High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, to stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart failure.

There are some known causes of high blood pressure. In about 1 in 20 cases, high blood pressure occurs as the result of an underlying condition, medication or drug. Conditions that can cause high blood pressure include kidney disease.

In such cases, when the root cause is treated, blood pressure usually returns to normal or is significantly lowered. These causes include the following conditions: Chronic kidney disease.

Isolated systolic hypertension can be caused by underlying conditions such as artery stiffness, an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or diabetes.

Occasionally, it can be caused by heart valve problems. … Isolated systolic hypertension can lead to serious health problems, such as Stroke

Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in salt (sodium) and high in potassium can lower your blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is one healthy diet that is proven to help people lower their blood pressure

Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.

Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases.

  • Exercise regularly. …
  • Eat a healthy diet. …
  • Reduce sodium in your diet. …
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:

  • A severe headache.
  • Fatigue or confusion.
  • Vision problems.
  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears.

In severe cases of high blood pressure when symptoms do appear, they may include:

  • Feeling confused or other neurological symptoms.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Chest pain.
  • Abnormal heartbeat.

Here are some foods that are high in sodium:

  • Processed foods such as lunch meats, sausage, bacon, and ham.
  • Canned soups, bouillon, dried soup mixes.
  • Deli meats.
  • Condiments (catsup, soy sauce, salad dressings)
  • Frozen and boxed mixes for potatoes, rice, and pasta.
  • Snack foods (pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, chips)