MANAGING HYPERTENSION

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hypertension

Arteries carry blood from the heart to other organs of the body. When the heart pumps blood through the arteries, the blood puts pressure on the walls of the arteries. This is known as blood pressure. Blood pressure normally rises and falls during the day.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the pressure of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as cardiovascular disease.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.

  • The top number (systolic pressure). The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heartbeats.
  • The bottom number (diastolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats when your heart rests.

Symptoms

Most people with high blood pressure experience no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.

A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, water retention at joints like the ankle, etc. but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and either don’t occur or go unnoticed until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

Common Causes

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Kidney disease
  • Ethnicity
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone Conditions
  • Sleep apnea
  • Medications
  • Genetics
  • Obesity

Lifestyle Risk factors

Complications Due To Hypertension

The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to several complications, some of which are:

  1. Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other complications.
  2. Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
  3. Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, the heart has to work harder. This causes the walls of the heart’s pumping chamber to thicken (left ventricular hypertrophy). Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure.
  4. Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent the organ from functioning normally.
  5. Thickened, narrowed, or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss.
  6. Metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a group of disorders of your body’s metabolism, including increased waist size, high triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), high blood pressure, and high insulin levels. These conditions make you more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
  7. The trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Troubling memory or understanding concepts is more common in people with high blood pressure.
  8. Dementia. Narrowed or blocked arteries can limit blood flow to the brain, leading to a certain type of dementia (vascular dementia). A stroke that interrupts blood flow to the brain also can cause vascular dementia.

A Word From H2F Care

If your family history has cases of hypertension, or if your lifestyle puts you in the high-risk group, it is wise to keep a check on your blood pressure on a regular basis. Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least once every year starting at age 25. If you’re age 35 or older, get your blood pressure checked every six months. If you have persistently high blood pressure for a week or 15 days do try to cure it with a change in your lifestyle and your eating habits. Many types of food sources do help to cure the problem if resorted to in the beginning stages. However, if the blood pressure is not managed and brought to normal levels do not delay in consulting a professional doctor to start with medications.

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