

Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure

Here’s what puts you at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.

  • Family history: A family history of hypertension (your parents or siblings diagnosed with the condition)
  • Overweight: Those who are obese or overweight.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: People living a sedentary lifestyle (eating too much junk food or not getting enough physical activity) might gain weight, which in turn, increases the risk of hypertension.
  • Eating Foods Rich in Sodium and Low in Potassium: Your blood pressure levels depend on your sodium and potassium intake. These two nutrients are key to controlling hypertension.
  • Tobacco: Chewing or smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol
  • Chronic Conditions: Pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and sleep apnea, might raise your blood pressure.
  • Age and Race: The risk of hypertension is higher in older people. The race also plays a part here. Experts believe Black people are at higher risk than White.

Even though blood pressure is more common in older people, adults and children might get it too. This is especially seen in obese kids who live a sedentary lifestyle or get addicted to smoking and alcohol at a very young age.

Children with kidney disease and heart problems can also develop hypertension.

Blood pressure is linked to atherosclerosis. Any form of buildup on your artery walls, such as cholesterol or fats, can elevate your blood pressure.

Sometimes, the cause of hypertension is unknown. It’s advisable that you consult a healthcare specialist immediately if your blood pressure increases above the normal range.

Tell your doctor about the medicines you have been taking, including the drugs without a prescription.

High Blood pressure Treatment

Around 47% of adults in America are diagnosed with high blood pressure. It doesn’t cause any serious symptoms until the blood pressure surpasses the normal range and affects your organs.

The prevention usually depends on the cause of high blood pressure.

If it’s caused by a certain medicine, you are going to have to switch them after consulting with your doctor to keep your blood pressure levels in check.

If it’s caused by an existing medical condition, hypertension will go away as soon as you get treatment for that.

However, if it’s due to a genetic condition, it will stay with you forever, and managing it is your only option. Let’s check out a few effective ways to manage high blood pressure.

Get Your Weight in Check

Get Your Weight in Check

The risk of blood pressure is high in overweight people. As your weight increases, so does your blood pressure. This is especially true if you carry a lot of weight around your waistline.

If you are obese and have hypertension, there is a chance these two might be linked. Following a weight loss diet can help you get in shape.

Practice Exercise Daily

Exercise

 

Living a sedentary lifestyle isn’t going to help manage your blood pressure. In fact, it will make it worse. So, you should aim to practice 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.

Exercise can lower your blood pressure by up to 8 mm Hg. It also prevents elevated blood pressure from turning into hypertension.

You don’t need to practice high-intensity interval training, but that can be a good way to shed those extra pounds quickly. In addition, swimming, dancing, cycling, and just walking can help bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.

Another option is strength training but talks to your healthcare provider to see if it’s safe before you consider that.

Eat Healthy Food

Eat Healthy Food

It’s pretty obvious that a diet rich in sodium is unhealthy for people with elevated blood pressure. But salt isn’t the only ingredient that might interfere with your blood pressure.

Whole milk dairy products, processed and packaged foods rich in saturated fat, and foods containing lots of calories are also bad for your heart health.

You should discuss your diet with a healthcare specialist to decide what foods are safe and what are not.

Ideally, people with high blood pressure follow a DASH diet, as it includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other ingredients low in salt and rich in good fats and fiber.

You should limit your sodium intake to 1500 mg a day or less if possible. Always check the food labels and the sodium percentage before buying.

Limit Alcohol and Quit Smoking

Limit Alcohol and Quit Smoking

Lifestyle changes go a long way in managing your blood pressure, if not curing it permanently. For example, quitting alcohol can lower your blood pressure by 4 mm hg.

On the other hand, too much alcohol intake can increase it by several points. The worst part is that your medications for managing BP won’t work if you consume excess alcohol.

Likewise, smoking or chewing tobacco won’t only raises blood pressure but they are harmful to your overall health.

Sleep Well

Women Sleeping

 

Not getting adequate sleep for weeks can also cause hypertension. Talk to a healthcare specialist to get prescription drugs if you can’t sleep because of a medical condition like sleep apnea or insomnia.

If it’s stress or other reasons, you can try the following to get a good night’s sleep daily.

  • Have a proper sleep schedule
  • Create a peaceful space
  • Be careful about your diet and what you drink before bed
  • Don’t sleep in the daytime

Tip: Taking a warm shower and practicing a few minutes of meditation before going to bed can help you fall asleep faster.

Practice Meditation

Practice Meditation

Stress is also linked to high blood pressure in young adults. Stress is common in students, employees, and just about anyone with a busy schedule. Work stress, relationship stress, and other forms of stress can take a toll on your mental health.

They affect your sleep cycle, concentration, and performance at work and in your personal life.

All these factors contribute to an increased risk of hypertension. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress. A few minutes of breathing exercises can help keep your cortisol levels in check.

It calms your mind. You should also avoid stress triggers, such as overburdening yourself with too much work or accepting responsibilities that put too much pressure on you.

Take some time to relax. Also, practicing gratitude can keep stress levels at bay.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly

Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly

Having a blood pressure monitor at home can help you track your blood pressure regularly and take action immediately when there’s a rise in your BP.

Ask your healthcare provider how often you should check blood pressure and what to do if it rises suddenly.

Scheduling appointments with your doctor once every 2-3 months for regular check-ups is also a good idea to keep your blood pressure under control.

Conclusion

Blood pressure in young adults has become quite common. While there’s no permanent cure for it, the above tips will certainly help bring those double-digits to a normal range.

Hope this post helped you learn the right ways to control your blood pressure. Good Luck!

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2 Comments

  1. I have a family history for diabetes and blood pressure. However, I found that if we maintain a good diet discipline and workout on daily basis even for 30 minutes, it helps in reducing blood pressure to a lot extent. Taking less stress and low sugar consumption impacts a lot towards better health. Thanks for this blog

    1. Hello Richard,

      Yes, you mentioned it correct. Reducing stress, low sugar consumption and everyday workout is the mantra towards controlling blood pressure. Hope you are taking good care of your health.

      Thanks

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