Weight and High Blood Pressure

Weight and High Blood Pressure

As every doctor knows, weight and high blood pressure are inextricably linked. And when it comes to heart decease and high blood pressure, the groups that are most commonly affected by it are folks who are either overweight or obese.

What is the connection? Well, as you might imagine the heavier you are the more work your heart has to do to pump blood to various parts of the body. This can cause the heart to be strained or even damaged. It is also true that heavier people are much more likely to suffer from a hardening of the arteries that lead to the heart, better known as arterial sclerosis.  This condition increases the chances of a heart attack several fold.


While it is possible to control and manage your heart health with a well-tailored regime of drugs and pills, exercise is always the number one option. Though exercise may not necessarily unclog your arteries, it will stop plaque buildup and take some of the pressure and strain off of the great muscle.

Losing weight, even a small amount like 5 or 10 pounds, actually can lower you blood pressure and reduce some of the strain on your heart. Although the heart can still be a mystery, even to experienced cardiologists, there is no question that being overweight or obese increases your chances of high blood pressure, which may lead to a fatal heart attack.

As if hypertension was not disconcerting enough, there are two other disorders that can lead to heart disease–high cholesterol and diabetes. Again, both of these potentially deadly disorders are closely linked to body weight.

Am I overweight?

As you might expect, obesity is a fairly easily thing to diagnose. All you need are a pair of functioning eyes and a mirror. Generally speaking, an obese person weighs more than 50 pound more than he should, his natural weight. But determining whether or not you are overweight is a bit more difficult.

One of the most popular methods for calculating a person’s body fat level is to use BMI or Body Mass Index. The technique is simple enough. All you have to do is divide your weight by your height and see which category you belong in. For example, a score of 25 and up is overweight, while a score of 30 and up is considered obese. While the actual amount of extra weight you are carrying depends on your height and body type, BMI is often a quick and easy way to see if a person needs to lose some weight, or even if he needs to gain some.

Another important consideration is weight distribution. For some strange reason that doctors and scientists have not quite figured out yet, it is far more dangerous to have an excess fat in your midsection than anywhere else. Whether it is a beer belly, a spare tire, or love handles, developing an ample abdominal area is not healthy. That is why doctors often examine the waist circumference of an obese patient and keep a close eye on it.

Again, both of these techniques are mere approximations and just because a person has a comparably high BMI or waist circumference does not necessarily mean that he will develop hypertension, arterial scelerosis or heart disease. But it does mean that the person is at greater risk than an average person of being stricken with all three.

Losing Weight

Although either technique can be wrong, especially the BMI when used on extremely muscular people, when a person has both a high BMI and waist circumference, in all likelihood he could stand to lose a few pounds. As we have mentioned, being overweight or obese can cause serious, sometimes permanent damage to your health and the longer you remain in that condition the greater the chances that you health will be affected. Therefore, it is imperative for people who have excess weight to do everything they can to steadily and naturally get rid of it.

In spite of the wild claims of obese people sloughing off the pounds in weeks or even days, the products that make these claims are little more than useless nostrums that tax the patience and empty the bank accounts of millions of people each year. If you truly want to lose weight, you will do it by utilizing the only method that have ever been proven one hundred percent effective—diet and exercise!

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By: NANDA 11 years ago

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