High Blood Pressure or Hypertension
High blood pressure or hypertension can cause several significant issues if not treated. It could happen to anyone without any visible symptoms. The best practice to see if you have high blood pressure is through frequent checkups at your home or a clinic. High blood pressure causes serious harm by making the blood vessels and heart work harder and less efficiently. Moreover, the force of high blood pressure damages the delicate tissues present in the arteries.
What are the Typical Causes of Hypertension?
Hypertension happens with age and more than half of people above 60 years of age have it. Besides age, there are a few reasons that cause it to happen early. Blood pressure is controlled by many different organs, such as veins, arteries, heart, brain, and kidneys. Hypertension is characterized as either primary or secondary. Most people have primary hypertension related to age and genetic factors. Some people may have a secondary level, which is caused by the following factors:
- High-Stress Levels
- Lack of Exercises
- Excess Salt & Alcohol
- Obesity& OSA(Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
- Illegal Drugs & Medications
Know Your Numbers
- Normal: the systolic pressure is < 120 and diastolic < 80
- Elevated: the systolic pressure is between 120-129, diastolic < 80
- Stage 1:the systolic pressure is between 130-139, or diastolic between 80-89
- Stage 2:the systolic pressure is >= 140 or diastolic >= 90
- Crisis: the systolic pressure is > 180 and/or diastolic > 120
Common Symptoms of Hypertension
Usually, there are no visible symptoms of hypertension. However, the following are some of them:
- Head pounding, fatigue, headache, and blurry vision are common symptoms.
- Hearing of heartbeats in the ear
- Irregular heartbeats, symptoms of heart strokes, failure, and even a heart attack.
How to treat Hypertension?
Treatment of hypertension begins with lifestyle changes that reduce your blood pressure and risk of heart diseases. Additionally, you may consider the following practices:
1. Regular Exercises
It is recommended that all people, especially those with hypertension, should do at least 2.5hours of aerobic exercises per week with moderate-intensity, or 1.25 hours of high-intensity exercise. Jogging, swimming, cycling, or walking are some examples of appropriate activities.
2. Stress Management
Steam baths, yoga, and meditation are relaxation methods that can help alleviate stress. Moreover, it would be best for people to avoid consuming tobacco, recreational drugs, junk food, and alcohol to reduce stress levels, as these things aid in increasing blood pressure, which can further lead to hypertension. Furthermore, smoking a cigarette also contributes to high blood pressure. Hence, quitting or avoiding smoking lessens the severe heart conditions, risk of hypertension, and other health issues.
Specific medications are available through which hypertension can be treated. At first, doctors often prescribe a low dose. Eventually, people with hypertension might have to combine two or more medicines for blood pressure management. Medications for hypertension include:
- Alpha & Beta-blockers
- Calcium-channel Blockers
- Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitor
- ACE Inhibitors
4. Less Salt Intake
The average salt intake in most countries is between 9-12 gms/day. However, WHO recommends to reduce it to below 5 gms/day for decreasing the possibility of hypertension and related issues. Low salt intake is beneficial for people both with and without hypertension.
5. More Veggies & Fruits and Less Fat
People with high blood pressure should not eat fatty food, hydrogenated oils, large portions, and animal fats. The following is what experts recommend:
- High Fiber & Whole Grain Foods
- A variety of Fruits and Vegetables
- Nuts, Pulses, Beans
- Fish rich in omega-3
- Olive Oil
- Skinless Poultry products
- Low-fat dairy
Anurag works as a Marketing Head for Wisdom Policy, a leading online insurance provider in India. His passion for marketing is never-ending, and his contributions so far are unmatched.