Causes of high blood pressure
The following factors may, individually or in conjunction, lead to such an imbalance:
(1) Heredity: Most experts believe that heredity plays a role in causing high blood pressure. That the incidence of this disease is double than normal in kins of persons with high blood pressure, is suggestive.
A few researchers believe it is not heredity but environmental factors which cause high blood pressure. Children imitate the dietary habits and life style of their elders. Consequently they, too, suffer from disorders which their parents are afflicted with. It can be said that in the development of high blood pressure, heredity loads the cannon and environmental factors pull the trigger.
(2) Mental tension and approach: Mental tension leads to an excessive secretion of catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) inside the body. These secretions undesirably stimulate the catecholaminergic nerve endings in the brain-stem to cause a rose in the blood pressure.
(3) Excessive intake of salt: Extensive studies have shown that in all those countries where the average salt intake is high, the incidence of high blood pressure, too, is high. Even in a single country, the incidence of high blood pressure is higher in costal places than in the interior.
In fact, salt is an old habit of human beings. The salt-content of natural foods is remarkably low. It is man who adds salt to food at every step. We may prefer to remain hungry to taking a salt-less diet. But we should note that those who never tasted salt, find its taste extremely disagreeable.
(4) Obesity (excessive weight):High blood pressure and obesity are intimately related. High blood pressure is extremely common in fat persons.The greater the obesity, the higher the blood pressure. Another alarming fact is that in the obese, high pressure develops much earlier in life, sometimes even in the second decades of their life.
(5) Smoking: The incidence of high blood pressure has been found to be greater in smokers. Tobacco has two toxic elements ; nicotin and carbon monoxide. Nicotin and Carbon monoxide throw into disarray the process of purification of blood in the lungs, thereby burdening the heart.
(6) Alcohol-consumption : Studies conducted in America, Britain, Sweden, Australia and a number of other countries have proved that the incidence of high blood pressure in drinkers is 2 1/2 times higher than that in non-drinkers.
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