High Blood pressure

High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition where blood pressure is higher than average. When your arteries are narrower than usual, it will create more resistance to the blood flow. The increased blood pressure can lead to various heart diseases, heart attacks, kidney diseases and stroke.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

The blood flowing through arteries pushes up against the blood vessel's walls, causing blood pressure. When this pressure exceeds a level of 140 above/90 and above mm Hg, you may experience high blood pressure, which will gradually depreciate the artery walls.

High blood pressure can happen over time, called primary hypertension. The factors that develop primary or essential hypertension include:

  • Obesity

  • Heavy alcohol consumption

  • Diabetes

  • High sodium intake

  • Lack of physical activity

Secondary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that occurs suddenly due to an underlying condition. Some of its triggers include:

  • Kidney disease

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

  • Congenital heart defects

  • Some medication side effects

  • Thyroid problems

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension doesn't necessarily project symptoms. The majority of people with hypertension have no signs or symptoms.

With time, the severity of high blood pressure will be shown as dizziness, flushing, shortness of breath, or blood spots in the eyes. Hence, the only way to know if you have hypertension is to have regular blood pressure readings.

Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure

You can diagnose high blood pressure by taking a blood pressure reading as part of your regular checkup. If there are slight variations from normal blood pressure, that is 120/80 mm Hg, your doctor may request for reading during a period of a few days or weeks.

If you have continuous hypertension readings, the doctor would suggest a few other tests to rule out any underlying conditions through:

  • Blood tests

  • Cholesterol reading

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

  • Heart and kidney ultrasound

Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Treatment for hypertension varies from primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, maintaining weight and avoiding alcohol are the primary ways to treat high blood pressure.

If such lifestyle changes are not enough, your doctor will suggest medication to treat secondary hypertension. This way, you can control your blood pressure and prevent heart diseases and stroke.

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