Hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure increases to dangerous levels. This can damage your blood vessels. Organs such as brain, kidney, eyes, and heart may be severely affected.
The symptoms of high blood pressure are shortness of breath, the ringing of the ears, dizziness, and nosebleeds. A blood pressure test usually gives two numbers. These are pressures of the blood when the heart is pumping and when the heart is at rest.
The former pressure (systolic) is thus higher than the latter (diastolic). An example of a normal blood pressure reading is systolic pressure less than 120 mm Hg, and diastolic pressure less than 80 mm Hg.
When the blood pressure reading is greater than 120/80 and less than 129/89, it is indicative of a condition known as pre-hypertension. It means some lifestyle changes are needed. When the blood pressure crosses 140/90, it is considered high.
Stage 2 is when blood pressure exceeds 160/100. At this stage, every effort must be taken to get hypertension under control. This means lifestyle changes as well as a medical intervention.
When the heart has to put in more work to circulate blood around the body, it results in high blood pressure. Arteries becoming narrow is one reason why this would happen. High cholesterol may cause narrow arteries due to the deposition of plaque and calcium along artery walls.
There are two types of high blood pressure, primary and secondary. The cause of primary hypertension is still not known. Secondary hypertension is a direct result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Other health conditions or medications may also trigger it.
A lifestyle habit that may lead to high blood pressure is the consumption of a diet high in salt or fat. Not getting enough exercise and obesity will also contribute to it. Habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption can also result in high blood pressure. If your family has a history of hypertension, you are at a higher risk of suffering from hypertension.
The best way to combat hypertension is to make dietary and lifestyle changes. This means eating more fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole grains. It also means cutting out excess salt and sugar, processed foods, Trans fat, and saturated fat. This should help to some extent.
You may also need medication. There are diuretics available that reduce the amount of water in your body. Calcium channel blockers help widen blood muscles and reduce blood pressure. There are also beta-blockers available that help control your pulse and reduce episodes of high blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors help control the width of the blood vessel by limiting the production of a hormone that causes the blood vessels to narrow. Consult your doctor for the best treatment.
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