There are millions of adults who have hypertension. You may be one of them, but you probably don’t know it yet.
Many people suffer from hypertension without knowing it. Although this type of high blood pressure is usually harmless and symptomless, it can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
We’ll cover everything you need to know about high blood pressure in this article. We will discuss the risk factors, symptoms, and different treatments available so you can make informed health decisions going forward.
What is defined as hypertension?
Having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means that your blood vessels have more pressure than what is normal for your age, sex, and other medical conditions. Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.
There are serious consequences if high blood pressure is not treated. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and reported as two figures.
The first number represents your systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart pumps blood.
Your diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting between beats, measured in the second number.
A normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80.
There are different types of hypertension.
There are three types of hypertension, which are narrowed down to specific categories based on their causes and underlying risk factors.
There are four types:
- Primary hypertension, also known as idiopathic hypertension, is the most common form of high blood pressure. It is not related to any known cause for the condition
- Secondary hypertension is a condition in which high blood pressure is a result of another condition, such as kidney disease, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism
- Other specified hypertension. This is the least common. It may be associated with another condition or may have unknown origins
Hypertension is caused by a number of factors
- Age is the chief risk factor for hypertension, with 90% of all cases occurring in individuals over 60 years old. As you get older, your kidneys become less able to remove sodium from your blood, causing fluid retention and hypertension
- According to the NHS website, “You may be more susceptible to high blood pressure if you are of black African or black Caribbean heritage”
- Women are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure than men. This elevated risk may be due to hormone-related changes associated with menstruation and menopause
- It is probable that you will develop hypertension if it runs in your family’s history
- Obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure
- People who have diabetes are also susceptible to high blood pressure
- Steroids and certain antidepressants can cause hypertension as a result of taking certain prescription medications
- Hypertension is especially vulnerable to ongoing stress
Having hypertension diagnosed
Hypertension can usually be detected by blood pressure measurements. Your blood pressure must be 140/90 mmHg or higher to have hypertension.
Your doctor may also recommend additional tests, such as a complete blood count, urinalysis, and a blood test to rule out other potential causes of high blood pressure such as kidney disease or an underactive thyroid.
Your doctor may also recommend a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring test, in which a device continuously monitors your blood pressure for a full 24 hours. This test helps your doctor determine whether or not you have hypertension and whether your current treatment is effective.
Your doctor will advise you to adopt a healthier diet and exercise regimen if you have high blood pressure. In addition, you may be prescribed drugs to lower your blood pressure.
Hypertension is a chronic condition characterized by an elevated blood pressure
There are four ways to manage hypertension:
- Hypertension can be reduced by lowering your weight, if you are overweight
- A nutritious diet can also help lower your blood pressure, if you eat foods that are high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium
- Regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure. You should strive to get 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day
- Your doctor may suggest that you begin taking medications if your lifestyle doesn’t lower your blood pressure
Millions of people around the world are affected by a condition known as hypertension. Although most people with hypertension don’t experience any symptoms, it can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Hypertension can be effectively treated and managed with lifestyle changes and medication, which means that it is rarely symptomatic. You should see your doctor if you believe you might have high blood pressure in addition to seeking a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.