Hypertension

Hypertension| Symptoms | Causes|Treatment

blood pressure measure

Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as High Blood Pressure (HBP), is a common condition in which the force of blood exerts against your artery wall is high enough that it may eventually cause health issues, like heart disease.

The amount of blood a heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in arteries determined blood pressure. The more blood your heart pumps and arteries are narrower, blood pressure will be higher. Reading of blood pressure is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Blood pressure has two numbers.

Systolic pressure (top number)

The upper or first number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heartbeats.

Diastolic pressure (bottom number)

The lower or second number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.

As general information:

  • High blood pressure or hypertension is considered 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if someone is over the age of 80).
  •  blood pressure is ideal considered between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

At readings of 120/80mmHg and 140/90 mean the risk of developing hypertension if someone doesn’t take steps to keep blood pressure under control.

Symptoms

High blood pressure is known as a “silent killer”. People with high blood pressure mostly have no warning signs and symptoms, even blood pressure reached dangerously at high levels.

A few people with high blood pressure have nosebleeds or shortness of breath, headaches, but these signs and symptoms are not particularly and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a life-threatening or severe stage.

Causes

Two forms of high blood pressure are following:

Primary (essential) hypertension

Most adults have no identifiable cause of hypertension. The type which is developing gradually over many years is called primary or essential hypertension.

Secondary hypertension

Some people have high blood pressure which is caused by an underlying condition, tends to appear suddenly, and causes hypertension does essential hypertension is called secondary hypertension. Various factors can lead to secondary hypertension, including:

  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Thyroid problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Certain medications, like birth cold remedies, control pills, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some prescription drugs, Illegal drugs, like amphetamines and cocaine

Risk factors

Hypertension has many risk factors, including:

Age

The risk of hypertension increases as you age. Hypertension is more common in men and develops at the age of about 64. After the age of 65, high blood pressure is developing in women.

Race

Hypertension is especially common among people of African heritage, often developing at an earlier age than it does in whites. Serious complications, like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, also are more commonly present in people of African heritage.

Family history

High blood pressure tends to run in families.

Being overweight or obese
  • .More weight means more blood is require supplying nutrients and oxygen to your tissues. As the amount of blood flow through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls.
Not being physically active

People have higher heart rates if they are inactive. Higher your heart rate means the harder work of your heart with each contraction and force is stronger on your arteries. The risk of being overweight is also increased by the lack of physical activity

Using tobacco
  • Chewing tobacco or smoking not only immediately raises your blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can also destroy the lining of your artery walls. Chewing tobacco or smoking can cause your arteries to narrow and increase your risk of heart disease. Smoking also can increase your heart disease risk.
Too much salt (sodium) in your diet

Too much salt in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure

Too little potassium in your diet
  • Potassium helps balance the amount of salt in your cells.If you lose too much potassium or don’t get enough potassium in your diet due to dehydration, sodium can build up in your blood.
Drinking too much alcohol
  • Over time, heavy drinking can destroy your heart. 
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women and. One drink equals, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 12 ounces of beer.
Stress
  • Temporary increase in blood pressure is led by high levels of stress. Stress-related habits like drinking alcohol, eating more, using tobacco can lead to further increases in blood pressure.
Certain chronic conditions
  • Some chronic conditions also may increase your risk of high blood pressure, including diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea.

Complications

Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to complications including:

  • Aneurysm
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Understanding or trouble with memory
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Dementia

Treatment for high blood pressure

To keep your blood pressure to a safe level, doctors can help using

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medicines

Lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure

  • Take a balanced diet
  • reduce amount of salt intake
  • Be active and healthy
  • Take enough potassium in your diet
  • maintain weight
  • quit smoking
  • Cut back on alcohol
Medicines for high blood pressure

Some medicines for hypertension are following

Prevention

  • Eating more fruit and vegetables
  • Reducing salt intake (to less than 5g daily)
  • Avoiding use of tobacco
  • Being physically active on a regular basis
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Eliminating/reducing trans fats in diet

Management

  • Regularly checking blood pressure
  • Reducing and managing mental stress
  • Managing other medical conditions
  • Treating high blood pressure

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