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:
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.
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:
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:
Complications of Hypertension
If you ignore checking your blood pressure levels, they can lead to many serious health issues, such as:
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.
There are several types of medications that can be used to treat your hypertension, such as:
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.
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