Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'd like to talk about the reasons someone may suffer from hypertension, and what they can do to treat or prevent it. It is widely known that doctors don't know the cause of hypertension, at last in the vast majority of the cases. 95% of the people suffering from arterial hypertension suffer from a type of arterial hypertension that is called idiopathic or primary. In practice, this means that we don't know its cause. Namely, we don't know why it occurs. Although we don't know the cause of the hypertension, we've found a series of factors that seem to significantly increase the risk of hypertension. Today, I'd like to speak about these factors. In order to find out which factors we should focus on, I've divided them in two groups: the risk factors that we can control and the risk factors that we can't control. I'll start with the risk factors that we can't control. Family history. Many decades ago, we noticed that persons with parents suffering from hypertension tend to suffer from hypertension too, over the course of time. This doesn't necessarily mean that they have a hypertension-causing gene, because families may not only share genes, but also habits, good or bad ones. But it is generally accepted that hypertension has a strong genetic part. Unfortunately, no matter how important this is, we can do nothing to change it at this moment. Age. The same applies to age too. There's no way to change it. As long as the days and years go by, age increases, and the risk of hypertension increases respectively too. We've noticed that by 55 years old for men, and 60 years old for women, diastolic pressure increases by one unit, while systolic pressure increases by two units by 65 years old. In contrast to diastolic pressure, it continues to increase after 70. Gender. The third and last factors that we can't control is gender. In general, women are protected by hypertension until menopause, which is believed to be attributed to the antihypertensive effect of estrogens. Therefore, before 55 years old, most persons I see suffering from hypertension are men. After menstruation stops, however, and estrogens decrease due to this, women suffer from hypertension as often as men. The factors that I presented are really important, but there's no point in dedicating much time to them, because they're irreversible. These are factors that we can do nothing about. Therefore, we should focus on factors that are reversible and we can control. Increased weight. Increased weight and increased pressure go together. It has been estimated that if someone is overweight, namely their weight is increased a bit compared to the normal one, the risk of hypertension is three times higher. If they're obese, the risk is much higher and proportionate to the obesity level. If you're overweight and suffer from hypertension, weight loss is the most effective thing you can do, in order to control the pressure. It has been estimated that the loss of just 5 kg reduces the pressure by a whole unit, comparable to the reduction caused by some hypertensive drugs. Of course, this may vary from one person to another. Sedentary life. Studies have repeatedly shown that sedentary life increases the risk of hypertension significantly. By choosing to introduce exercise and movement in your life, you'll surely see your blood pressure reducing significantly. If you have increased pressure, you'd better find ways to introduce movement and activity in your daily life. The benefit will be really big. Smoking. The cigarette smoke and the other smoke products contain a stimulant called nicotine. Nicotine is the substance that gives a message to the brain to increase the heartbeat and the pressure. In the long run, this effect leads to arterial hypertension. Salt. More than a hundred years have passed since studies have shown that salt leads to increased pressure. Salt goes hand in hand with water in the body. In its effort to dilute salt, the body retains fluids, which leads to increased pressure. These processes have been known for many decades, this is why many programs to inform the public have started in the last decades, focusing on the importance of quitting salt. Unfortunately, it seems that the effect of these programs is really limited, because, over the last decades, the consumption of salt not only has not reduced, but it has dramatically increased. Unfortunately, it seems that taste overrides logic. Increased consumption of alcohol. You may have noticed or heard that if someone drinks two or three glasses of wine, their pressure increases. If this effect happens systematically, it leads to arterial hypertension in the long run. You should also remember that alcohol interacts with many drugs, including the antihypertensive drugs. Therefore, you should be really careful, if you consume alcohol and take some medication. You should consult the doctor, who will tell you how much alcohol you can drink. These are the risk factors that are associated with increased blood pressure. The most important one is increased weight. I consider it the most important one, because it plays an important role in blood pressure, while it's not very hard to reverse. If you are overweight, a healthy diet may help you treat high blood pressure and reduce or even quit drugs. If you don't take any drugs, it will reduce the risk ofneeding them in the future. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section.