High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common health condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

It occurs when the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high. This can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart and other organs, if left untreated.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment of hypertension, along with lifestyle changes that can help manage this condition.

What are the types of blood pressure?

Blood pressure is typically classified into two types:

  • Systolic Blood Pressure: This is the pressure of your blood in your arteries when your heart beats or contracts to pump blood out. It is the higher number in a blood pressure reading, and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
  • Diastolic Blood Pressure: This is the pressure of your blood in your arteries when your heart is at rest between beats. It is the lower number in a blood pressure reading, and is also measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Your blood pressure is usually recorded as a fraction, with systolic pressure over diastolic pressure.

For example, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg represents a systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of 80 mm Hg.

A chart showing different levels of hypertension.

Chart Source: Healthline

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because mostly it does not show any symptoms or warning signs.

In fact, you may be having hypertension for years without knowing it. That’s why it’s essential to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

However, some people may experience symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Flushing
  • Nosebleeds

You must understand that these symptoms may begin to show only when your blood pressure levels reach alarming levels, not before. Therefore, it’s important to keep tabs on your blood pressure levels often.

Causes and Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure

There can be many possible causes of hypertension, such as:

  • Family history of hypertension
  • Aging
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet, especially one high in sodium
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and thyroid problems
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills (that contain estrogen), decongestants and some prescription drugs
  • Men are more likely to develop high blood pressure than women (Women normally develop the condition after they reach menopause).

Complications of Hypertension

If you ignore checking your blood pressure levels, they can lead to many serious health issues, such as:

  • Heart disease: Hypertension can damage your arteries, making them less elastic and more prone to narrowing or hardening. This can lead to heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and arrhythmias.
  • Stroke: Hypertension can cause damage to your blood vessels in your brain, thereby increasing your risk of a stroke.
  • Kidney disease: Hypertension can damage your kidneys and interfere with their ability to filter waste from your blood, leading to kidney disease or even kidney failure.
  • Hypertensive retinopathy: Hypertension can cause damage to your blood vessels in your eyes, leading to your vision loss or even blindness.
  • Sexual dysfunction: Hypertension can limit the blood flow to penis, leading to erectile dysfunction in men. In women, hypertension can limit the flow of blood into their vaginas, thereby resulting in reduced sexual desire in them.
  • Cognitive impairment: Hypertension can increase your risk of vascular dementia.

How to Diagnose Hypertension?

Hypertension is normally diagnosed during a routine checkup with your doctor. He will measure your blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope.

If your blood pressure is consistently high, your doctor may recommend further tests to rule out underlying medical conditions that may be causing your high blood pressure.

How to Treat Hypertension?

In a broader sense, any treatment for your hypertension is to lower it to a safe and healthy range.

Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or a combination of both.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Maintain healthy weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight can help lower your blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
  • Eat healthy diet: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products, and limit your intake of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.
  • Reduce your sodium intake: Aim to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, or even less if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Limiting alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men can help manage the condition.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can increase your hypertension, so it quit as soon as possible.


There are several types of medications that can be used to treat your hypertension, such as:

  • Diuretics
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Direct renin inhibitors

Prescription medications, such as these, have to be taken only on the advice of your doctor, and any effort to self-medicate is dangerous, and can lead to irreversible medical complications.

When to See a Doctor?

If Your Blood Pressure Reads High

When your blood pressure readings are consistently high, it’s important to see your doctor.

Hypertension often has no symptoms, which is why it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Especially if you have risk factors for high blood pressure such as family history, older age, obesity, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and certain medical conditions.

If you’re Pregnant

Gestational hypertension develops in pregnant women after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Gestational hypertension usually resolves on its own after delivery, but in some cases, it can progress to preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication that can affect the mother and child.

Women with gestational hypertension will need close monitoring during their pregnancy to ensure that their blood pressure remains under control and to detect for any signs of preeclampsia.

Treatment may include medications, bed rest or early delivery in severe cases.


Hypertension is a common and serious health condition that can lead to many serious complications, if left unattended.

Lifestyle changes and closely working with your doctor can help manage your hypertension and reduce your risk of complications.

Should you fall under any of the risk-categories mentioned, talk to your doctor about the necessary steps you can take to manage your condition.


If you have a question related to this blog post, write to us here and we will update this post with a response.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to write to us at support@nugenomics.in or call us directly at +91 9176655912

You can also visit Here to know more about how we can help you and make your life better.

Sources: CDC (1, 2), Mayo Clinic (1, 2), American Heart Association, Cleveland Clinic, Medical News Today, Healthline, AHA Journals, Oxford Academics, WebMD, PMC.