Gerald Silva of Jackson could not believe it. Dr. Neal at the Jackson Central Clinic broke the bad news. He had arterial hypertension. Gerald had a good excuse. After all, as an executive, he certainly had his share of stress. And, let's not even talk about the cigarette smoking. According to Dr. Neal just being male was a factor. The fact that he was 42 certainly did not help. Unfortunately, high blood pressure rarely causes any symptoms until it has caused some significant damage. In fact, it can be impressively severe before there are any symptoms. Your arterial pressure goes up and down through the day. If you swim a few laps your pressure will go up. Even if you just see a love scene at the movies you will see a rise in your arterial pressure. If you took your blood pressure right after that, it would give you a false impression.

Things you eat, drink and smoke can also play a major roll. Caffeine drinks like coffee will do the same. Nicotine from cigarettes accelerates the heart to increase your pressure as well. You may think that alcohol relaxes you, but the long term effects of all those alcohol, cocktails, and liquors drinks take their toll as well.

Spending too much time in your favorite recliner instead of getting some exercise increases your chances for problems. Fortunately, there are many places you can get your blood pressure checked today. Many stores and pharmacies have automatic machines you can use. Just sit down for a couple minutes and get it checked. If your pressure is up slightly three different times, you should see a doctor. If it is over about 160 just once, you should also seek medical advice.

Rest makes your blood pressure go down. Because of that, the best time to take your pressure is after a good rest. But, back to Gerald. His family history made a big difference .. He had a father who died at age 56 of a kidney failure from atherosclerosis. Genetics can really increase your chances of needing treatment.

Fortunately, these days, there is a lot you can do. Changing your diet will definitely help. You will improve your overall health by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. You should get regular exercise, lots of water and a good night's sleep. If you can stop using tobacco, and limit or cut out your alcohol altogether, that will help a great deal. If you do not completely normalize your blood pressure by those means, many different medications are available today that will help. You will want to find a physician that you can work with on keeping your pressure normal.