High Blood Pressure aka Hypertension: Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
The Blood Pressure of the human body measures how much blood goes through the blood vessels and the amount of resistance the body offers while the heart is pumping blood. In some people, there is a problem with High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.
Hypertension refers to a consistent increase in the force of blood pushing through your vessels. Let’s study the basics, symptoms, and diagnosis of hypertension.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension also known as high blood pressure or HBP is a medical condition in which the pressure of the blood in arteries is consistently elevated. It is a slow-developing disease that does not develop symptoms in the initial phase. It is considered one of the major causes of sudden, untimely, and premature death.
HBP can have adverse effects on health even when the symptoms are not seen. It can cause damage to blood vessels and various organs including brain, heart, kidneys and eyes.
Blood Pressure Readings
Blood Pressure Reading involves 2 numbers(readings).
It is used to measure the pressure in your arteries when the heart beats and pumps out.
It is the reading of the pressure of the blood in the arteries between the beats of the heart.
Categories Of Blood Pressure Readings in Adults
Healthy(Normal)-A normal BP reading is less than 120/80 (mm HG).
Elevated-The Systolic reading is from 120 to 129 (mm HG) and diastolic reading is less than 80.
Stage 1 HyperTension– It occurs when the systolic reading is between 10 and 139 (mm HG) and diastolic reading is between 80 and 89 (mm HG).
Stage 2 HyperTension-In stage 2 HyperTension the systolic blood pressure rises to 140 (mm HG) or higher and diastolic number increases to 90 (mm HG) or higher.
Hyper Intensive Crisis– When the blood pressure rises to an extreme number it is known as hyper intensive crisis. The readings are 180 (mm HG) for systolic and over 120(mm HG) for diastolic.
Symptoms Of HyperTension
In many cases HBP is a silent condition. Many of the people suffering from these diseases don’t experience any symptoms. For some it may take months or even years to get diagnosed with the condition.
Symptoms of High BP can include:
- Blood Spots in the eyes.
Contrary to the popular belief that High BP causes nose bleedings the fact is that, there is no nose bleeding until and unless it is hyper intensive crisis.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
There are two different types of HBP and each has different causes.
1. Essential HyperTension
This is also called the primary type. It develops over a period of time. Most people suffer from this type of Blood Pressure.
Here are some of the factors that play an essential role in development of Essential HBP:
- Genetic Factors
- High Alcohol Consumption
- Consuming More Sodium
2. Secondary HyperTension
It occurs very quickly and is often more dangerous than primary hypertension. Conditions that can cause secondary HBP include:
- Kidney Diseases
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Thyroid Problems
- Use of Drugs
- Endocrine Tumors
- Adrenal Gland Problems
Diagnosis of Hypertension
Diagnosing hypertension is as simple as taking a blood pressure reading. Most doctors’ offices check blood pressure as a part of routine visits. If it is not the case then you can request them to do the same.
If your blood pressure is higher than usual your doctor may advise you to check the BP regularly because High BP can never be diagnosed within one day.
If the Blood Pressure continues to elevate over the course of a few days your doctor may ask you to take up certain tests to rule out certain conditions.
Some of the tests are:
- Cholesterol Screening
- Electrocardiogram or ECG to test the activity of your heart.
- Ultrasound of Heart or Kidneys.
Treatment for High BP
There are various factors which may help your healthcare provider to design the best treatment options for you. These factors depend on your symptoms and causes.
Treatment Options For Primary HyperTension
If you get diagnosed with primary hypertension, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and may help you reduce high BP. When lifestyle changes are not enough you may get prescribed with certain medications.
Treatment Options For Secondary HyperTension
If the doctor discovers any underlying condition that is causing elevation in your BP Levels your doctor may focus on that condition.
For example, If HBP is caused as the side effect of any medication the health care provider may suggest the substitutes.
Here are some of the most common home remedies to follow
- Developing a Heart Healthy Diet
- Increase Physical Activity
- Managing Depression
- Reduce Sodium Intake
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is a very common health issue. If you have a problem with hypertension the healthcare provider may design a treatment plan for you keeping in mind the various factors. Lifestyle changes are considered to be the most powerful tools for managing High BP.