Article will provide information about hypertension
High blood pressure is the primary factor for heart diseases
Raised high blood pressure levels impacts 1.13 billion people around the globe, however, due to the low level of awareness; many people are unaware of how to manage this medical condition.
What is Blood Pressure?
Hypertension is defined as having a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg, with a consensus across medical guidelines.
This means the systolic reading (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body) is over 140 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and/or the diastolic reading (as the heart relaxes and refills with blood) is over 90 mmHg.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected and there are many ways to control it. Most of the people who have high blood pressure will present with no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
There are two types of high blood pressure
Primary Hypertension and Secondary Hypertension.
- Primary Hypertension develops gradually over many years and there is no defined cause of high blood pressure in this case. Most adults with sedentary lifestyle will have primary hypertension some day in lifetime.
- Secondary hypertension is the type of high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. People with kidney problems, fatty liver, thyroid problems, alcohol abuse, tumors or sleep apnea may develop secondary hypertension.
Hence Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition where values of either systolic or diastolic pressure or both the pressures are high for a prolonged period of time.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:
The following symptoms may be witnessed in a person with high blood pressure:
- Severe headache
- Blurred Vision
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Awareness of one’s heartbeat (Palpitation)
- Bleeding from nose & ears
- Chest pain (Angina)
Some individuals may not present with any of the above symptoms.
Who Are More Prone to Hypertension?
People, who are under constant stress, lead a sedentary lifestyle, suffer from obesity or weight loss problems, and consume excessive salt in their food.
Additionally, individuals who have habits like cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are at high risk of high blood pressure levels. An individual’s genetic factor is also a leading cause of high blood pressure.
Medical conditions like Sleep Apnea, Renal (kidney) dysfunction and Thyroid problems may lead to hypertension. High blood pressure may also occur during pregnancy which is known as Gestational Hypertension.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:
- Increase the pressure on artery and heart
- Loss of cognitive skills
- Aneurysm (enlargement of blood vessel leading to pooling of blood)
- Damage to artery that supplies the eye
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Cardiac Arrest
- Renal (Kidney) Dysfunction
How to Control Hypertension?
Maintaining your blood pressure requires a long-term management plan. When diagnosed with high Blood Pressure an individual need to consult a physician to ensure that the blood pressure levels stay within physiological (normal) levels.
- Take medications as prescribed: a physician may prescribe medications that lower blood pressure levels. The medication levels and dosage may vary according to a person’s gender or age or the complexity of the blood pressure levels.
- Dietary changes: A person with Hypertension must consume low sodium content in his food. Carbohydrates, oily and starch rich food must be avoided. Whole grains, proteins and fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy must be consumed.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercising not only reduces blood pressure levels but also reduces stress levels. Depending on your fitness level, age and agility, running, yoga, swimming, walking, cardio workouts or even aerobics is advisable. Yoga is recommended for those over the age of 60 or those who have problems such as arthritis or knee/joint pain.
- Quit Alcohol and Smoking: Consumption of Alcohol not only induces a rise in blood pressure levels but it can also impact the efficiency of blood pressure medications. Smoking leads to arteriosclerosis (hardening) of artery walls and that in turns leads to higher blood pressure levels. Nicotine gum, patches and e-cigarettes can help in breaking the habit.
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine in present in coffee, tea and green tea and can have a big impact on increasing blood pressure levels. Individuals who seek to lower blood pressure levels must avoid these beverages. Instead, drinking beverages infused with natural herbs or decaffeinated drinks is a healthy alternative.
- Avoid Self-medication: The body takes time to adapt to anti-hypertensive medication. Doctors usually alter the dosage or type of medications depending on the blood pressure levels. This can be a challenging phase for an individual with hypertension, hence self-medication should be avoided. No medication must be taken or discontinued without the doctor’s advice. It is important to consult and inform your doctor at every stage.
- Gestational Hypertension: in some pregnancies there can be a rise in blood pressure levels. A pregnant woman must consult her gynecologist and must not consume any medication without supervision as it can impact the fetus.
- Regular checkups: A patient suffering from high blood pressure must visit the doctor regularly to ensure blood pressure levels are under control. It is advisable to check blood pressure levels every fortnight or month. An easy solution to monitor blood pressure levels is to use automatic blood monitors that can be bought in the market.
- Check cholesterol and creatinine levels: high blood pressure is associated with cholesterol and high creatinine levels; hence it is advisable to simultaneously keep a check on cholesterol and maintain it if its high.
- Involve family and friends: hypertension involves long-term management, it is always advised to involve family members or close friends to ensure motivation levels are maintained through the course of journey.
Of-course, you can always consult a doctor online in the event of any necessity and have get yourself treated!
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