You must have heard about High Blood Pressure or hypertension. Do you suffer from it too?
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood is rushing through our arteries. Arteries are a part of blood circulatory system that takes the pure or oxygenated blood from heart to other parts of the body.
High blood pressure or hypertension is cardiovascular disease, which is caused when the blood rushing through our arteries moves with increased force.
This article covers High Blood Pressure (BP) and its symptoms in detail. Learn about the home remedies that can prevent High BP.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood in the human body is pumped through the heart and is carried by arteries to other parts of the body. These arteries carry oxygenated blood.
When these arteries due to various reasons become narrow, it becomes difficult for the heart to pump the blood through arteries which leads to cardiovascular diseases.
Therefore, the narrower the arteries, the higher the blood pressure or hypertension.
Moreover, the blood flow is also affected due to narrow arteries, according to The National Institute.
Hypertension is very common. It not only affects people with older age but it also affects young people and in some cases can be life-threatening.
What are normal blood pressure numbers?
The normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm/Hg
The first number is called systolic pressure which shows the measurements of the upper chambers of the heart while diastolic shows the measurements of lower chambers of the heart.
Usually, people with high blood pressure or hypertension do not show any symptoms.
But even without symptoms, it can:
- Cause damage to the blood vessels
- Affect organs
- Damage the heart
- Cause damage to the brain
What Causes Hypertension?
There are a number of reasons that cause hypertension. Some of these are:
One of the most leading causes of hypertension is family history.
Most often, it is seen that people who are diagnosed with hypertension have a family history or someone from either or both of their parents suffer from hypertension.
Another cause of hypertension is increasing age.
As we age, our arteries become narrower which makes the movement of blood difficult through our body. This eventually causes hypertension.
Another major cause of hypertension is weight.
People with high body mass or weight are often diagnosed with high blood pressure because when your body mass increases, the fat lining in the arteries increases.
Due to this thinning of arteries, the movement of blood through arteries becomes difficult.
Improper or diet with excessive fats in it often leads to hypertension.
Hence, excessive consumption of fats leads to the accumulation of fats in our arteries which makes it difficult for our blood to move through them.
Physical changes also lead to hypertension.
Due to a lack of physical activities and poor diet choices, one can develop hypertension.
- Excessive use of salt or sugar
Studies suggest that excessive use of sugar and salt often leads to hypertension.
Not only does tobacco and its by-products cause hypertension but its chemical can also lead to it. This narrows, the arteries increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Diagnosis of Hypertension
Hypertension usually goes unnoticed, that is why it is called Silent Killer.
Therefore, if you have one of the above-mentioned symptoms you should regularly monitor your blood pressure at home.
Moreover, you can ask a doctor or any health care professional to measure your blood pressure.
The blood pressure measured on regular basis can also help in the diagnosis of Hypertension.
What Happens When You Have Hypertension?
Hypertension damages our health in more than many ways and it damages the most important organs of the body, therefore leading to different health conditions.
For people with high blood pressures experience damages that can happen in:
Hypertension in most cases causes problems in the functioning of the heart and leads to heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.
Thus, hypertension damages the arteries, affecting the flow of blood through our arteries and oxygen. In addition, they can cause
- Angina: chest pain
- Heart Failure: your heart is unable to pump blood and oxygen
- Heart Attack: a blockage in one or more arteries or chambers of the heart
- Hypertensive Crisis: This is a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to stroke and damage blood vessels.
When our arteries become narrow, then they affect the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain. Hence, this can cause a stroke.
Due to this, the brain cells die because they do not get enough oxygen.
People who have diabetes and blood pressure are more likely to have chronic kidney diseases than those without any of these conditions.
Blocked or narrow arteries can often lead to the symptoms of dementia.
This syndrome affects the metabolism of the body resulting in an increase in weight size and varying levels of cholesterol.
Type of hypertension
There are two known causes of hypertension. Both have them have their own cause to occur.
Primary hypertension is also known as essential hypertension, develops usually over time and has no identifiable cause. Many people have this type of high blood pressure.
However, many researchers are still unclear about the causes of this blood pressure’s slow increase.
Though there are various factors that may contribute to primary hypertension.
- Physical changes
Secondary type of hypertension or blood pressure in adults develops at a faster pace as compared to primary hypertension. It can cause:
- kidney diseases
- heart defects
- side effects of various medications
- sleep apnea
High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because it does not show any symptoms.
Many people won’t show any symptoms and may reach complications before they see any symptom, according to the National Institue.
Some of these symptoms are:
- Headache: If a person experiences severe headaches, he or she should get their blood pressure checked and monitor regularly.
- Shortness of breath: Sometimes shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing is also the result of hypertension.
- Nosebleeds: Narrowing of arteries and blood vessels leads to hypertension. If a person experiences a number of nosebleeds, he or she should consult the doctor.
- Visual changes: More often, hypertension affects the eyesight. Therefore you may witness a few changes in your vision if you have high blood pressure.
The best way to know whether a person suffers from hypertension or not, he or she should monitor the blood pressure at home regularly.
Therefore, if you are well aware of your family history of conditions like hypertension or any heart disease, you should take extra precautionary measures.
Hence, in such a case, regular appointments with the doctor should be made to keep the blood pressure and its symptoms under check.
Treatment of Hypertension
As suggested by doctors, a change in lifestyle can help you control and manage the symptoms of hypertension.
These lifestyle changes are:
- Regular exercise
- Eating a healthy diet
- Avoiding excess sugar and salt
- Avoiding food with excess fats
- Quit smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Sometimes, lifestyle changes are not enough. Certain medications are also necessary to control hypertension.
These medications are:
These are called water pills that help to eliminate sodium and excess water from the body.
The side effect of this medication is excess urination that could lead to low potassium levels.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These medications such as zestril, lotensin, captopril help relax the blood vessels by blocking the formation of chemicals that lead to the narrowing of arteries.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
These medications relax the blood vessels by blocking the action of narrowing of arteries. These include Atacand, Losartan and Cozaar.
Alpha-Blockers block the nerve signals to blood vessels that lower the effects of chemicals that narrow the arteries. This in turn lowers the blood pressure. These medications are, Cardura and Parzosin.
Alpha Beta-Blockers slow down the heartbeat to reduce the amount of blood being pumped by the heart. The medicines include Coreg and Atenolol.
They help with the workload of the heart and widen the blood vessels. These medicines are Acebutolol and Tenormin.
Remedies to Treat High Blood Pressure
Lifestyle changes can help you maintain normal blood pressure. It can also help you manage the symptoms of high blood pressure.
Thus if you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits, you can make a drastic change in your health and blood pressure.
These remedies are:
A food that contains whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean meat can often help to maintain a normal blood pressure
- Decreasing salt in the diet
Most often, decreasing salt in the diet also helps you to maintain the symptoms of hypertension. It not only means that you stop adding salt but also keep in check the amount of salt in processed food.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important if you want to avoid the symptoms of hypertension.
Therefore, if a person is overweight, he or she should try and reduce their weight.
- Increase in physical activity
Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce your blood pressure. One should aim for a 30-minute walk for 5 days a week and establish a 30-minute exercise routine.
Tobacco causes injury to the blood vessels. Thereby increasing blood pressure.
Hence, you must take measures to quit smoking or stop consuming tobacco products.
- Practice relaxation and breathing techniques
Stress also leads to hypertension.
Therefore, some researchers suggest that practicing relaxation techniques and calming oneself down often helps to reduce blood pressure.
According to the National Institute of health, blood pressure is common in adults and can lead to various health conditions.
It is never too late to change effective changes to your lifestyle. If a person is well aware of the causes of hypertension, his or her family history related to hypertension and heart-related diseases, they should take immediate and effective steps to avoid any inconvenience in the future.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a healthy weight, decreasing the amount of salt and sugar in food, and maintaining a healthy weight can help you manage the symptoms.
If in any case, one or more of the symptoms are present, take your prescribed medication properly and make necessary life changes to avoid any further complications.
Additionally, do get your heart-related problems checked by the doctor so that you can avoid any problems that may lead to brain or kidney diseases.
Keep a check on your blood pressure levels by monitoring them at home and making regular appointments with the doctor.
If you notice any symptoms of High Blood Pressure, drop by REPC Dubai to get yourself checked. Our doctors will prescribe you medicines that you can continue to maintain normal blood pressure.