Being overweight or obese has a pretty big impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Living with obesity increases your risk for developing serious and dangerous health problems, like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In 2008, the medical costs associated with obesity topped $147 billion dollars. On average, people who were obese had to pay almost $1500 more in medical costs than those who live at a healthy weight level. This is why so many people who are struggling with obesity in Scottsdale, Chandler, Glendale, and Phoenix are turning to medical weight loss programs as a means of support.
High blood pressure is one of the chronic diseases that obesity increases your risk of developing. While about two-thirds of US adults are either overweight or obese, approximately one-third of adults have high blood pressure, a chronic disease that is sometimes called hypertension. What’s worse, it is predicted that only about half of adults who are diagnosed with high blood pressure are considered to have the condition under control. For the rest of the population with high blood pressure, the consequences of heart disease are a very real threat.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure measures the amount of resistance to blood flow there is in the arteries in relation to the amount of blood an individual’s heart is pumping. As the amount of blood pumped by the heart increases and the arteries become narrower, the blood pressure level begins to rise. If it increases too much, it will put your heart at risk for serious health consequences, such as:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Metabolic syndrome
In addition, high blood pressure can also cause damage to the kidneys, can disrupt vision and can inhibit the ability to concentrate.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Being overweight or obese is one of the highest risk factors for developing high blood pressure. Other factors that will increase your risk for the chronic disease include the regular use of tobacco products, high levels of stress, increased age, and a genetic disposition, such as having one or both parents who struggle with hypertension.
The reason obesity is such a high risk factor is thanks to the pressure that increased weight puts on the heart. The more you weigh, the more blood is needed to supply your tissues with oxygen, and the harder your heart needs to work.
There are a variety of treatment options available for high blood pressure, including a combination of medication and lifestyle factors. Medical weight loss is highly recommended for overweight and obese individuals who are looking to improve their blood pressure levels. Regular exercise and eating a healthier diet can reduce the amount of pressure on the heart and encourage weight loss, promoting a healthier blood pressure level in both ways. Learning how to manage stress more effectively, reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption and practicing relaxation techniques can also support a healthier blood pressure level. If you are worried about your blood pressure, make sure to bring up your concern to your medical weight loss doctor.