What Is Hypertension? Here Are The Symptoms And Causes
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, where the blood flowing through your blood vessels has a greater force. Too much pressure can damage blood vessels in the heart and brain, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, and many other health problems. Since hypertension is asymptomatic, it is imperative to measure and monitor blood pressure at home using a sphygmomanometer. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common and dangerous chronic health conditions. It affects roughly 16 percent of adults in the United States and is responsible for over one-third of all strokes. Left untreated, hypertension can lead to life-threatening complications like heart disease and kidney failure. Hypertension is also a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Suppose you suspect that you have high blood pressure. In that case, it's important to speak with your doctor about possible treatments as soon as possible. This article explains everything you need to know about hypertension — its causes, symptoms, treatments, and potential complications — so that you can manage it better moving forward.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure when your blood is pumping through your body with more force than normal. High blood pressure is a risk factor for many serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and digestive diseases. It's important to get diagnosed and monitored for high blood pressure, as the condition can be treated. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health complications. Blood pressure is measured in terms of systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart is contracting, and diastolic is when it's at rest. High blood pressure is defined as having systolic blood pressure of 130 or higher or a diastolic of 80 or higher.
Symptoms of hypertension
Depending on how severe your hypertension is, you may not experience any symptoms. That said, there are some common symptoms of hypertension that you should look out for, including: -
Shortness of breath
Numbness in the limbs
These symptoms could also be caused by other medical conditions, so if you're experiencing any of them, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. If your doctor diagnoses you with hypertension, they may also ask you to keep a log of your symptoms. Doing so can help them determine which treatment is best for you.
Causes of hypertension
Hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure is abnormally high, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. In order to reduce cardiovascular risk, it is important to manage blood pressure at a normal level. There is no one specific cause of hypertension, and it can result from a variety of factors. Some of the most common causes are obesity, high levels of stress, a diet high in sodium, excessive alcohol consumption, a diet low in potassium, caffeine consumption, lack of exercise, and a family history of hypertension. Suppose you have any of these risk factors. In that case, it does not mean you will definitely develop hypertension. Still, it does mean that you're more likely to develop it than someone without these factors. Hypertension can be treated and managed, but it is most important to get it diagnosed and monitored. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypertension mentioned above, you should talk to your doctor. They will likely run some tests to determine if you have hypertension.
Let us look at the main causes of hypertension in detail.
- Diet: A diet with high salt intake and low fiber is a risk factor for hypertension.
- Obesity: Excess weight can increase blood pressure.
- Genetics: Some people inherit genes that make them more likely to develop high blood pressure.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a risk factor for developing hypertension.
- Medications: Some prescribed medications such as steroids, antidepressants, and anti-epileptics can contribute to high blood pressure.
How is hypertension diagnosed?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood on the inside of the blood vessel walls. The two main numbers used to diagnose high blood pressure are systolic blood pressure (the force when the heart beats) over diastolic blood pressure (the force when the heart is at rest). To diagnose your hypertension, your doctor will likely order a few tests, including a blood pressure test, urinalysis, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood test, and kidney function test. The blood pressure test is the most common way to diagnose hypertension. Still, your doctor might also take a look at your diet and lifestyle habits. If you're diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will likely recommend a treatment plan to help lower your blood pressure and keep it under control. Blood pressure should be measured at home with a sphygmomanometer. It is important to keep track of your blood pressure and consult your doctor if it changes.
An oscillometric device should measure blood pressure in the doctor's office. It is important to keep track of your blood pressure and consult your doctor if it changes. Blood pressure medication is indicated for patients with blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg and/or with co-existing risk factors.
Recommended treatment for hypertension
The treatment for hypertension depends on the patient's severity and risk factors. Depending on the severity of your hypertension, your doctor may recommend a few different treatments. If your hypertension is mild, your doctor might recommend that you make some lifestyle changes, like eating a healthier diet, reducing your stress levels, and getting more exercise. If your hypertension is moderate to severe, your doctor might recommend that you take medications such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs, Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers, diuretics, Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), Aldosterone inhibitors, and Potassium supplements. Vasodilators Hypertension is a serious condition, but if diagnosed and treated early, you can lead a healthy and happy life.
Safeguard yourself from hypertension
Hypertension is a condition that should be monitored closely. There are many lifestyle changes you can make to safeguard yourself from hypertension.
- Get plenty of sleep: Chronic lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood pressure and risk factors such as stress and glucose intolerance.
- Eat a healthy diet: Choose foods low in saturated fats, sugar, and salt and rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise has been shown to be effective in treating and preventing hypertension.
- Avoid stress: Find ways to de-stress and have time for yourself to relax.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol: Both have been shown to increase blood pressure.
Hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of serious health issues. It is important to track your blood pressure and make lifestyle changes to lower it. There are many ways to treat hypertension, from lifestyle changes to medication. Suppose you are at high risk for hypertension. In that case, preventive strategies that focus on behavior change have the potential to be cost-effective. With consistent and informed use of available strategies, we can help prevent the development of hypertension and reduce its associated burden.From the Web