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High Blood Pressure: Things You Need To Know!!

Published on Sep 24, 2015 and last reviewed on Oct 07, 2022   -  5 min read

Abstract

High blood pressure is very common, with serious consequences if left untreated. Read the article to know in detail.

Contents
High Blood Pressure: Things You Need To Know!!

What Is Hypertension?

High Blood Pressure or hypertension is a very common and serious condition that, if left untreated, can lead to permanent and often fatal damage to various organs of the body, including the heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes. Hypertension means the pressure of the blood inside the blood vessels is higher than what it should be. A blood pressure (BP) of more than 139/89 mmHg is regarded to be higher than the normal range.

What Are the Types of Hypertension?

  1. Primary Hypertension - It is also known as essential hypertension. It is the most common type of high blood pressure. This hypertension is caused by aging and unhealthy habits like not exercising regularly.

  2. Secondary Hypertension - This type of high blood pressure is caused by medical conditions such as kidney problems or hormonal issues and sometimes due to medications that a person is taking.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension?

What Is the Effect of High Blood Pressure on Pregnancy?

Approximately 10 % of pregnancy complications happen due to high blood pressure. Many forms of high blood pressure can be experienced during pregnancy ranging from mild to severe. These include:

What Are the Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure?

How to Diagnose Hypertension?

A high blood pressure reading checked randomly on at least two occasions while the person is at rest is needed to make a diagnosis of hypertension. Blood pressure is measured as mmHg and has two numbers, namely systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and diastolic is the pressure in the arteries between the heartbeats. In almost 90 to 95 % of the cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown; this is called essential/idiopathic hypertension. The remaining five to ten percent of the cases are of secondary hypertension with an identifiable underlying cause. Depending on how high the blood pressure is it is grouped in the following staging:

How to Manage Hypertension?

The goal of therapy is to bring blood pressure within normal range. A stepwise approach is applied.

The first step is lifestyle modifications which include:

These measures should be followed in all individuals with hypertension regardless of whether the decision has been made to implement drug therapy.

The second step is giving medications to control blood pressure. Your doctor may prescribe medications according to the response to therapy. These medications are also given in a stepwise manner. The patient is started on one type of medicine, usually a calcium channel blocker or an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. Other medications like diuretics (remove excess sodium from the body) and beta-blockers (reduce the work load on the heart) may be added depending upon the response to treatment until optimum blood pressure control is achieved. Usually, these medications are taken throughout life to maintain blood pressure within normal limits.

For secondary hypertension, when a cause is identified, the treatment is aimed at addressing the cause. Secondary hypertension occurs in renal artery stenosis (narrowing of arteries carrying blood to the kidneys), coarctation of the aorta (narrowing of the large blood vessel called the aorta carrying blood to the heart), pheochromocytoma (tumor of adrenal glands), hyperthyroidism (thyroid glands produces excess thyroxine hormone), and tumor of the adrenal cortex.

Prognosis - If uncontrolled, high blood pressure has a poor prognosis with a high risk of stroke and heart disease, the two leading causes of death worldwide. However, if blood pressure is well controlled and lifestyle modifications are implemented, the prognosis can be excellent, with the risks decreased significantly.

Conclusion:

High blood pressure can cause a lot of complications in people, even in pregnant women if not taken care of. The ideal blood pressure to be maintained varies with age and health conditions. Proper medications and certain lifestyle changes can help in dealing with high blood pressure.

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

How Does a Person Feel When the Blood Pressure Is High?

High blood pressure can sometimes be associated without any abnormal symptoms. Some signs of high blood pressure are anxiety, shortness of breath, moderate or severe headache, nosebleeds, and a feeling of pulsation in the neck. It is primarily a silent disease.

2.

What Are the Five Main Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

The five main symptoms of high blood pressure are fatigue, headache, heart palpitation, blurred vision, and fainting. Fatigue and headache are usually early warning signs of high blood pressure. However, when the symptoms become chronic, medical help should be considered.

3.

What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Women?

The symptoms of high blood pressure in women include fatigue, headache, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath. High blood pressure makes the heart more difficult to work than normal. If left untreated in women, it can damage the arteries and lead to heart stroke, kidney failure, eye damage, and atherosclerosis (buildup of fat in arteries).

4.

How to Quickly Lower the Blood Pressure?

The blood pressure can be lowered immediately by taking a warm shower or bath for about 15 minutes, which helps reduce muscle tension. Deep breathing exercises can help in lowering blood pressure. Relaxing and avoiding stress can help in lowering blood pressure.

5.

Can High Blood Pressure Make the Person Tired?

High blood pressure can make the person tired as it is associated with symptoms such as headache, nausea, and lethargy. Feeling tired can also be associated with lifestyle or anti-hypertensive medications. It is one of the common symptoms seen in a person suffering from high blood pressure.

6.

What Is the Primary Cause of High Blood Pressure?

The primary cause of high blood pressure is having too much potassium or sodium in the diet,, which may elevate the blood pressure. In addition, chewing tobacco, smoking cigarette, and secondhand smoking can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Age factor is another matter of concern that may lead to an increase in blood pressure.

7.

Can Lack Of Sleep Cause High Blood Pressure?

Some studies suggest that men who lack deep sleep have an 80 % chance of having high blood pressure. People who sleep less than six hours usually have increased blood pressure.

8.

Should a Person With High Blood Pressure Take Rest?

People who sleep less often feel tired, resulting in increased blood pressure and require rest. Sleep helps control the hormonal levels in the body and stress. Resting with peace and a calm mind helps lower blood pressure.

9.

What Is the Meaning of Stroke Level Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure with a reading such as 180/120 mm of Hg is considered stroke level blood pressure. It is high in range and is considered dangerous. It often requires immediate medication to reduce blood pressure.

10.

What Is the Best Diet Suggested for High Blood Pressure?

The DASH diet is considered the best diet for high blood pressure. It is a healthy diet that helps prevent or treat high blood pressure. It includes food rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients help to control blood pressure. In addition, the diet tends to limit foods high in added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.

11.

How to Sleep With High Blood Pressure?

Sleeping on the left side is considered the best sleeping position for people with high blood pressure. This position relieves the pressure on the blood vessel that returns blood to the heart. The blood vessels positioned on the right side of the body can get compressed and slow down the circulation when sleeping on the right side.

12.

How to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally at Home?

The blood pressure can be lowered naturally at home by taking a hot shower or bath for at least 15 minutes. Breathing exercises are important to lower blood pressure. Consumption of less amount of salt can help avoid high blood pressure.

13.

Does Walking Lower Blood Pressure?

Walking for 15 minutes daily can help lower a person's blood pressure. However, the blood pressure is maintained only if the person continues the exercise. Therefore, diet is of utmost importance, along with walking, to ease blood pressure.

14.

Can a Person Control the High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can be controlled by maintaining a healthy balanced diet and limiting salt consumption. In addition, physical exercise plays an important role in maintaining overall health. If high blood pressure cannot be controlled by diet or exercise, medications prescribed by doctors should be considered.

15.

Which Organ Is Responsible for Blood Pressure?

Among most cases of high blood pressure, the most affected organ is the kidney. Blood pressure can be triggered by abnormalities that cause the adrenal glands to secrete excessive hormones. These hormones are responsible for elevating blood pressure.

Last reviewed at:
07 Oct 2022  -  5 min read

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