Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the blood pressure in the arteries is consistently high, leading to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
What is Hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force that the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries as it flows through them. Hypertension occurs when the blood pressure in the arteries is consistently higher than normal.
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers: the systolic pressure (the pressure when the heart beats) and the diastolic pressure (the pressure when the heart is at rest). A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension is diagnosed when the blood pressure is consistently 130/90 mmHg or higher.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association divide blood pressure into four general categories, which are:
- Normal Blood Pressure: When the blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lower.
- Elevated Blood Pressure: When the top number ranges from 120 to 129 mm Hg and the bottom number are below, not above, 80 mm Hg.
- Stage 1 Hypertension: When the top number ranges from 130 to 139 mm Hg or the bottom number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: When the top number is 140 mm Hg or higher or the bottom number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
Hypertension can be classified as either primary (essential) or secondary. Primary hypertension is the most common type and has no known causes. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as kidney disease, thyroid problems, sleep apnea etc.
Causes of Hypertension:
Several factors can contribute to the development of hypertension. Some of which includes:
- Genetics: Hypertension can run in families.
- Age: Blood vessels tend to lose their elasticity as we age, making it more difficult to regulate blood pressure.
- Lifestyle: Poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking can all contribute to hypertension.
- Underlying Medical Conditions: Kidney disease, thyroid problems, and sleep apnea are just a few examples of medical conditions that can cause hypertension.
Symptoms of Hypertension:
Hypertension is often called the "silent killer" because it can develop slowly over time without any noticeable symptoms. In some cases, people with hypertension may experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, but these symptoms are not specific to hypertension and can be caused by other factors.
Complications of Hypertension:
Hypertension can lead to several serious health complications if left untreated. Some of these include:
- Heart Diseases: Hypertension is a leading cause of heart diseases, including heart attacks and heart failure.
- Stroke: Hypertension increases the risk of stroke by damaging blood vessels in the brain.
- Kidney Diseases: Hypertension can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney diseases & kidney failure.
- Vision Problems: Hypertension can damage blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems.
Treatment of Hypertension:
Treatment for hypertension typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Some lifestyle changes that can help manage hypertension include:
- Eating a healthy diet that is low in salt and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Exercising regularly.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Limiting alcohol intake.
In addition to lifestyle changes, several medications can be used to manage hypertension. The choice of medication will depend on the severity of hypertension and any underlying medical conditions, as prescribed by the doctor.
Hypertension is a serious medical condition that can have several health complications and while it can be difficult to detect, it is important to have regular blood pressure checks to catch hypertension early. Lifestyle changes and medication can help manage hypertension and reduce the risk of complications, making it possible to lead a healthy and normal life.
If or not you’re facing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is advisable to proactively get yourself checked often to detect hypertension in the early stages and treat it with doctor recommended changes in your lifestyle.
Book an appointment with our Physician today through our Chat Bot ‘ASK BHAKTI’ (WhatsApp – 8400 14 6262) and get yourself ready to fight hypertension.Back