Your cardiovascular system works in a manner that is not all that dissimilar to the plumbing in your home – assuming you have a pressurized system. That is to say that it works by keeping the blood trapped in your veins and arteries, just like your plumbing keeps the water contained within pipes. This then allows the pump – your heart or the boiler – to increase pressure and thereby direct the liquid where it is needed throughout the body.
As the heart pumps, it adds more blood to the veins and arteries, which pushes the rest along and around the system.
Thus blood pressure itself is not a bad thing. The problem is when that blood pressure becomes too high, and this in turn makes it difficult for the heart to move it around your system. This is when you risk a heart attack or stroke and its when you need to quickly address the problem.
Here are ten possible reasons you may be experiencing high blood pressure.
When we are stressed, this can actually impact on our blood pressure in several ways. Firstly, the release of adrenaline, cortisol, and other excitatory hormones and neurotransmitters will cause the heart to beat faster. This is in a bid to provide the muscles and brain with more oxygen and more nutrients to help you perform your best. The problem is that when the stress is acute, that elevated blood pressure can continue indefinitely.
Likewise, the blood will also thicken as a result of this hormone mix, which is intended to increase viscosity and to encourage clotting should you be injured. This can prevent bleeding out.
Finally, stress can also cause the veins and arteries to narrow – called vasoconstriction.