Hypertension or high blood pressure is the condition in which the blood pressure against the arteries is persistently elevated.
Blood pressure is represented as Systolic, the upper number (Maximum number) & diastolic, the lower number (Minimum number), Eg (x/y).
The normal resting BP is adults in the range 100-300/60-80 mmHg, however in the presence of high blood pressure, the resting BP in an adult, is in the range 130/80 or 140/90 mmHg.
Hypertension can be of two types:
- Primary or essential, due to lifestyle or genetic factors, & is an occurrence in 90% of the cases.
- Secondary, due to presence of certain underlying conditions or diseases.
CLASSIFICATION OF BP RANGE IN ADULTS
|Category||Systolic (mmHg)||Diastolic (mmHg)|
|Hypotension||< 90||< 60|
|Normal||90 – 119
90 – 129
|60 – 79
60 – 84
|Prehypertension||120 – 129
130 – 139
|60 – 79
85 – 89
|Stage 1 Hypertension||130 – 139
140 – 159
|80 – 89
90 – 99
|Stage 2 Hypertension||> 140
160 – 179
100 – 109
|Hypertensive crisis||>= 180||>= 120|
|Isolated systolic hypertension||>= 160||90 – 110|
|Isolated diastolic hypertension||< 140||>= 90|
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF HYPERTENSION
- Pounding feeling in head & chest
- Pain in the back of the head.
CAUSES & RISK FACTORS
- In primary high blood pressure, some recognizable causes are;
- High salt diet
- Diet with heavy fats & cholesterol
- No exercise
- High consumption of alcohol
- Excessive or chain smoking/Chewing tobacco
- Lifestyle and genetic factors
- In Secondary high blood pressure, some risk factors that contribute to the condition are;
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Diabetes mellitus
- Fluctuation of the thyroid hormone
- Fluctuation of the hormone secreted by the adrenal glands
- Development of plaque in the arteries of the kidney, heart, etc.
- Intake of drugs like cocaine, meth, cannabis etc.
- Certain medications, like hypotension medications.
COMPLICATIONS ARISING OUT OF HYPERTENSION
- Coronary artery disease
- Stroke, seizure, coma & brain death
- Heart failure
- Vision loss
- Chronic kidney disease
- Hypertensive crisis, in which the BP ranges between 180/110, which can lead to organ damage.
- In pregnant women, a disorder, of high blood pressure can occur, which can lead to death of the baby & organ damage.
- Internal bleeding or hemorrhage.
- Imbalance of electrolytes in the body
- Hypertension is diagnosed on the basis of a persistently high resting blood pressure & existing physical symptoms.
- A device called sphygmomanometer is used to measure blood pressure.
- Listening to a particular artery called brachial artery through a stethoscope, for accurate inference of the blood pressure.
- ECG is done to check for any abnormality in the heart movements or the electrical signals.
- Nowadays, home kits for measuring blood pressure are available.
TREATMENT FOR HYPERTENSION
- Some medicines used for treating hypertension;
- ACE inhibitors
- ARBII inhibitors
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
- Decrease salt content in diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Lower consumption of fatty foods, in other words food that are rich in cholesterol.
- Exercise daily
- Limit alcohol consumption & smoking.
- Stress management.
- Increase intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, & HDL.
- Consumption of green tea.
- Reduce Caffeine intake
- Not get engaged in drugs like cocaine.
- Increase dietary potassium.