We seem to live in a weight-obsessed society. Everyone is concerned about what they look like, what size of clothing they wear, and whether or not they fit into society’s vision of beautiful. However, there is more to it than just how you look. After all, it is common knowledge that obesity comes with a long list of health problems from fatigue to numerous circulatory problems.
One of the more serious problems associated with obesity is the risk of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. People who are overweight are twice as likely to develop this condition, which occurs when your blood has to work harder to get through your veins, which puts pressure on the walls of the blood vessels.
Blood pressure is expressed in two numbers, one over the other. For example, 110 over 80 (written as 120/80) is considered to be normal. The first number, which represents the pressure when your heart is pushing blood into your arteries, should be under 140. The second number, which represents the pressure when your heart is not pushing blood, should be under 90. If either or both of the numbers are high, then you have hypertension.
High blood pressure can be a major concern because it can lead to heart disease, kidney and heart failure, or even a stroke. If your pressure is high, your doctor will want to monitor it closely, and help you take steps to lower it. Of course, in those who are obese, losing weight is a good way to lower your blood pressure. Even dropping as little as ten pounds can make a big health difference. Not only does this lower your hypertension, but it helps eliminate and reduce some of the other health risks associated with obesity. In some cases doctors will recommend taking medication to get your pressure down. This is usually in addition to other lifestyle and nutrition changes that your doctor will probably recommend.
Having blood pressure that is quite high does not just mean that your heart pounds when you go for a long walk. The hypertension is a major risk factor among other severe heart and health problems, many of which may lead to death. And since those who are obese are twice as likely to have these problems, it is important to keep a careful eye on your blood pressure, as well as do what you can to lose weight. However, you should be sure to speak with your care provider before you make any major lifestyle changes.