Hello there, welcome back to our blog! In today’s article, we will enlighten you all about Hypertension, which is also known as High Blood Pressure. We suggest you read the whole article for a detailed overview of this serious medical condition.
“What precisely does this word Hypertension mean?” and “What are its symptoms and causes?” These are the primary questions that come to our minds. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a prevalent condition where the blood’s long-term pressure on the artery walls is strong enough to trigger health issues such as heart and kidney related disease.
Stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and aneurysm are only a few examples. Controlling blood pressure is critical for maintaining health and lowering the risk of certain severe diseases.
Blood pressure is determined by the volume of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.
The more blood your heart pumps and the smaller your arteries grow, the higher your blood pressure is.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Most individuals with hypertension are completely clueless about the symptoms and are unaware that they have a condition.
Possible Symptoms are:
- Early morning headaches
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Eyesight changes
- Ear buzzing
Severe Symptoms are:
- Chest discomfort
- Muscle tremors
Hypertension, if left untreated, can result in chronic chest discomfort (also known as angina), heart attacks, heart failure, and an irregular heartbeat, all of which can result in sudden death.
Hypertension can also induce strokes by blocking or bursting arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the brain, as well as kidney damage and renal failure.
The stiffening arteries and reducing the blood flow and oxygen to the heart, high blood pressure damages the heart.
A fast and simple blood pressure test can be used to diagnose hypertension. This may be performed in your house, but a health expert can assist in analyzing any dangers or problems that may be present.
Causes of Hypertension
There are 2 types of high blood pressure:
1. Primary hypertension (essential hypertension)
There is no known cause of hypertension in most individuals. Primary (essential) hypertension is a kind of high blood pressure that develops progressively over several years.
2. Hypertension due to a secondary cause
An underlying disease can trigger high blood pressure in certain individuals. Secondary hypertension emerges suddenly and results in higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. A vast number of illnesses and medications can induce secondary hypertension, including:
- Certain congenital blood vessel anomalies are evident at birth.
- Kidney illness
- Thyroid issues
- Obstructive sleep apnea (a condition in which a person stops breathing while sleeping)
- Birth control pills, cold treatments, decongestants, and pain relievers.
- Tumors of the adrenal gland
Blood pressure may be measured in a variety of ways:
- Normal blood pressure – If your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg, you have normal blood pressure.
- Elevated blood pressure – is defined as a systolic pressure of 120 to 129 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of less than (but not more than) 80 mm Hg. Elevated blood pressure tends to increase over time unless efforts are taken to control it. Prehypertension is another term for elevated blood pressure.
- A systolic range of 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic range of 80 to 89 mm Hg is considered stage 1 hypertension.
- A systolic range of 140 mm Hg or higher, or a diastolic range of 90 mm Hg or higher, is considered stage 2 hypertension.
- Hypertensive crisis – A blood pressure reading of more than 180/120 mm Hg is a medical emergency that needs immediate medical attention. If you take your blood pressure at home and get this result, wait five minutes and check again. If your blood pressure remains high, see your nephrologist right away. Call 911 or your local emergency medical number if you experience chest discomfort, visual difficulties, numbness or weakness, breathing trouble, or any other signs and symptoms of a stroke or heart attack.
If you have high blood pressure, your nephrologist may suggest testing to verify the symptoms and rule out any structural causes of hypertension:
- Monitoring in the ambulatory setting – The purpose of this 24-hour blood pressure monitoring test is to determine if you have high blood pressure. This test gadget takes your blood pressure at frequent intervals throughout 24 hours, giving you a more realistic picture of how your blood pressure fluctuates during the day and night. These gadgets.
- Tests in the lab – A urine test (urinalysis) and blood tests, including cholesterol testing, may be recommended by your nephrologist.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – The electrical impulses of your heart are measured in this relatively painless examination.
- Echocardiogram – Your nephrologist may schedule echocardiography to look for further indicators of cardiovascular disease based on your symptoms and test findings. Sound waves are used to create pictures of the heart in an echocardiogram.
Risk Factors related to Hypertension
1. Age – As you become older, your chances of developing high blood pressure rise. Till the age of 64, males are more prone than women to develop hypertension. After the age of 65, women are more prone to have high blood pressure.
2. Family medical history – High blood pressure is more likely to run in families.
3. Potassium deficiency in the diet – Potassium helps to keep the sodium levels in your cells in check. A healthy potassium balance is essential for heart health. Sodium can build up in your blood if you don’t receive enough potassium in your diet or if you lose too much potassium due to dehydration or other health problems.
4. Physical inactivity – People who are not physically active have greater heart rates. The faster your heart rate is, the harder your heart has to work with each contraction, and the greater the stress on your arteries. Being overweight is also linked to a lack of physical activity.
5. Stress – High-stress levels might cause a brief rise in blood pressure. Compulsive overeating, smoking, and consuming alcohol are all stress-related activities that can raise blood pressure levels even more.
6. You are consuming too much salt (sodium) in your meals – If you eat too much salt, your body will retain fluids, which will raise your blood pressure.
7. Being overweight or obese – The more blood you require to give oxygen and other nutrients to your tissues, the more you weigh. When the volume of blood flows through your blood arteries grows, so does the pressure on the walls of the arteries.
8. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol – Heavy drinking might harm your heart over time. Blood pressure may rise in women who consume more than 1 drink a day and in males who consume more than 2 drinks a day.
9. Tobacco consumption – Tobacco use not only raises your blood pressure briefly, but it also damages the lining of your artery walls due to the chemicals in tobacco. This can compress your arteries and put you at risk for heart disease. Secondhand smoking has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
10. Certain chronic illnesses – Kidney illness, diabetes, and sleep apnea are among chronic diseases that might raise your risk of high blood pressure.
11. Pregnancy can sometimes contribute to high blood pressure.
Even though adults are more likely to have hypertension, children may also be at risk. Hypertension can be caused by issues with the kidneys or the heart in certain children. Poor lifestyle choices, such as an improper diet and lack of exercise, can, nevertheless, lead to high blood pressure in an increasing number of children.
Management and Treatment of Hypertension
Home remedies and Lifestyle Choices
Changing your standard of living can help you monitor and manage hypertension. Your nephrologist may urge you to make the following adjustments to your lifestyle:
1. Consume nutritious foods – Consider the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which focuses on fruits, veggies, whole grains, chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy foods. Potassium is a mineral that can help avoid and regulate high blood pressure. Consume fewer saturated and trans fats.
2. Reduce the amount of salt in your meals – Limit salt intake to fewer than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. For most individuals, however, a lower salt consumption of 1,500 mg or less per day is recommended.
3. Keep a healthy body weight – Maintaining a healthy weight, or decreasing weight if you’re overweight or obese, can help you manage your high blood pressure and reduce your chance of developing complications. Generally, losing one kg of body weight lowers blood pressure by around one millimeter Hg.
4. Enhance your physical activity – Regular physical exercise can help you decrease your blood pressure, manage stress, maintain a healthy weight, and lessen your risk of a variety of health problems. Regular moderate- to high-intensity exercises can reduce your top blood pressure reading by 11 mm Hg and your bottom number by 5 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.
5. Reduce your alcohol consumption – Even if you’re in good health, alcohol can elevate your blood pressure. Consume alcohol in moderation if you wish to do so.
6. Don’t smoke – Tobacco can cause damage to the blood vessel walls and promote the formation of plaque in arteries.
7. Take care of your stress – As much as possible, reduce your tension. Muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness are examples of good coping methods. Regular exercise and adequate sleep might also assist.
8. Mindfulness or calm, deep breathing should be practiced – To help you relax, practice taking deep, calm breaths. Slow, timed breathing (five to seven deep breaths per minute) coupled with mindfulness practices has been shown to lower blood pressure in several studies. Various gadgets encourage slow, deep breathing.
9. Maintain a healthy blood pressure level throughout pregnancy – Women with hypertension should talk to their nephrologists about ways to keep their blood pressure under control while pregnant.
However, lifestyle modifications aren’t always sufficient. If exercise and diet don’t work, your nephrologist may prescribe blood pressure medication.
The sort of high blood pressure medication your nephrologist recommends is determined by your blood pressure readings and general health. Two or more blood pressure medications are frequently more effective than one. Finding the best effective medicine or drug combo might be a trial and error process.
You must target for a blood pressure treatment goal of less than 130/80 mm Hg if:
- You’re a 65-year-old healthy adult.
- Diabetes, severe kidney illness or coronary artery disease are all conditions you encounter.
- You’re a healthy adult under 65 who has a 10% or greater chance of getting cardiovascular disease in the following ten years.
Managing hypertension that is resistant to treatment
You may develop resistant hypertension if your blood pressure stays consistently high after using at least three different types of high blood pressure medications, one of which should be a diuretic.
If you have regulated high blood pressure but are using four separate drugs at the same time to attain that control, you’re said to have resistant hypertension. If this is the case, your nephrologist should look into a secondary reason for your hypertension.
Resistant hypertension does not indicate that your blood pressure will never go below a certain level. If both you and your nephrologist can figure out what’s causing your high blood pressure, you may devise a more effective treatment plan to help you reach your target blood pressure.
Many stages may be involved in treating resistant hypertension, such as:
- Modifying your hypertension medicines to see which combos and amounts are the most effective.
- Examining all of your drugs, even those that you use for other reasons or ones you bought without a prescription.
- Keeping track of your blood pressure at home to observe whether going to the nephrologist causes it to rise (white coat hypertension).
- Making healthy lifestyle adjustments, such as eating a low-salt diet, staying in a healthy weight range, and restricting alcohol consumption.
Always take your blood pressure medicine as directed. Never miss a dosage or stop taking your blood pressure medicine suddenly. Stopping some blood pressure medications, like beta-blockers, unexpectedly can result in a significant rise in blood pressure (rebound hypertension).
I hope in this article we thoroughly explained why blood pressure might increase, how to check it, and how to keep it in a healthy range. If you have any further queries, feel free to contact us!