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What is Hypertension? The circulating blood in the human body exerts a force against the walls of the arteries i.e. the major blood vessels in the human body. This pressure is simply known as blood pressure and the condition in which the blood pressure gets too high is known as Hypertension. Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The pressure exerted when the heart contracts or beats is known as systolic pressure and it’s represented by the first number while the in the vessels when the heart rests between beats, known as diastolic pressure, is represented by the second number. A person can be claimed to be suffering from hypertension if systolic blood pressure is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure is ≥90 mmHg.
Causes of Hypertension
The causes of hypertension can’t be predicted accurately. Sometimes, it’s just the stress that results in increased blood pressure or while on other times there can be an underlying reason behind it. Primary hypertension i.e. which has no other condition responsible for it can result from multiple factors such as:
- Blood plasma volume
- Hormone activity in those who manage blood pressure and volume using medication
- Environmental factors like stress and lack of exercise
While reasons for secondary hypertension which has an underlying condition behind them, can be:
- Diabetes, due to kidney problems and nerve damage
- Kidney disease
- Pheochromocytoma, a rare cancer of an adrenal gland
- Cushing syndrome that corticosteroid drugs can cause
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia which is a disorder of the cortisol-secreting adrenal glands
- Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland
- Hyperparathyroidism, which affects calcium and phosphorus levels
- Pregnancy, sleep apnea, or obesity
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is called a "silent killer" as most people who suffer from hypertension are unaware of the problem as it may have no warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it becomes essential to measure blood pressure regularly in order to detect hypertension.
Some common symptoms associated with hypertension include:
- Early morning headaches
- Nosebleeds and irregular heart rhythms
- Vision changes and buzzing in the ears.
Hypertension can be responsible for fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors. The only accurate way to detect hypertension is to have a health professional measure your blood pressure. It’s quick and painless and individuals can measure the blood pressure on their own using automated devices. However, an evaluation by a health professional is required for the risk assessment of associated conditions.
Investigation and Prevention
By reducing hypertension, one can prevent heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage along with other health problems.
It can be achieved by taking these precautions:
- Reducing salt intake (to less than 5g daily)
- Increasing the intake of fruit and vegetables
- Being more physically active Avoiding the use of tobacco
- Reducing the consumption of liquor
- Cutting down the intake of foods high in saturated fats
- Eliminating trans fats in the diet
Apart from the methods of prevention, there are some ways to manage hypertension such as:
- Reducing mental stress
- Checking your BP regularly
- Treating high blood pressure
- Managing other medical conditions
For more info about prevention & treatments related to Hypertension, you can always talk to a doctor online on DocsApp.
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