Obesity

Link Between Obesity and Hypertension

More than 50% of Americans are either obese or overweight and the number is still rising. Doctors form the American Heart Institute, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization (WHO) are trying to come up with a way to control this epidemic. Obesity may lead to high blood pressure. This condition is known as obesity hypertension. Out of all the cases of hypertension in the U.S., nearly 75% of them are directly related to obesity. In the year 2002, around 310,707 deaths in the U.S. were directly due to hypertension or high blood pressure. If you are obese or overweight, your risk of acquiring hypertension increases 5-6 times more than those who have normal body weight.

How Obesity Impacts Blood Pressure

If you are obese or overweight, your body demands more blood flow to supply oxygen and nourish the extra tissue. When there is more blood in the arteries and veins, there is a development of extra pressure on the blood vessels. Gaining weight is usually in the form of fat deposition. Mayo Clinic conducted a research, which found that fat cells produce excessive chemicals. This strains the heart and builds even more pressure on the blood vessels. Furthermore, along with the weight gain, there is an increase in the bodily level of insulin. This leads to retention of water and sodium in the body which also increases the heart rate and reduces the blood flow capacity of the blood vessels. This causes the blood pressure to rise.

Causes of Obesity that lead to Hypertension

  • Physical activity is typically lessened in cases of obesity.
  • Obesity leads to pain in the joints, and arteries. Later on the body reacts to these pains by producing a hormone which is called aldosterone, which leads to stress.
  • As soon as this hormone is produced in the body, it causes increased retention of sodium (salt) in the body, which leads to hypertension.
  • Obesity is caused due to a combination of factors such as psychological issues, high calorie foods, genetic inheritance and sedentary lifestyle.

Prevention from Obesity that leads to Hypertension

  • Eat healthy, well portioned meals and exercise regularly.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits such as alcohol and smoking.
  • Avoid stress. Talk to a doctor about any possible depression.
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
  • Avoid consuming saturated fats.
  • Avoid consuming high calorie foods.
  • Seek professional help if required.

References

Mayo Clinic: Weight Loss Basics:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/MY00432

Science Daily: Obesity and Hypertension
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040611081250.htm

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