Hypertension, commonly called ad high blood pressure is a medical condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough that it can eventually result in heart diseases. The blood pressure is determined by both that amount of blood your pumps and also the resistance of the blood to flow through the arteries. A high blood pressure results when your heart pumps more blood and your arteries are even narrower.
One can have high blood pressure for years even without any symptoms. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected and can be controlled with medications.
Most people suffering from high blood pressure will have no signs or symptoms. A few people may experience severe headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath. These conditions are not specific signs or symptoms and they are not noticed until hypertension has reached the life-threatening stage.
So it is advised to have a regular check of your blood pressure reading. It becomes a part of your routine appointments. People above 40 years should have regular health check-ups. If you can’t afford one often you may book an appointment with one of our doctors available on our website to provide you free services.
So what causes hypertension?
Hypertension is of two types:
- ¨ Primary hypertension
- ¨ Secondary hypertension
For many people, there will not be any identifiable cause for hypertension. It might just have developed over many years. This type of hypertension is called as Primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension occurs as a result of any underlying factor which tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure. The various conditions that can lead to Secondary hypertension include:
- Thyroid problems
- Kidney problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Chronic alcohol use
- Defects in blood vessels
- Certain medications such as birth control pills
Hypertension has many risk factors associated with it. It includes:
- Age: men have a greater risk of high blood pressure than women. Men develop hypertension at age of 45 whereas women of the age 65 and above are only at risk.
- Race: African- Americans have a greater risk of high blood pressure than the whites. They may have serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, etc
- Family history: it may be carried in the gene of a person. If anyone in the family has suffered high blood pressure then the next generation is vulnerable to the same.
- Obese or overweight: the more you weigh the more you need to supply blood, oxygen and other nutrients to the tissues. Thus the volume of blood that circulates through your heart increases thereby exerting more pressure on the artery walls.
- Tobacco consumption: not only smoking even chewing tobacco can cause hypertension because the chemicals in tobacco can adversely affect the artery walls. This causes the arteries to narrow increasing your blood pressure.
- Alcoholism: long-term consumption of alcohol will also result in hypertension.
- Nutrients quantity: too much of sodium (salt) in the diet will cause your body to retain fluid which increases blood pressure. Potassium helps to balance the sodium levels in the body. If you consume very little potassium then it will increase the sodium retained in the body. Very little Vitamin D in the diet can also cause hypertension as this will affect the enzymes produced by the kidneys.
- Stress: high levels of stress can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. Do exercise regularly and engage yourself in more physical activities.
The excessive pressure on your artery walls can result in other complications such as,
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in kidneys
- Thickened or narrowed blood vessels in eye
- Trouble in memory or understanding
Treatments and diagnoses:
To measure your blood pressure, your doctor or a specialist will usually place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge.
The blood pressure readings have two numbers: the upper number called the systolic pressure measures the pressure when your heart beats. The lower number called diastolic pressure measures the pressure between the beat.
The blood pressure measurements fall into 4 categories:
- Normal blood pressure: you have a normal blood pressure if it shows 120/80
- Pre-hypertension: if the systolic pressure readings range from 120-139 mm of Hg and if the diastolic pressure readings measure 80-89 mm of Hg then it results in pre-hypertension. It may get worse over time.
- Stage 1 hypertension: if the blood pressure reading ranges from 140-159 mm of Hg and 90-99 mm of Hg, it is called stage 1 hypertension.
- Stage 2 hypertension: it is a more severe case where the systolic pressure is 160 mm of Hg and above and the diastolic pressure is 100 mm of Hg and above.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
Changes in lifestyle and food habits will help you survive better through hypertension. The following changes have to be brought about:
- Healthy eating habits
- Reduce salt in your diet
- Maintain healthy weight
- More physical activity
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Manage stress
- Practice relaxation or slow and deep breathing
Following these will surely help you survive better through hypertension. You may contact best cardiologist on phone call or WhatsApp at Free Doctor Helpline to know further about the treatment options for hypertension.