Hypertension or we can say high blood pressure is one of the top 10 causes of death every year. This condition leads to serious issues including heart attack and seizures. Its serious effects on the body have made it a global concern. Health agencies across the world focus on spreading awareness about hypertension, its symptoms, and common treatment methods.
What is hypertension or high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is basically the force exerted by the blood on our blood vessels. Normally, it is 120 over 80 mm of mercury (mmHg). When the blood pressure exceeds 130 over 80 mm of mercury, you show symptoms of developing what is known as high blood pressure or hypertension.
The severity depends on the frequency of increase in blood pressure than normal. If the problem is not treated at the right time, it can raise the risk of health problems like heart attack, heart failure, aneurysm and in some cases, death.
The correct cause of hypertension is still not clear. It is caused due to several physiological and psychological factors. Stress is considered to be one of the most important factors that cause hypertension or high blood pressure. Apart from stress, chronic kidney disease (CDK) is a common reason for developing high blood pressure as the kidney stops filtering fluids.
Listed below are some other factors that influence the blood pressure of your body:
- Age – As a person grows old, blood vessels start becoming stiffer and narrower. It leads to an increase in blood pressure. Usually, high blood pressure develops after 60 years of age.
- Genetics – Hypertension or high blood pressure is common in some ethnic groups. It is genetically passed down to the newer generations.
- Fitness – Weight, and fitness are important factors in controlling the working of your heart and your blood pressure. Being overweight could be a key reason for developing high blood pressure. Following a bad diet which is rich in saturated fats, cholesterol and salt increases the blood pressure in your body.
- Bad habits – Regular consumption of alcohol or tobacco can also cause narrowing of blood vessels and damaging them.
- Health condition – Prevalent diseases like diabetes, heart ailments and cholesterol could contribute to increasing your blood pressure.
Combination of the above hypertension causes leads to high blood pressure. You must start leading a healthy life at a young age to prevent any damage to your blood vessels or heart.
Symptoms of hypertension
Once your blood vessels show damage due to hypertension, you will start showing prominent symptoms. It is common to show high blood pressure in some situations when you are over-stressed. There are two high blood pressure conditions – one is a silent killer who shows no symptoms of the rise in the blood pressure and the second shows a few prominent signs before causing any major damage.
- Type 1 – It is very difficult to notice the signs or symptoms of hypertension. This condition is also known as ‘silent killer’ due to the sudden heart failures that it causes. It can totally damage the cardiovascular system of the body and negatively impact internal organs like the kidney.
- Type 2 – It shows symptoms mostly when it reaches the hypertensive crisis. It may cause headaches, sweating, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Hypertension or high blood pressure could cause a fatal heart attack without showing any symptoms at all.
Treatment of hypertension
Hypertension may be diagnosed only with regular blood pressure monitoring. On detection, hypertension or high blood pressure could be controlled through many treatment options.
- Lifestyle changes – It is the first line of treatment for hypertension. Regular exercise, healthy diet and quitting unhealthy habits are some common ways to control your blood pressure. If you have shown high blood pressure, you must exercise for at least 60-90 minutes daily. It could be running, jogging, yoga or gym.
- Healthy diet – Replacing fatty and fried foods with green vegetables and fruits is the best way to avoid hypertension. Healthy eating also helps in managing your body weight cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Reduce stress – As mentioned already, stress is largely responsible for hypertension. Avoiding stress or managing stress can help in controlling your blood pressure.
- Restful sleep – Sleep is a cure for many ailments. A good sleep ensures complete rest for the body, both physically and mentally. Proper sleep can contribute to controlling high blood pressure.
- Medications – People with high blood pressure are prescribed drugs to be taken regularly. Medicines are started with a lower dose. Missing these medications could be risky.
Hypertension is a serious condition that should not be ignored. If you have shown symptoms of hypertension, consult a cardiologist immediately. Regular health check-up and blood pressure monitoring can prevent any severe damage to your body.