Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a serious medical condition in which the blood’s long-term force against your artery walls is sufficient to trigger health problems such as heart disease. It considerably increases the risk of heart, brain, kidney, and other diseases.
Globally, an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years have hypertension, with the majority (two-thirds) living in developing countries.
What Is Blood Pressure And How It Is Determined?
The force of blood against the inner walls of arteries is referred to as blood pressure. It fluctuates normally throughout the day, dropping when body is relaxed or one is asleep, continuing to rise naturally in the morning, and temporarily increasing during conditions like stress, excitement, and while exercising.
Blood pressure is determined by both the amount of blood pumped by the heart and the resistance to systemic arteries. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). It has two digits.
Systolic Blood Pressure: The first number, or upper number, represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
Diastolic Blood Pressure: The second, or lower, number refers to the pressure in your arteries between heartbeats.
The blood pressure ranges are listed below:
|Blood Pressure category||Systolic (mmHg)||Diastolic (mmHg)|
|Normal blood pressure||less than 120||less than 80|
|Elevated||120-129||less than 80|
|Stage 1 hypertension||130-139||80-89|
|Stage 2 hypertension||140 or higher||90 or higher|
|Hypertensive crisis||over 180||over 120|
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension is defined as an abnormally high blood pressure.Blood pressure measurement considers the amount of blood passing through your blood vessels as well as the amount of resistance the blood encounters while the heart is pumping.
Narrow blood vessels, also known as arteries, increase blood flow resistance. The more resistance there is in the arteries, the higher one’s blood pressure will be. However, if your resting blood pressure is too high, it can scar, stiffen, and/or weaken your blood vessels. In the long run, the increased pressure can lead to multiple health problems.
What Are The Types And Causes Of Hypertension?
Hypertension is classified into two types. Each type has a distinctive cause.
- Essential (primary) hypertension
- Secondary hypertension
Table Below Defines The Types Of High Blood Pressure Along With Their Cause:
|Classification of hypertension||Causes and risk factors|
|Primary hypertension Essential hypertension is another name for primary hypertension. This type of hypertension develops gradually. It is the most common type of high blood pressure. In most cases, a combination of factors contributes to the development of essential hypertension.||Genetic or inherited Obesity Age factors Excessive alcohol consumption Living a very sedentary lifestyle diabetic or any other metabolic syndrome active and passive smoking high sodium intake|
|Secondary hypertension Secondary hypertension usually develops quickly and is induced by another condition or disease. It has the potential to be more severe than primary hypertension.||kidney disorderadrenal gland disorder certain endocrine tumours obstructive sleep apnea congenital heart defect thyroid issues side effects of medications use of illegal drugs chronic alcohol consumption|
There Are Numerous Causes And Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure, Including:
Age: chances of developing high blood pressure rises with age. High blood pressure is more common in men until about the age of 64. W omen are more likely to develop high blood pressure, after the age of 65.
Race:High blood pressure is especially common in people of African descent, often developing at a younger age than in whites. Serious complications, such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure, are also more common in African-Americans.
Family history: High blood pressure is a trait that runs in families.
Too much salt (sodium) in diet: Too much sodium in diet can cause one’s body to retain fluid, which raises the blood pressure.
Being overweight or obese: More the body weighs, the more blood is required to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. The pressure on the artery walls accelerates as the amount of blood flowing through your blood vessels rises.
Being physically inactive: People who are sedentary have higher heart rates. F aster the heart beats, the harder it has to work with each contraction and the greater the force on the arteries. Obesity is also increased by a lack of physical activity.
Tobacco use: Smoking or chewing tobacco not only temporarily raises blood pressure, but the chemicals in tobacco can also damage the lining of artery walls. Both active and passive smoking can be possible risk factors of hypertension.
Too little potassium in your diet: Potassium aids in balancing the amount of sodium in cells. A proper potassium balance is essential for good heart health. If individuals don’t get enough potassium in their diet, or if they lose too much potassium as a result of dehydration or other health problems, sodium can build up in their blood.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Heavy drinking can harm one’s heart over time.
Stress: High levels of stress can cause an increase in blood pressure for a short period of time. Stress-related behaviours such as eating more, smoking, or drinking alcohol can cause blood pressure to rise even higher.
Certain chronic conditions: Certain chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnoea, may also increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Pregnancy: It can also contribute to high blood pressure.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hypertension?
Hypertension is known as a “silent killer”.
Most hypertensive people are unaware of their condition because there are no warning signs or symptoms. As a result, it is critical that blood pressure should be measured on a regular basis.
Early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and ear buzzing are some of the symptoms that can occur. Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors are all symptoms of severe hypertension.
The only way to detect hypertension is to have blood pressure measured by a medical professional. It is quick and painless to have your blood pressure taken.
What Are The Complications Of Uncontrolled Hypertension?
High blood pressure puts too much pressure on the artery walls, which can harm both the blood vessels and various organs. Higher the blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in a variety of complications, including:
- Stroke or heart attack
- Heart failure
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in kidneys resulting in impaired function
- Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes which cause vision loss
- Metabolic syndrome
- Memory or comprehension issues
What Are The Treatment Options For Hypertension?
A variety of factors assist the doctor in determining the best treatment option according to the cause. These factors include the type of hypertension you have and the causes that have been discovered.
Treatment options for high blood pressure are:
What Are The Treatment Options For Hypertension?
Healthy lifestyle changes can help in controlling the factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the most common ones.
- Developing a heart-healthy diet
- Increasing physical activity
- Reaching an optimal weight
- Managing stress
- Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol
- Limit refined sugar
- Reduce sodium intake
- Monitor your blood pressure regularly
Many people go through a period of trial and error with blood pressure medications. A doctor may need to experiment with various medications until they find one or a combination that works.
some of the medications used to treat hypertension include:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
- Calcium channel blockers
- Alpha-2 agonists
Even when blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels, most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms.
Some people with high blood pressure may experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t appear until the high blood pressure has progressed to a severe or life-threatening level.
If people doubt about the risk factors and their health conditions, they must introduce some lifestyle changes so that, hypertension can be controlled at a pre-hypertensive stage. Individuals can measure their own blood pressure using automated devices, but an evaluation by a health professional is necessary for risk assessment and the identification of associated conditions.