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Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It happens when blood pressure rises to unhealthy levels. Blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes against blood vessel walls. Blood is pumped into the blood vessels by the heart, and then the blood vessels carry the blood throughout the body. It is dangerous because it puts pressure on the heart to pump the blood out to the body and may lead to kidney ailments, stroke, and also heart failure.
The resistance is higher in narrow arteries. The broader the arteries, the lesser will be the blood pressure and vice versa. In the long term, increased blood pressure can result in various health issues including heart ailments.
Hypertension or high blood pressure usually develops over a course of time. Most of the symptoms go unnoticed, but they can cause serious damage to blood vessels, organs, especially the brain, eyes, kidneys, and heart.
It is important to detect it early and get your blood pressure checked regularly. If any abnormality is found in your blood pressure levels, then your doctor will check it regularly over a few weeks to assure if it stays normal or gets elevated.
Hypertension can be treated by following a healthy lifestyle and taking prescription medications on a regular. If left treated, it can lead to serious health issues, including stroke and heart attack.
Hypertension is a silent condition that can go without any symptoms for years. Even without symptoms, the damage to the heart and the blood vessels continues. In 95% of the cases, people do not get any symptoms even when the blood pressure reaches to the dangerously high level. To find out if you have hypertension it is important to get your blood pressure regularly checked.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of high blood pressure include nosebleed, headaches, and shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. However, these symptoms are not very specific and only show sings when then blood pressure rises to an extremely high level.
Stress is of the major causes of hypertension or high blood pressure. Even without stress blood pressure can be raised on its own due to underlying kidney disease or any other health condition. Hypertension can also lead to stroke, heart attack and other health problems. Lifestyle factors are the best way to address high blood pressure can be easily addressed with hypertension. There are two types of hypertension:
Essential hypertension is also termed primary hypertension. It can develop over a period of time with no recognizable causes. And most of the people suffer from this type of high blood pressure. Though it is unclear as to what mechanisms actually lead to an increment of blood pressure to slowly increase. A combination of factors may play a role. These factors include:
Secondary hypertension is quite common and can become more severe than primary hypertension. There are conditions that may cause secondary hypertension include:
Resistant hypertension is a medical condition where you cannot control your high blood pressure even with medications. If the hypertension is not controlled with several medications then it is called resistant hypertension. It is quite difficult to control blood pressure, but it may increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. There is ongoing medical research to effectively treat resistant hypertension.
Hypertension has several risk factors, including:
High blood pressure not only creates pressure on the walls of the arteries, but it also has a damaging effect on the other body organs. The pressure increases the damages and also the risks associated with it. Here is a quick rundown of some of the major complications that lead to hypertension:
It is called a silent disease as in most of the cases people do not face any symptoms. It is an asymptomatic disease.
Most people think that it is not a big deal to have High blood pressure. Hypertension is quite dangerous and can cause significant damage to other organs and heart if it is not controlled.
With lifestyle alterations, you can prevent blood pressure and related conditions. It is important to eat right, stay fit, exercise, and reduce alcohol or tobacco to prevent yourself from this deadly health condition.
There is no specific medical research that proves that wine is a solution to heart problems. It does help in relaxing your mind, and for that point of time might help to lower down your blood pressure. Wine is good for health if it is taken in moderation. It doesn’t help in dealing with chronic hypertension.
Reducing table salt certainly helps. But maximum salt intake comes from processed foods. Food items like cheese, butter, cookies, chips, and all the packaged products are loaded with sodium/salt that one needs to check before the consumption.
It is certainly not true as stress or anger is not a symptom but a cause of high blood pressure. If you have an aggressive nature, your blood pressure is likely to increase.
Hypertension is sadly a life-long disease and you will have to take medications along with eating healthy and keeping fit. Medications can only control your hypertension and not cure it.
You can conveniently measure your blood pressure at home. Traditional blood pressure cuffs are becoming more accessible now and are easily used at home to keep a tap on the blood pressure. You can keep a track and record your blood pressure readings.
It is a viable option to diagnose hypertension and once identified it helps in managing it over a course of time.
The readings taken will help you in dealing with fluctuating hypertension and also check if the blood pressure reading is normal or not. Home monitoring can help in assessing your blood pressure during the day and your doctor can help you decide the treatment.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring machine has a blood pressure cuff that is to be worn on the arm. It is attached to a recording device, which is worn on a belt.
Hypertension is usually assessed by observing the average blood pressure during an entire day. It helps in monitoring the blood pressure fluctuations during a day and it helps your doctor in assessing your recorded average.
The readings given by ABPM are well-validated and are accurately help in diagnosing stage 1 hypertension.
Blood pressure can also affect the functioning of your kidneys and heart, and with imaging tests, your doctor can diagnose the related causes and complications.
ECG is a simple and basic test that measures your heart rhythm and any abnormalities that may lead to high blood pressure. In fact, high blood pressure can also lead to bodily changes that may result in heart rhythm abnormalities.
It is an imaging test that is performed to assess the functioning of your heart; the test creates a visualization of your heart as it moves. Extremely high blood pressure creates recognizable changes that can be identified with this test and any abnormalities in heart functioning.
Ultrasound is performed to evaluate the kidneys and blood vessels. Health conditions causing narrowing of your blood vessels can be evaluated with an ultrasound.
If your doctor suspects a tumor as the cause of your high blood pressure, you may need to have an imaging test, such as CAT scan or MRI, usually to evaluate the kidneys or adrenal glands.
When your blood pressure is constantly elevated then it is a hypertensive emergency. However, high blood pressure can be a sign of any other underlying health condition other than hypertension; your doctor will need to consider:
Q1. Does obesity make you more prone to high blood pressure?
Ans. The blood pressure increases with the increase in body weight. Increase in weight also leads to an increase in blood pressure and being overweight also increases the risk of developing hypertension/high blood pressure.
Obesity is caused due to fatty tissues, which increases vascular resistance. This forces the heart to pump extra blood throughout the body, in turn, the arteries get thickened and the blood pressure also increases.
Q2: Is high blood pressure a serious health condition?
Ans. High blood pressure is caused due to a sedentary lifestyle and this is the reason why people tend to ignore it. However, if not controlled timely it can lead to stroke and various other life-threatening diseases that may damage or weaken your blood vessels.
Q3. What age group is affected by hypertension?
Ans. The chances of high blood pressure increase with the age of the person. However, even children can get affected by high blood pressure.
Q4. What does high blood pressure feel like?
Ans. Generally, high blood pressure does not give any symptoms in the beginning in almost 90% of the cases. That is what it is called a silent disease. But if the blood pressure increases too much, then some of the common symptoms that it shows are chest pain, headache, nausea, blurring of vision, difficulty in breathing, etc.
Q5. How to lower my blood pressure immediately?
Ans. As mentioned several times, hypertension is a lifestyle disorder, which can be rectified by improving your lifestyle habits. By following a healthy lifestyle, you can also delay and medication after a certain point in time.
Some of the most helpful ways to reduce your blood pressure include losing extra weight, weight management, regular exercising, healthy diet and by reducing the intake of salt and processed foods in your diet.
Another best way of reducing your BP is by cutting down on tobacco and limiting the intake of alcohol and caffeine as well. By practicing yoga and meditation you can always avoid stress. Drink plenty of water and increase the intake of magnesium and potassium-rich food.
Q6. Can drinking water help you lower blood pressure?
Ans. Increasing the intake of water helps in keeping your body hydrated and helps you in naturally lowering your blood pressure. You should have at least 6-8 glasses of water and you can also add coconut water and lemonade to your diet to; keep yourself hydrated.
Q7. When is the alarming range of blood pressure?
Ans. The normal systolic blood pressure ranges from 90 to 120 and diastolic pressure from 60 to 80. And if your blood pressure ranges between 140 and 90 it falls under the pre-hypertensive range, and you can get it back to normal by making alterations in your lifestyle and eating habits.
Q8. Is it possible to cure hypertension?
Ans. Hypertension is basically a lifestyle disorder and it can be managed instead of being cured (unless it has been caused due to any other disease. In that case, eliminating the disease help in bringing your blood pressure to normal).