High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is the problem that occurs when you blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. Your BP measures take into account how much blood is actually passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping.
Narrow arteries are one of the reasons to increase resistance. The narrower your arteries are, the higher will be the blood pressure. In the long term, increased blood pressure could cause you some major health issues including heart diseases.
Hypertension has now become quite common. In fact, according to the recent changes in the guidelines, it is expected that nearly half of American adults will now be diagnosed with this condition.
It takes several years for hypertension to develop. Usually, before it is fully developed, you don’t notice any symptoms. But let me tell you that even without symptoms, it can cause damage to your blood vessels as well as organs. It especially targets the brain, heart, kidney, and eyes.
Early detection of the High Blood Pressure is very important. Taking a regular reading of your BP could help you and your doctor to notice any changes. If you BP seems to be elevated. Then you doctor may need to keep a check on your blood pressure for a few weeks. It will help them observe if the number stays elevated or gets back to normal levels.
The best treatment of Hypertension includes both, prescripted medication as well as healthy lifestyle changes. If the conditions aren’t improving, it could lead to major issues including heart attack and stroke. So, it is better to keep a check on yourself. Below are some symptoms of High Blood Pressure which will help you understand your problem in a better way.
Symptoms Of Hypertension
Hypertension is generally a silent condition. Many people won’t even experience any symptoms at all. It takes years or even decades for the condition to reach levels severe enough that the symptoms become obvious and noticeable. Even then the symptoms could be attributed to other issues. Some of the major symptoms of severe hypertension include:
- Shortness of Breathe
- Visual changes
- Blood In Urine
- Chest pain
If you face these symptoms then I would recommend you to take immediate medical attention. They don’t really appear for everyone who is facing the problem of High Blood Pressure. But waiting for the symptoms of this condition to occur is fatal.
So, the only best way to know if you are facing the problem of hypertension or not is through regular blood pressure readings. Most of the doctors’ offices take blood pressure readings at every appointment. if you only have a yearly physical, you need to talk to your doctor about the risks of hypertension. Also, you may need other readings to help you watch your BP.
For instance, if you have a family history of heart diseases or have any risk factor of developing the condition. Your doctor may recommend you to have a blood pressure checkup twice a year. It will help you and your doctor to stay on top of any problem before it becomes problematic for you.
After the symptoms, it is very much important for us to know about the causes of High Blood Pressure. So, let’s take a look at the causes of the problem of hypertension.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension could be of two types. And both the types have their different set of causes. Therefore, we have segregated them into two parts below.
It is also known as essential hypertension. These kinds of hypertensions are developed over time without any identified symptoms. Most of the people out there are facing these kinds of High Blood Pressure.
Researchers are still unsure that what mechanism causes the blood pressure to increase slowly. In this, a combination of factors may play an important role. These factors include:
- Physical Changes: If something in your body is changing, you may begin to experience issues throughout your body. High blood pressure could be one of the issues. For example, its thought that changes in the functioning of your kidney due to aging may upset the body’s natural balance of fluid and salt. These changes may increase the blood pressure in your body.
- Environment: Over time, unhealthy choices in your lifestyle including lack of physical activities, and poor diet can take their toll on your body. Lifestyle changes can lead to severe weight problems. Being overweight or obese could also increase the risk of hypertension.
- Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. This could happen because of gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
The secondary types of hypertension could often occur very quickly and it can become a lot more severe as compared to primary hypertension. Several conditions that may cause secondary hypertension includes:
- Kidney Disease
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Use Of Illegal Drugs
- Certain Endocrine Tumors
- Problem With Your Thyroid
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Side Effects Of medications
- Adrenal Glands Problems
- Alcohol Abuse Or Chronic Use
Also, our body posture plays a huge role in the problem of High Blood Pressure. Good body posture allows the blood to flow in a better manner. Whereas, a bad body posture could be a huddle in the way of blood flow. Therefore, getting a posture corrector could also help in regulating the problem of hypertension.
Sometimes, even doctors recommend wearing the back brace for posture as it will help regulate the blood flow and also help you get a healthy posture for your back, shoulders, and neck. It also gives the chest and lungs proper space to breathe better. Which ensures more oxygen to enter into your body and hence helps to keep the blood more oxidized. Therefore, getting a back brace could be a good add-on for your BP related problems and could help you out a little in it as well.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Here is a piece of good news for you. Diagnosing Hypertension is as easy as taking Blood Pressure reading. Most of the doctors’ offices check blood pressure as a part of a routine visit. So, it would be better if you don’t get the BP reading at your next visit, request for one.
If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor will most probably request you to have more reading over the course of a few days or even weeks. So, it is very rear that the doctor may prescribe diagnosis for hypertension at the very first reading. When the doctor sees the evidence of a sustained problem then only they recommend the diagnosis of it.
This is because your environment can contribute to increased blood pressure. It includes the pressure you may feel when you visit the doctor’s office. Also, it is quite common that the blood pressure also tends to change throughout the day.
So, if your blood pressure remains high, your doctor is more likely to consider more tests to rule out underlying conditions. These tests include:
- Urine Test
- Cholesterol screening and other blood tests
- Ultrasound of your heart or kidney
- Test of your heart’s electrical activity with an electrocardiogram (EKG or sometimes also known as ECG)
These tests are also helpful for your doctor to identify any secondary issues caused by elevated blood pressure. It also helps to observe the effects high blood pressure may have had on your organs. During this time, your doctor will start treating your hypertension. Also, it is a good move because early treatment will help reduce your risk of lasting damage.
How To Understand High Blood Pressure Readings
Two numbers create a hypertension reading:
- Systolic Pressure: This is the first type of number. It indicates the pressure inside your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood.
- Diastolic Pressure: This is known as the second type of button number. It is basically the reading of the pressure in your arteries between the beats of your heart.
For an adult, five categories define blood pressure:
- Stage 1 Hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, also, the diastolic number is 99 mm Hg or higher.
- Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is considered below 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
- Hypertensive Crysis: In this case, the systolic number is over 180 mm Hg or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. In this range, blood pressure requires immediate medical attention. Also, if any symptom such as chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, or any visual changes occurs when blood pressure is this much high. Medical care in the emergency room is needed.
- Elevated: The systolic number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. Doctors don’t really recommend medications to treat elevated blood pressure. Instead of that, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes that could be helpful for you to lower down your numbers.
The readings of blood pressure are taken with the pressure cuff. But it is quite important to have the cuff that fits your arm completely. If the cuff is not fitted perfectly, it will result in an inaccurate reading.
Also, let me tell you that blood pressure readings are different in children and teenagers. So, for your child, it is better to ask your child’s doctor for the healthy ranges of your child if you are asking to monitor their blood pressure.
Treatment Of Hypertension
There are several factors that help your doctor to determine the best treatment option for you. These treatments include the type of hypertension you have as well as the causes that have been identified.
Primary Hypertension Treatment Options
If your doctor is treating your primary hypertension, lifestyle changes will be a good option to help reduce your High Blood Pressure. If the lifestyle changes aren’t enough or they aren’t being much effective for you. Then the doctor will prescribe you necessary medications.
Secondary Hypertension Treatment Options
If your doctor discovers an underlying issue cause you hypertension, treatment will be more focused on that other condition. For example, if you have started taking any medicine that causing you increased blood pressure, the doctor will prescribe you other medicine that doesn’t have any side effects.
In some cases, hypertension is persistent despite treatment of the underlying causes. So, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and also prescribe proper medication that will help reduce your High Blood Pressure.
It is also important to know that the treatment plans for high BP often evolve. What worked at the beginning may become less useful or even useless with time. Therefore, the doctors continue to work with you and keep refining your treatment.
Also, some home remedies like a healthy diet, some physical activity, stress management and maintaining your weight also work as a great add-on to help to treat the problem of hypertension. Along with this, some dietary changes like eating less meat and more plants, cutting back on sweets and reducing dietary sodium will also be helpful for you if you are going through the problem of hypertension.
The Final Thoughts On High Blood Pressure
So, this is all about the problem of hypertension. It is really a very worst condition because we don’t even know about the symptoms until it becomes too severe. As we always say, it is better to keep a check on your health. Because our body is our biggest asset.
And blood pressure is the type of problem that could become really severe and could even cause problems like heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it is better to keep a check on yourself, take the necessary treatments prescribed by your doctor and look after your health properly.
This is all from our side on this topic. So folks, now it is the time for you to take certain steps for good health and maintain your fit and healthy personality forever. It is the only good you can do for yourself for sure.