High blood pressure, or hypertension, is related to a higher rate of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral circulatory problems, kidney disease, diabetes, vascular dementia, aneurysms, and even some cancers. The effective identification of this condition is essential for maintaining optimum health, and when spotted early, a hypertensive crisis can be averted.
Almost one in three adults in the US have increased blood pressure and only about half know about it and are doing anything about it. As cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the United States and around the world, and elevated blood pressure is one of the chief factors, it is extremely important that people get themselves checked out regularly.
High blood pressure symptoms include headaches and vomiting. As these are related to any number of illnesses, it is impossible to deduce whether you have high blood pressure from your symptoms. The lack of high blood pressure symptoms makes the condition a “silent killer”. The only way for people with high blood pressure to get a secure diagnosis is by getting a qualified medical professional to measure your blood pressure readings.
Blood pressure is easily and painlessly measured, so don’t worry. The doctor will place an inflatable cuff around your arm and pumps it up until there is enough air in it. This can feel a little strange but it is not unpleasant. The doctor then slowly releases the pressure in the cuff, watching the dial on the pressure meter while measuring your pulse with a stethoscope. This gauge measures the pressure exerted by your heart in the blood vessels of your arm. There will be a point when the dial ‘skips’ as it falls, this will give the doctor your blood pressure.
Alternatively, there are currently available machines that can do this measurement more easily and less intrusively. Slip on the cuff and it self-inflates, getting the measurement itself and presenting the results as digital information. Blood pressure is measured in “millimeters of mercury”, or mmHg, and are usually presented as one number over another, for example, 90/60 mmHg.
An ideal blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg.
Hypertension is considered to be a blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg.
There are a number of factors involved in high blood pressure, they include:
As there are few, if any, high blood pressure symptoms, being diagnosed is the first step. The next step is to treat it.
There is a wide range of treatments available for hypertension, most of them related to the amount of exercise an individual does, their diet, their habits like alcohol and smoking, and their weight.
Lifestyle changes such as weight loss can make a big difference over the long term. By cutting down or reducing any of the factors above a person can reduce their risk of hypertension-related conditions, and even get rid of high blood pressure entirely.
The medicines available for hypotension include:
Whether a patient is suitable for these blood pressure medications is up to the discretion of the physician and is not a decision made lightly. All of the drugs above have side effects, some can be worse than the effects of hypertension for some patients, so they have to be taken carefully and in full consultation with the attendant physician. A full and healthy life is possible with this condition, and it is mostly preventable.