Everything you should Know About Hypertension:
Hypertension is nothing but high blood pressure, found commonly in older adults. This is something everyone should be aware of as knowing this can help one to find if their loved ones are suffering from this & to seek help if necessary.
The physical force exerted by the blood as it pushes against the walls of the arteries is blood pressure . Hypertension is more common in older people. At age 45, more men have hypertension than women. By age 65, this is reversed and more women are affected. People with diabetes have a greater risk of high blood pressure. Having a close family member with hypertension also increases risk of developing it. About 60% of all people with diabetes also have hypertension. Blood pressure readings are written in two numbers separated by a line.
- Systolic blood pressure – the pressure in the arteries as heart contracts pushing the blood forward.
- Diastolic pressure – the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes.
Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. The latest guidelines from American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) published in November of 2017, considered blood pressure elevated between 120/80 and 129/80.
High blood pressure/ hypertension is now classified into two stages they are:
- Stage 1- if systolic reading is between 130 and 139 or diastolic reading is between 80 and 89.
- Stage 2 – A measure of 140/90 or higher .
Hypertensive crisis is defined as a systolic & diastolic rate over 180 or above 120. Elevated blood pressure refers to when the heart must work harder to pump blood.
Symptoms of Hypertension :
Hypertension does not show any symptoms most of the time, in some cases even if the person had high blood pressure for a prolonged time they didn’t show any symptoms. That’s the reason it got the name “silent killer.” Its said that 1 out of every 5 people with high blood pressure aren’t aware that they have this major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks. . Symptoms of high blood pressure are as follows:
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears
- Severe headaches
How to prevent High Blood Pressure:
1. Do not allow mental stress to build up & do a stress busting activity that suits you like reading, listening to songs, etc,…
2. Weight of the body must be kept under control.
3. Good eating habits should be cultivated
4. Low fat diet should be taken.
5. Medicines may be taken as per doctor’s advise.
Risk Factors & causes of Hypertension :
- Obesity – the risk for this has been increasing in young people possibly because of the rise of obesity in these populations.
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much salt consumption
- Older age – According to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 70 percent of adults age 65 or older have hypertension.
- Damage the walls of the arteries.
- Increased the risk of heart & kidney disease and stroke.
- If not properly treated can damage the heart and circulation, lungs, brain, and kidneys.
A few other causes are:
- Tobacco use; When one smokes or chews tobacco blood pressure rises temporarily. Chemicals in Tabacoo can damage the lining of artery walls causing arteries to narrow, increasing blood pressure. Exposure to secondhand smoke also increases blood pressure.
- Alcohol :Drinking more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women may raise one’s blood pressure.
- Pregnancy: Being pregnant can also cause an increase in blood pressure.
- Stress : A temporary increase in blood pressure can occur when under intense stress .Not only that if you try to cope with stress by overeating, using tobacco, or by drinking alcohol, all these can contribute to your high blood pressure.
- Medication That Can Cause Hypertension: Medicines a person takes to maintain other health conditions, such as arthritis, epilepsy, or allergies, can cause their blood pressure to rise.Such medication can also interfere with the ability of anti-hypertension drugs to keep blood pressure down.
- Common pain and anti-inflammatory medicines can lead to the retention of water, which can create problems with the kidneys and higher blood pressure.
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?
A part of your routine doctor visit is blood pressure checks. To check your blood pressure, your healthcare provider will place an inflatable cuff around your arm and use a pressure-measuring gauge. Before they say the diagnosis for hypertension , your physician will definitely take two or three readings, during separate appointments. As there are variations throughout the day.
If your blood pressure is consistently 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or higher, you will most likely be diagnosed with high blood pressure/hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, your physician will take a full medical history and conduct a physical exam along with other routine tests including a blood test, urine test, cholesterol test, and an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram to check for signs of disease.
Complications of High Blood Pressure:
If left untreated, hypertension can lead to the following:
- Heart attack, anging or both
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease or failure
- Peripheral artery disease
- Vision loss
- Sexual dysfunction
How to Treat Hypertension
Mostly those who have high blood pressure will need lifelong treatment to help delay & prevent serious health problems brought on by the condition. Treatment is given to maintain blood pressure below 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Options to treat high blood pressure may include eating a healthy diet with less salt and taking medication, as well as incorporating additional lifestyle changes.
1. Lifestyle Changes to Control Hypertension:
Keeping a Healthy Weight Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control high blood pressure. Moreover, reducing weight by just 3 to 5 percent can help lower risk of health problems related to high blood pressure. Exercise Regular exercise can keep weight under control and help lower blood pressure.
The AHA recommends an average of 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity three or four times a week to lower blood pressure.
Limiting Alcohol Consumption Even if one doesn’t have hypertension alcohol can raise their blood pressure, so its important that everyone monitors their alcoholic intake. Alcohol intake should be as follows :
- Women of all ages, men older than 65 – 1 drink a day
- Men 65 and younger – 2 drinks a day
Not Smoking Both smoking and secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of plaque inside the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, which high blood pressure accelerates. Smoking also causes a temporary increase in blood pressure.
2. Manage Hypertension With a Healthy Diet
A must do for high blood pressure treatment is to eat to a healthy diet, including limiting sodium intake. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for adults with hypertension.
Sometimes diet and lifestyle changes alone are not enough to manage high blood pressure and medication is needed. A variety of blood pressure drugs (antihypertensives) are available by prescription. Some of the most common ones include:
- Diuretics – help the body get rid of excess salt and water and help control blood pressure.
- Beta-Blockers-reduce heart rate and the heart’s workload , which lowers blood pressure.
- ACE Inhibitors(angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors)- help body produce less chemical angiotensin, which causes the arteries to narrow. They also help the blood vessels to relax and open up, which lowers blood pressure.
- Calcium Channel Blockers -prevent calcium from entering the muscles cells of the heart and arteries. Helps blood vessels relax and open up, lowering blood pressure.
- Alpha Blockers -reduce arteries resistance and relax the muscle tone of the vascular walls.
- Central Agonists –decrease the blood vessels ability to tense up and contract, helping to lower blood pressure.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice:
Continual management of a normal cholesterol range for life with regular doctor checkups, exercise, and healthy food choices. These lifestyle changes can help you to reduce the risk of disease and promote longevity. If you have a hard time controlling your food intake seek help and consult a dietitian. We hope this article helped you to know even more about hypertension . Make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle. Advise your friends and family about the harmful effects of hypertension and help them in whatever way you can . I conclude by saying ‘ A healthy life is a happy life’ Until next time EAT WELL, EXERCISE & STAY HEALTHY
- Hi! We serve to provide quality & much-needed content for everyone. I'm a medical student in my 2nd year. We also focus on the current medical issues we are facing. I will try my best to entrust the apt, verified data in a simple manner.