Hypertension

Hypertension

Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure. Force of the blood, pumped from heart to other parts of the body, against the walls of arteries is called blood pressure.

  • Blood pressure is normal when blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mmHg most of the time
  • blood pressure is said to be high blood pressure (hypertension) when blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or above most of the time
  • When blood pressure numbers are in between 120/80 to 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension The top number indicates systolic blood pressure and bottom number indicates diastolic pressure.  One or both of these numbers can be too high.

Causes:

There are many factors which can affect high blood pressure

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  • Amount of salt and water in the body
  • Condition of kidneys, nervous system or blood vessels
  • Levels of hormones in the body
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Stresses/anxiety
  • Lifestyle:
    • High alcohol consumption
    • High salt intake
    • Family history of high blood pressure
    • Smoking

Based on the cause, hypertension can be essential/ primary hypertension or secondary hypertension. Essentia/prmary hypertension is the high blood pressure that has no identifiable cause. Secondary hypertension is the hypertension caused due to other medical conditions or medications like

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Disorders of the adrenal gland
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications such as birth control pills, diet pills, some cold medications, and migraine medications
  • Narrowed artery that supplies blood to the kidney
  • Hyperparathyroidism

Symptoms

The most dangerous aspect of hypertension is that there are no specific symptoms for hypertension to get diagnosed. As there are no symptoms people eventually develop heart and kidney related diseases. When blood pressure is extremely high certain symptoms are significant and this condition is called malignant hypertension. Following are the symptoms

  • Severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Nose bleeds

Ref: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000468.htm

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