Young People and High BP

by Steven Carney on January 17, 2013

Recent studies show that young people, age 18-24, have undiagnosed hypertension (or high BP). High BP is often called a “silent killer” because it often lacks symptoms. You won’t realize that your heart is struggling to pump against stiff, constricted arteries.

Undiagnosed hypertension in younger people goes all the way up to age 39. This is shocking because hypertension is usually associated with older people, although age is really not a cause. More often, lifestyle choices drive the process!

These studies show that shockingly large numbers of younger people have undiagnosed high BP:

  • About 67% of those 18-24 have undiagnosed hypertension
  • About 65% of those 25-31 have undiagnosed hypertension
  • About 59% of those 32-39 also have undiagnosed hypertension

Hypertension in younger age groups is troubling because the effects are cumulative and often lead to serious health problems and early deaths. For example, hypertension can damage the lining of your arteries (called the endothelium) and it’s only a single cell thick. Once damaged, the endothelium impairs artery function and its ability to relax. That can strain the heart and contribute to heart attacks and strokes (also occurring more frequently in young people today).

Because hypertension is often a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle, medical providers and patients should start there. For example, the Standard American Diet (or SAD) is one that many younger people eat. It’s high in refined sugars/carbs, fried foods, salt, fats, etc.

Those dietary patterns and lifestyle habits like inactivity, increases abdominal fat (at the waistline), inflammation, and raise blood glucose/uric acid, all contributors to hypertension.

Additional effects and dangers

High BP can also damage the brain, kidneys and other organs, including your eyes! So it really can harm your health in significant ways. Young people and parents should be very concerned!

Did you know that many fast foods and junk foods also cause spikes in blood sugar and those can contribute to brain shrinkage and dementia? High blood sugar is toxic to tissues and it also triggers inflammation. That means your immune system is working all the time, and chronic inflammation (which many adults have) is associated with numerous diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and more!

How to lower BP naturally

Like other lifestyle-driven conditions, you don’t catch hypertension, you drive it with your lifestyle. And even if your parents had it, it’s a myth that you will get it too, unless you add an unhealthy lifestyle on top of any genetic predispositions. In the end, your lifestyle is the biggest determination of your BP!

  • Here are some dietary and lifestyle approaches that can help to lower BP naturally, without drugs!
  • Use more spices and herbs, with less salt (read labels, salt is everywhere in packaged foods)
  • Eat more potassium-rich foods (veggies, fruits, nuts, chicken and fish)
  • Take a good quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to get a balance of minerals
  • Lose weight, even 5 pounds will help (I can help you with easy, no diet weight loss)
  • If you smoke, get help and quit
  • Beware of fast food/restaurant food (lots of salt, oils and fats)
  • Lower stress/get help managing it
  • Lower chronic inflammation, an epidemic in U.S. and other Western cultures
  • Get active (even walking 15-20 minutes 4 days per week can help)

As a health/wellness professional, I can help you develop a plan if you should have high BP or hypertension. It’s not hard and a lifestyle approach is often more effective and affordable than the typical drugs a doctor will prescribe!

Remember, those drugs don’t cure you, they mostly treat symptoms. Why not make a few changes to treat the problem at its origin? You’ll have less worry and more peace of mind. You’ll feel better overall. Yes, wondrous health, energy and longevity is just an e-mail away!

Helpful links:

This article and study shows continuing problems with kids and high BP:

 © 2013 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

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