Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hypertension In Teens - 7 Ways To Avoid It

Can teens suffer from high blood pressure? No way! High blood pressure is just for old people!

If this is what you believe, you are not totally different from most of the people in this planet who associate hypertension or high blood pressure with aging. You also probably wouldn't believe that almost 60 million Americans under the age of 6 are suffering from this condition! This may sound odd to you but this is an unfortunate fact.

Although a mere 1% to 3% of children in the United States have high blood pressure, it is best to have your kids' blood pressures checked every once in a while. It will be a very critical step in ensuring the health of your kids.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is defined as the pressure or force your blood exerts against your blood vessels as the heart pumps. The pressure typically rises as your heart pumps (systolic pressure) and falls when the heart relaxes (diastolic pressure). A person's blood pressure can be monitored using a medical device called a sphygmomanometer and the readings are expressed in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The normal blood pressure for a normal adult should be less than 120 over 80 mm Hg. A blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 mm Hg, on the other hand, can already be considered high.

For children and teens, however, a different set of parameters is used to indicate whether a child or a teen is suffering from high blood pressure. For this age group, high blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure greater than the 95th percentile for their age, height and gender. This means that 95% of all the kids belonging to the same age, height and gender will have a lower blood pressure reading as compared to the one in consideration.

Blood pressure can be influenced by a number of factors. Among these are the degree of rest or physical activity, the temperature, a person's diet, emotions, posture and medications being taken.

Keeping a normal blood pressure is very important to you and your kids' overall state of health. To further complicate matters, it was observed that kids with high blood pressure are 3 times more likely to suffer from the condition as adults.

Help your kids lead a more healthy life as adults by helping them reduce their chances of suffering from hypertension during their teens. Here are some ways that may help you achieve this:

1. Strive to maintain your kid's healthy weight to height ratio.

2. Adopt a regular exercise routine. Regular exercise can give you and your kids a lot of benefits. It can help prevent you and your kids from becoming overweight and aid in shedding off those excess pounds. It can also keep the heart and blood vessels in top condition.

3. Load your kids' diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

4. As much as possible, reduce salt intake. Scientific studies prove that when a person suffering from high blood pressure consumes less salt, his or her blood pressure lowers considerably.

5. Avoid smoking. Smoking is never considered a healthy habit. What's worse is that smoking and high blood pressure are a deadly combination. The combination of these two can lead to a heart attack or stroke later on in life.

6. Say no to alcohol. Heavy drinking may lead to the development of the disease.

7. Have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Hypertension

By Michael_Russell

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