High Blood Pressure or Hypertension
In case the blood pressure is higher than the normal blood pressure than the condition is called hypertension. The classification of hypertension is as follows:
Pre-hypertension: systolic 120 to 139 mm hg or diastolic 8- to 89 mm hg
High blood pressure has two stages:
Stage I: systolic 140 to 159 mm hg; diastolic 90 to 99 mm hg
Stage II: systolic higher than 160 mm hg; diastolic higher than 100 mm hg
Blood pressure is crucial to study as in case of high blood pressure there might be no symptoms in the initial phases where the long term complications are anticipated. There are a number of people who have high blood pressure but are unaware of it. Heart diseases, heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, peripheral artery disease and aortic aneurysms are the key complications that can emerge as a result of hypertension. With the passage of time public awareness about high blood pressure has increased and it has become the second most common reason for the visit to clinic in United States.
In adults the hypertension is medically defined as the consistently high blood pressure of 140 mm Hg systolic and 90 mm Hg diastolic or higher. It is estimated that about 60 million people have high blood pressure in United States which means that 1 in 4 adults who is above 17 years is a victim. In case the hypertension is not controlled it can result in disability and even death due to stroke, heart attack and the failure of kidney.
Research has revealed that the chances of dying of a heart attack are directly related to the high blood pressure, especially the systolic hypertension.
Causes of high blood pressure
It is estimated that in 10 per cent of the adults the high blood pressure is caused by another disease known as secondary hypertension. In such condition, physician suggests to address the root cause that will ultimately resolve the blood pressure issue. Some causes of the hypertension are as follows: pregnancy, the use of birth control pills, chronic kidney disease, tumors or diseases of adrenal gland, alcohol, thyroid dysfunction and coarctation of the aorta (in which the aorta narrows and results in high blood pressure in the arms).
The remaining 90 per cent patients of high blood pressure have primary hypertension where the reason is not known. There are some factors that are recognized as the contributors of creating such problem, where the specific causes are not discovered yet. The factors that can not be altered are:
With increasing age the risk of developing high blood pressure increases, especially systolic that results due to narrowing arteries. Arteriosclerosis is also responsible as the arteries become harder with time.
As compared to white people, the blood pressure of African Americans is observed higher. Most of them develop high blood pressure in their youth and suffer from complications afterwards.
High blood pressure is more frequently observed in the people who belong to poor socio-economic groups and have less educated. The southeastern people whether black or white are registered with more blood pressure than the residents of any other part of United States.
The tendency to have hypertension is something that moves in family and is heredity.
Men are more vulnerable to develop high blood pressure as compared to the women. The risk factor varies with the region and the age.
There are also some factors that contribute in the development of high blood pressure and are alterable. These factors are:
Obesity is having body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2. Overweight is closely related to high blood pressure. It is suggested that obese people should lose weight until they are in 15 per cent of their healthy body weight. Obese people are six times more vulnerable to raise their blood pressure.
In certain people the sensitivity to sodium (salt) is higher and there blood pressure increases with the use of sodium. Lowering the sodium intake can reduce the blood pressure. In United States, people use 10 to 15 times more sodium than required.
The use of more than one drink of alcohol per day for those people who are sensitive to alcohol can result in hypertension. Blood pressure in such people can be controlled by limiting the use of alcohol.
In certain women the use of birth control pills can develop high blood pressure. Changing medicine can help in avoiding unpleasant condition.
Sedentary life style can result in increased blood pressure due to obesity.
Diet pills, drugs like amphetamines and medicine used for cold and allergies are also tend to increase blood pressure.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
There are commonly no symptoms of blood pressure. In case symptoms emerge they will be mild, vague and mostly non-specific. High blood pressure is called the silent killer. High blood pressure can not be predicted until the blood pressure is measured. Sometimes the patients of high blood pressure have headache, blurred vision, dizziness and nausea.
In many cases the physician is not consulted unless or until the chronic high blood pressure infects them with the damage of some organ. In chronic blood pressure damage of following organs is usually observed: heart failure, heart attack, stroke or mini-stroke, loss of vision or eye, aneurysms and peripheral arterial disease.
One per cent people are registered to have not taken any medication until the high blood pressure became severe called malignant hypertension. The diastolic blood pressure in malignant blood pressure often crosses the limit of 140 mm hg. Nausea, light headedness and headache are associated with malignant hypertension. Immediate hospitalization and lowering of blood pressure is suggested to avoid stroke and brain hemorrhage.
Treatment of high blood pressure
Patient together with the physician can figure out ways in which hypertension be treated. Here are some pieces of advice to enlighten you on the treatment.
It is possible to keep your blood pressure in safe range by the virtue of change in lifestyle such as weight and diet. However, medicines plays complementary role and must be used to avoid unpleasant situation.
To check the progress medicine is making, do not forget to regularly take your blood pressure.
The reading should by the machine is usually correct but at times prove false. However, it is suggested that the blood pressure must be checked thrice. Try to visit a medical officer regularly.
Increasing the activity level will help in controlling the blood pressure. Instantly quit smoking and alcohol drinking.
A small weight reduction can made large difference in your blood pressure.
Do not use medicines to lose weight. Make the weight depreciation natural with controlled and improved exercise and excessive exercise.