High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition when the blood pressure is at a value of 130/80 mmHg or more. This condition can be dangerous because the heart is forced to pump blood harder throughout the body. This condition also can cause various diseases such as kidney failure, stroke, and heart failure.

High Blood Pressure - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is divided into 2, systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart pumps blood throughout the body, while diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart muscle relaxes before returning to pump blood. According to the Association of Heart Doctors (AHA) in the United States in 2017, blood pressure was classified as follows:

  • Normal: below 120/80 mmHg
  • Increases: ranges from 120-129 for systolic pressure and <80 mmHg for diastolic pressure
  • Hypertension level 1: 130/80 mmHg to 139/89 mmHg
  • Level 2: 140/90 or higher

High Blood Pressure Causes

One of the primary causes is related to your body producing too much insulin and leptin in response to a high-carbohydrate and processed food diet. This disease is divided into two, primary and secondary hypertension. The primary causes are not known and usually is associated with a genetic history derived from families. While the secondary is generally caused by various conditions such as:

  • Kidney illness
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid gland disease
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Congenital abnormalities in blood vessels
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • Respiratory disorders that occur during sleep
  • Consumption of certain drugs such as febrifuge, pain relief, cold cough medicine, or birth control pills

Most of the sufferers suffer from primary type with no known cause. Some risk factors are:

  • AgeAs you get older, the risk of developing this disease gets bigger. This condition in men generally occurs at the age of 45 years, whereas in women it usually occurs over the age of 65 years
  • Genetic. This disease is susceptible to people from families who have a history of this condition
  • Obesity. It causes nutrients and oxygen to flow into cells through blood vessels also increases. This results in increased pressure in the blood vessels and heart
  • Eating too much salt or too little food containing potassiumThis can lead to high sodium in the blood. So, the fluid is retained and increases the pressure in the blood vessels
  • Lack of physical activity and exerciseThis situation can lead to increased heart rate, so the heart must work harder to pump blood
  • SmokeChemicals in cigarettes can make blood vessels narrow which results in increased pressure in the blood vessels and heart
High Blood Pressure - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

High blood pressure can be said to be a dangerous disease because it can occur without symptoms. It can be diagnosed when complications arise. The symptoms can occur when blood pressure is very high. The following are common symptoms that may be caused include:

  • A headache
  • Limp
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Hard to breathe
  • Arrhythmia
  • The presence of blood in the urine

Treatment

If you are positive for this disease, undergoing a healthy lifestyle and consumption of antihypertensive drugs can be an effective step to overcome this condition. The value of blood pressure and the risk of patient developing complications such as heart attacks and strokes will determine the treatment. In general, there are 2 principles for treating this disease.

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High Blood Pressure - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Lifestyle Changes

Changing your lifestyle to be healthier can reduce blood pressure in a few weeks. The healthy lifestyles that need to be living are:

  • Adopt a DASH diet. It is a diet that consumes more fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, wheat, and nuts than red meat that contain saturated fat and high cholesterol
  • Reduce consumption of salt to less than one teaspoon per day
  • Expand physical activity and exercise regularly
  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid or reduce consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Take relaxation therapy such as yoga or meditation to control stress

Use Medicines

In some cases, people with this disease must take medication for life. However, doctors can reduce the dose or stop treatment if the patient’s blood pressure is controlled by changing lifestyles. It is important for the patient to take the prescribed medication and tell the doctor if any side effects appear. Some drugs used to treat this disease include:

  • Diuretics. This drug works to remove excess salt and fluid in the body through urine. Among the types of diuretic drugs are hydrochlorothiazide
  • Calcium antagonists. This drug reduces blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. Some examples of these drugs are amlodipine and nifedipine
  • Beta-blocker. It serves to lower blood pressure by dilating the vessels and slowing the heart rate. The examples of beta-blocker drugs are atenolol and bisoprolol
  • ACE inhibitors. It reduces blood pressure by making the vessel wall relax more. The examples of these drugs are captopril and Ramipril
  • Angiotensin-2 receptor blocker (ARB). The function of this drug is almost the same as ACE inhibitors which make the blood vessel wall relax. Examples of these drugs are losartan and valsartan
  • Renin-inhibitors. It is to inhibit the work of renin, an enzyme produced by the kidneys and functions to increase blood pressure. Examples of renin inhibitors are aliskiren