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22Aug

HYPERTENSION - KNOW IT THE BETTER WAY

By Jehangir Hospital

Blog Title

Hypertension (or high blood pressure or BP) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against the walls of our blood vessels eventually leads to ailments such as heart problems. There are two ways to determine blood pressure: one, by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the second the amount of resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels. The relationship between blood pressure and heart disease risk has been established in men and women of all ages, regardless of cultural, social or economic boundaries.

The body produces a surge of hormones when one is in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase the blood pressure by causing the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to narrow. There's no proof that stress by itself causes long-term high blood pressure. Anxiety doesn't cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). But repeated episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes the blood pressure. If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to the blood vessels, heart and kidneys, and can develop into chronic high blood pressure.

Acute causes of high blood pressure include stress, but it can happen on its own, or it can result from an underlying condition, such as kidney disease. Unmanaged hypertension can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other problems. Lifestyle factors are the best way to address high blood pressure

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected and there are many ways to control it. Most of the people who have high blood pressure will present with no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. The symptoms of high blood pressure aren't specific and usually don't occur until high BP reaches life-threatening stage.

There are two types of high blood pressure- Primary Hypertension and Secondary Hypertension.

  • Primary Hypertension develops gradually over many years and there is no defined cause of high blood pressure in this case. Most adults with sedentary lifestyle will have primary hypertension some day in lifetime.
  • Secondary hypertension is the type of high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. People with kidney problems, fatty liver, thyroid problems, alcohol abuse, tumors or sleep apnea may develop secondary hypertension.

High blood pressure has many risk factors, including:

  • Stress
  • As you age the risk of high blood pressure will increase. Men are likely to develop high blood pressure at the age of 45 while women may develop high blood pressure after the age of 65.
  • High blood pressure tends to run in families.
  • Keep a close eye on your weight. If you weigh more than necessary, your heart needs to pump more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. as a result, the blood pressure on your vessels will increase, putting pressure on artery walls.
  • Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
  • The chemicals in tobacco damage the lining of blood vessel walls resulting in rise of blood pressure. The arteries are narrowed eventually increasing the blood pressure.
  • Too much sodium/salt in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
  • Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells. If you don't get enough potassium in your diet or retain enough potassium, you may accumulate too much sodium in your blood.
  • Vitamin D may affect an enzyme produced by your kidneys that affects your blood pressure.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack/myocardial infarction or stroke.
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys.
  • Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Trouble with memory or understanding

Recommended Lifestyle Modifications

  • Eating a healthier diet with less salt
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you're overweight or obese
  • Consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (e.g. at least five portions per day)
  • Avoid or reduce processed, deep fried, junk and unhealthy foods

Remedies

  • Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing
  • Control blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Take your medications properly
  • Adopt healthy habits.
  • Manage stress
Post

Author: Jehangir Hospital



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