High Blood Pressure - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, is a condition in which your blood pressure remains elevated than normal. Blood pressure is a force that the circulating blood exerts on the arteries- the major blood vessels of the body. 


The normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm of Hg. If your blood pressure reads as 140/90 mm of Hg repeatedly, it indicates that you are hypertensive. If you check it at home, you must consult with a physician soon. So, they prescribe you the right medications on time. It is because hypertension not only increases the risk of cardiac disorders but also puts you at risk of kidney and brain diseases. 



Understanding the normal function of the heart


Your heart has four chambers, and two sides. The left side and the right side. The right side of the heart pumps blood to your lungs to receive oxygen, while the left side of your heart receives that blood from the lungs and pumps it to the whole body. 


The heart does all this work in two phases. First, the chambers of the heart relax to fill the blood known as diastole. Then, the heart contracts to eject the blood-filled in the chambers, the phase is known as systole.



Symptoms of hypertension 


Generally, hypertensive people do not have any such symptoms. Therefore, it is often referred to as a silent killer. One may not know about it for even years. However, in some cases, it may show the following symptoms. 


  • A very fast heartbeat (Tachycardia)

  • Chest pain

  • Sweating 

  • Anxiety 

  • Difficulty sleeping 

  • Blushing 


Risk factors 


The following factors can increase the chances of hypertension.


  • Positive family history

  • Smoking 

  • High cholesterol levels in the blood

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Age (greater for men over 45 years and women over 55 years)


Management of hypertension

Hypertension can be managed by practicing the following measures. 


Smoking cessation

Smoking leads to the hardening of arteries, which in turn can lead to increased pressure that the blood pulls against your blood vessels, leading to increased blood pressure. 


Blood pressure monitoring

If you are above the age of 45, you should get your blood pressure checked frequently. So, you can keep an eye on it. 


Having a diet with low cholesterol levels

Consuming a diet rich in cholesterol can lead to hypercholesteremia. The excess cholesterol deposits inside the arteries, hindering the normal blood flow, eventually leading to hypertension. 


Exercising regularly

Regular exercise helps maintain blood flow and prevents the clogging of arteries. Moreover, it strengthens your heart leading to normalized blood pressure.


Maintaining a healthy weight

You must lose weight if you are overweight according to your body mass index. Shedding some of your pounds may help normalize your blood pressure. However, losing weight can not be substituted with medications. If your healthcare provider has prescribed you medications to lower blood pressure, make sure you take them on time. 


Consuming fewer sugars 

Consuming a few sugars and monitoring blood sugar levels for diabetes prevention is also a measure that can protect you from hypertension. It is because diabetes raises the chances of hypertension. Therefore, preventing one can lower the risk of another. 


Taking measures to avoid mental stress

Stress can raise blood pressure. Therefore, you must try stress-relieving exercises like yoga or meditation to lower daily life stresses. Keep yourself calm and think positively. Undue mental stress is not good for your health in any way. 



Low salt diet

If you are hypertensive or at risk of it, you must consume a diet that is low in sodium. Especially try to cut down raw salt intake in your diet. 



Complications 


High blood pressure, when left untreated, can lead to serious life-threatening complications like;


  • Atherosclerosis 

  • Kidney failure 

  • Heart failure 

  • Stroke 

  • Aneurysms 

  • Hypertensive retinopathies



Conclusion 


Hypertension is a condition in which your blood pressure remains above 140/90mm of Hg. If you are diagnosed with it, you must frequently monitor your blood pressure. Also, consult with your health care provider soon. So, they can prescribe the right medications to you. Try to adopt a healthy lifestyle along with the treatment.


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