Blood pressure is the force exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of arteries. It is usually denoted by systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure when the heart contracts and diastolic is when the heart relaxes. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Blood pressure can be higher than the expected range(hypertension) or lower (hypotension). The patient becomes symptomatic when blood pressure is high or low. Both high and low ranges put the person in complications.
What is the Normal Range?
A normal reading in adults is 120/80 mmHg.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
It is necessary to maintain normal blood pressure. However, when the circulating blood exerts more pressure than expected it is called as high blood pressure or Hypertension. Moreover, high Blood pressure can lead to more serious illnesses including cardiac diseases, strokes, and other complications.
Causes or Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure:
There are many causes of high blood pressure. They are as follows.
Genetic /Family History:
People with a family history are at greater risk.
Side Effects of Some Medications:
Hypertension may be due to side effects of other medications. However, notify your healthcare provider if you feel symptoms of hypertension.
Obesity is the root cause of many diseases including high blood pressure. So, maintaining your weight with safe lifestyle modifications and diet control can lower your risk of hypertension.
Age: People getting older or above 40 are at risk of developing hypertension.
Overuse of Tobacco:
Using tobacco or cigarette smoking makes blood vessels or arteries hard, so more force is needed by the heart to pump blood to pass through hardened vessels. This causes hypertension.
There is a strong association between chronic pain and high hypertension. This type of hypertension is managed by managing pain by using painkillers or other remedies.
Overconsumption of Alcohol:
Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to the development of hypertension.
Use of food containing high sodium.
Consuming high amounts of sodium can increase the risk of developing hypertension. This is because sodium causes the body to retain water, leading to fluid overload and elevated blood pressure.
Individuals who have diabetes often experience high blood viscosity, which can lead to elevated blood pressure. Therefore, it is important for those with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels within a healthy range in order to prevent hypertension.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:
Most people do not feel symptoms of high blood pressure. However, in some patients symptoms appear as follows. Moreover, the following symptoms should not be ignored
Headache: Persistent headache especially pain at the back of the head or in neck muscles is a symptom.
Anxiety and Stress: However, the patient may feel confusion or anxiety with high blood pressure values.
Irritability: You may feel irritability for no reason.
Blurry vision: visual disturbance such as blurry or double vision may be a sign.
Chest pain in severe hypertension: The patient may feel chest pain and chest heaviness in some cases and in high blood pressure.
Nose bleeds in some cases. Some patients experience nose bleeds with high readings.
How to Manage High Blood Pressure?
It is crucial to promptly seek medical attention and treatment for high blood pressure to prevent severe and potentially fatal complications. Lifestyle changes and antihypertensive medication are effective treatment options for this condition. Consulting with healthcare professionals is recommended for proper management.
following lifestyle medications will manage and prevent hypertension.
Diet: Diet plays an important role. Following are some recommendations for patients with hypertension.
Low Sodium Intake: Limit sodium-containing foods especially processed food, salty food, and other substances such as pickles which contain high amounts of sodium.
Use a Low-Fat Diet: Try to use low-fat in your diet. High intake of fat causes obesity and increases cholesterol levels in the blood. Too much cholesterol start building up in the walls of arteries and vein. which makes blood vessels narrow and the heart needs more force to work This causes high blood pressure.
Regular Exercise: Daily regular physical exercises help in maintaining a good ideal weight and prevent other health-related issues as they enhance good proteins like HDL called good cholesterol in the blood which helps in maintaining good control of hypertension prevents heart diseases and decreases LDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Limit Alcohol Consumption: Lowering alcohol will help in maintaining hypertension.
Use a High-Fiber Diet: Add high fiber to your meals such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. High-fiber diets help in managing hypertension.
Quit or limit smoking: Cigarette smoking increases the risk. Limiting smoking will help in controlling hypertension.
Managing stress: Your mental health plays an important role in controlling hypertension. Stress is one of the major factors so; managing stress lowers the risk.
Regular monitoring: Check your blood pressure regularly to prevent complications.
Anti-Hypertensive Medication: Regardless of the above measures if your blood pressure is not controlled, then your healthcare provider will treat and manage it with medications.Must consult your healthcare provider.
Complications of Hypertension:
prolonged and untreated hypertension may cause severe life-threatening conditions. Such as,
Hypertension is one of the main causes of heart attacks. Increasing blood pressure exerts more force on the walls of blood vessels or arteries in the heart. With the passage of time, these vessels get thick and become narrowed and hardened which interferes with the flow of blood to the heart’s muscles resulting in heart attacks.
High blood pressure exerts more force on the walls of vessels inside the brain. This force sometimes raptures the blood vessels resulting in a stroke known as hemorrhagic stroke. This can disturb the blood circulation to brain tissues.
Loss of vision:
Hypertension leads to damage to the tiny blood vessel retina of the eye called retinopathy due to which the patient may have visual disturbances.
kidneys play an important role in filtering blood. It removes excessive substances and retains needful elements for the body. High blood pressure causes damage to the kidneys which alters their function and whole body systems will get disturbed.
Hypertension developed during pregnancy is called preeclampsia, this can cause serious and life-threatening conditions to both mother and baby. This type is mostly treated with medications.
Consult your Health Care Provider:
However, dietary and lifestyle modifications sometimes are not enough to treat other medical conditions like kidney diseases or other genetic disorders. Must consult your healthcare provider regarding the high readings. so that your healthcare provider rules out the exact cause of hypertension, diagnoses it according to hypertension criteria, and treats it accordingly.
Moreover, hypertension can be controlled well via good lifestyle modifications, dietary modifications, and stress management. Apart from these, consulting a physician is very necessary to rule out the exact medical reason. So, early detection of causative or risk factors and getting treatment on time could decrease the risk of further complications caused by prolonged hypertension.