Hypertension is a chronic medical condition that affects one in three adults in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also called the silent killer, it is a condition where the blood pressure is abnormally elevated. In most of the cases, the condition takes years to develop, and people do not notice the symptoms initially. Most people find out about hypertension only when they suffer a heart attack or get a medical check-up done. Clyde Yancy, MD, chief of cardiology in Chicago, Illinois, says that hypertension is simply unavoidable as a person ages. As you hit the 55 age mark, you become 90% susceptible to hypertension. Moreover, sustained hypertension for a long period can put you at risk of coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke, and hypertensive heart disease.
The first culprit that instantly comes to mind when we mention hypertension is overeating salt. A diet high in salt content is responsible for approximately 20% to 40 % of cases of hypertension in the US, according to the Institute of Medicine. It has also been found that Americans consume 10 to 15 times more salt than they actually need. Salt makes your kidneys retain more water. Then, the stored water then builds pressure on your kidneys and increases the blood pressure. An alteration in sodium intake can work wonders for hypertension patients. Typically, you should limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day.
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