What You Need To Know About Hypertension

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Learning More about What Is Hypertension

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, high blood pressure or hypertension is estimated to cause about 7.5 million deaths. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition characterized by a greater than normal force present as the blood flows through the blood vessels. This condition can strain the heart and damage the blood vessels. Ultimately, this can also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney problems and even death.

When the heart beats, it pushes the blood through the arteries towards the rest of the body. Whenever the blood pushes harder against the artery wall, blood pressure increases. Blood pressure may vary when measured at different times in a day. This is often higher the time you wake up, when you are under a lot of stress and after exercising.

High blood pressure for short periods of time is considered normal. However, when the blood pressure stays elevated for most of the time, this can cause serious health complications and may even result to death.

Is Hypertension or High Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Over time, if the force of the blood flow is always high, the tissues that compose the arterial walls will become stretched out often beyond the healthy limit. Whenever this happens, tissue damage can occur. If the condition is not treated and managed effectively, severe health complications can arise.

Reading Your Blood Pressure

Blood pressure readings are composed of two numbers like 120/80 mmHg. The topmost number is known the systolic blood pressure. This is the highest pressure indicated when the heart beats as well as pushes the blood all over the body. The bottom number, on the other hand, is known as the diastolic blood pressure. This is the lowest pressure indicated when the heart relaxes in between beats.

What Do the Readings Mean?

Different blood pressure readings mean different things. If your blood pressure reading is 90/60, you may have low blood pressure. However, if your reading is more than 90/60 but less than 120/80, your blood pressure reading is considered ideal and healthy. If your blood pressure reading is over 120/80 but less than 140/90, your blood pressure is still normal but this is already higher than the ideal blood pressure. Thus, this should be managed and controlled so it goes back to the ideal range. Blood pressure readings of more than 140/90, you may already have high blood pressure or hypertension especially if the readings are occurring in a regular basis. If this is the case, it is important to seek medical consult right away, so your blood pressure can be managed through medications or lifestyle modifications as prescribed by your health care provider.

When Does High Blood Pressure Require Emergency Treatment?

High blood pressure or hyper tension often does it damage without any symptoms. However, when blood pressure rises about 110 for the diastolic pressure or 180 for the systolic pressure, emergency medical treatment should be sought.

When blood pressure is too low, on the other hand, emergency medical treatment should also be sought. While this reading can actually alert you to a problem, this becomes rather dangerous if this causes signs and symptoms.

Managing Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

The primary goal of managing hypertension is bring the blood pressure readings to the ideal range and ultimately experience positive health results. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause severe health complications and death. In fact, this is known as the ‘silent killer’ because high blood pressure often does not exhibit any symptoms. Basically, you may not be aware that the condition is already damaging your heart, arteries and other organs.

Whenever the condition is left untreated, health complications can arise over time. This condition can cause severe damages to the heart and coronary arteries and they often appear in the form of heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and atherosclerosis. Moreover, this condition can also cause stroke, kidney damage, loss of vision, memory loss, erectile dysfunction, angina and peripheral artery disease. It is important to take note that these conditions are not considered symptoms of hypertension. A person with high blood pressure is often asymptomatic expect in extreme cases known as hypertensive crisis.

If you have high blood pressure or at risk of developing the condition, lifestyle modifications and medications can help manage the condition. One way to effectively manage high blood pressure is to have a healthy dietary regimen. Your diet should eat healthy and well balanced meal every day. Experts recommend eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and low fat dairy products. You should skip foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and cholesterol. You can also try the DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet.

Aside from eating healthy meals every day, you should also have a regular exercise routine. You do not have to do this every day as long as you stay physically active. You should also maintain a healthy weight, as this can help manage your blood pressure. Blood pressure can become elevated due to stress. Thus, stress management should also be considered. Cigarette smoking can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Thus, this must be avoided at all cost. Alcohol intake should also be avoided. If you cannot avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, you can still drink but you have to make sure that you do it in moderation.

Along with lifestyle modifications, you should also comply with the medications prescribed by your health care provider. With lifestyle modifications and the right medical regimen, you will be able to effectively manage and reduce your blood pressure, prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure, enhance the efficiency of blood pressure medications, and lower the risk of developing stroke, kidney disease, heart disease and heart attack.

It is important to remember that managing blood pressure is considered a lifelong commitment. You should listen to your health care provider and be informed about the condition and the effective ways on how it can be managed. This way, you will be able to live a healthy life.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024199/

http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/blood_pressure_prevalence_text/en/

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