Aging and High Blood Pressure Have Several Things in Common

Aging and high blood pressure have an extremely strong connection for several reasons, but by far and away the largest is hitting the 55 year old mark.

For people in our age group, it is considered to be the number one threat to our overall health, and if you do not have it, you are very, very lucky.

However, for the vast majority of us, once we hit the 55 year old mark, it is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when it will begin to affect us.

There is also one very challenging aspect about this very dangerous condition; the symptoms.

The reason for this is simple; for the vast majority of people, there are very few, if any.

In fact, most people can live for years with this dangerous condition and never know they have it.

Experience With Aging and High Blood Pressure

If you doubt this, please do all the research yourself, but I can speak from first-hand experience concerning aging and high blood pressure.

At the time of this article, I am 64 years old. I have had high blood pressure in the mild to moderate high range for about 10 years now.

About 5 months ago our dog we recused about a year ago, got very excited when we were playing, and jumped up and hit me in the left eye.

Within a day it turned about 90% red and would not go away.

Finally, I went to my doctor and about 2 hours later, was in the hospital with a reading of 205/170.

I had no headache, no anxiety—nothing expect the red eye that they first thought was a broken blood vessel as a result of the dangerously high blood pressure levels.

However, it was indeed the result of my dog hitting me by accident, and I would have not gone to the doctor otherwise.

Aging and high blood pressure, as I found out first hand, can and will attack us ,and if you are in your late 50’s or older, invest the 30.00 it takes to by a monitor.

Test your blood pressure at least 2-3 times a week like I do now, just to be on the safe side.

Your doctor can, like mine did, control it and while it make take some trial and error and maybe 2-3 forms of medication, it can be controlled.

What Is It?

In fully understanding aging and high blood pressure, it begins with what it is.

  • It is the result of long term force of blood against our artery walls
  • If the pressure becomes high enough, damage occurs
  • It is determined by the amount of blood pumped and the resistance
  • The resistance is the blood flow in our arteries
  • The more blood pumped, the narrower our arteries get
  • The narrower they become, the higher our blood pressure becomes

For the vast majority of us, we may have high blood pressure for years and never have even the first sign or symptom.  

The reason for this is simple; it takes several years for it to develop.

There are two major forms of this dangerous condition.

  • The primary form; referred to as essential or hypertension
  • The secondary form; hypertension

With the primary form, hypertension, there is no single cause that can be identified, and will develop over several years and is far and away the most common.

The secondary form, hypertension, is the result of some type of underlying cause that is triggering it.

This could include sleep apnea, kidney or adrenal gland problems, a thyroid problem, as well as certain medications such as over the counter pain medications.

Couple on the beach with their dogCouple on the Beach With Their Dog

Be Real Careful With Pain Killers

If we take Aleve, for example, every day for some type of pain, it could easily trigger the secondary form.

There are several risk factors with aging and high blood pressure and here is the first list.

  • Age—by far and away the leading cause
  • Ethnicity as well as a family history
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being 20 pounds or more overweight
  • Too much salt in our diet

Age is considered to be by far and away the largest risk factor, although with men, the risks start in the late 40’s or early 50’s.

Women are more likely to begin to develop problems in their early 60’s.

For reasons still not fully understood, African Americas see to develop this dangerous condition earlier and more often than any other ethnicity, although this changes once we hit our 60’s.

As we get older, if we are 20 pounds or more overweight and do very little exercise, we are at even a higher degree of risk.

The Risk Factors

There is still a lot of debate in the medical community about too much salt in the diet, but what is not debated is that it can and does lead to water retention.

Water retention and buildup does have a direct impact on our blood pressure.

Here is the next list of risk factors with aging and high blood pressure.

  • Not enough potassium in our body
  • Not enough vitamin D in our body
  • Tobacco of any kind
  • Drinking too much alcohol over an extended period of time.
  • Stress

Potassium is nature’s way of balancing the sodium in our cells, and if we do not get enough from our diet, sodium begins to build up in our blood.

It is believed that Vitamin D helps to control an enzyme produced by our kidneys that if not controlled, can also have large impacts on this dangerous condition.  

Tobacco, in any form, has chemicals that will eventually affect the walls of our arteries by damaging the linings. Once damaged, they cannot be repaired.

If we were or are a heavy drinker, not only will it affect our B12 levels in our blood, it will eventually damage our heart.

Stress and Drinking

Once we pass the age of 60 we need to limit consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day for men, and one for women.

Stress affects several things in our body, and this is perhaps its single biggest target. As we get older, we must control stress or it will control us.

The connection with aging and high blood pressure continues with the potential ramifications and they include the following.

  • A stroke or worse yet, a heart attack
  • Weakening blood vessels in our kidneys
  • It can and will affect the blood vessels around our eyes
  • It can easily trigger Metabolic syndrome
  • It can lead to an Aneurysm—a life threatening conditions
  • It will begin to affect our memory.

Most of us fully understand the dangers of strokes and heart attacks, but not how it can affect our kidneys.

Without a rich flow of blood, several of our organs are at risk, especially our kidneys.

Metabolic syndrome is the result of both high blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels, and it will have a direct impact on our heart.

Once we pass the magic age of 55, we must control our diet, our weight, as well as our lifestyle.

Supplements can and will help, but by far and away the most important thing we can do as we get older is eat right, get plenty of rest, and exercise.

Aging and high blood pressure have a direct connection but we can control it, and  taking your blood pressure 2-3 times a week is a must in case we have to react.

References

http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/blood-pressure-causes#1


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