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You may have someone in your family, who usually has high blood pressure or hypertension. Isn’t it interesting that our blood has pressure? Have you ever thought about what causes this pressure? Or how important is blood pressure?
In this article, we will discuss all the terms related to blood pressure like hypertension, which is the most common condition nowadays as a result of stressed work or many other reasons.
What Is High Blood Pressure/ Hypertension?
Hypertension occurs when the pressure of blood reaches unhealthy levels. Your blood pressure can be measured as how much blood passes through your blood vessels and the amount of blood resistance which it meets while the heart is pumping.
The broader the arteries, the more blood flows more easily and the narrower blood vessels make it difficult to pass the blood. Thus, resists the blood flow.
In hypertension, the blood vessels narrow and cause high blood pressure.
A normal blood pressure range is 120/80mmHg. The blood pressure above this is considered high. And the pressure is lower than this low blood pressure or hypotension.
Hypertension for a long time can cause severe heart diseases. Though medications are there to prevent symptoms the root has to be diminished.
Types Of Hypertension
Depending on the blood movement in the blood vessels, blood pressure is categorized into two parts: systolic and diastolic.
Systolic pressure:- it is the measure of your pressure in arteries when your heart beats.
Diastolic pressure:- diastolic pressure is measured by the pressure in your arteries when your heart relaxes between each beat.
You will get some idea about the stages of hypertension, from mild to severe.
|Systolic pressure (mmHg)
|Hypertension stage 1
|Hypertension stage 2
|140 or above
|90 or above
An early diagnosis is helpful in detecting the severity of the condition. The treatment includes the prescription of anti-hypertensive medicines and adopting lifestyle changes such as exercise for stress relief or by using gadgets to relieve stress, and taking foods that prevent hypertension.
However, the causes may be different for everyone. In some individuals, it happens without any particular reasons, while in some stressful lifestyles and any crisis may be the reason for it. Also, with growing age, it develops as a consequence of the weakened functions of the heart.
The following list contains the possible reasons for the causes of hypertension.
Primary hypertension is also known as “essential hypertension”. This type of hypertension may develop with time, with no such identifiable causes.
There is unclear research that causes the sudden slow increase in blood pressure. A number of factors may be involved in causing so. A few of them are as follows:-
Genes:– it may be inherited by you from your parents. Due to some genetic abnormalities or genetic mutations, inherited from your parents causes you the symptoms.
Physical changes:- sometimes the other changes in the body may interrupt the heart’s natural process. For example, any abnormalities in the kidney can result in an imbalance in body fluids and salt, which might cause hypertension.
Lifestyle:- your lifestyle and habits are the primary reason for your condition. Eating high cholesterol foods and high salt foods or processed foods may be the reason.
Secondary hypertension often occurs due to the comorbidity or as a consequence of other illnesses in the body which may include:-
- Kidney disease
- Side effects of medications
- Alcohols abuse or overconsumption
- Abuse of drugs
- Adrenal gland problems
- Thyroid problems
Any pre-disease may cause a rise in blood pressure without recognizing the symptoms.
How would you know, if you have high blood pressure?
Symptoms Of Hypertension
There is no compulsion, that everyone should feel the symptoms, as hypertension is a silent condition, and may take several years to develop noticeable symptoms.
But on a wide range, people experience some of the common causes:-
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Visual changes
- Blood in the urine
Although not all individuals experience all the symptoms, if someone encounters those symptoms they should immediately talk to their doctors.
A regular blood pressure check will be helpful in severe hypertension patients. Checkups include certain diagnosis, which helps in calculating the essential components of blood and screening of heart and kidney.
Hypertension diagnosis is not a one-time process, it has to be measured in intervals of time. As blood pressure is a highly fluctuating thing throughout the day. Like when at work, our body becomes more alert and causes the rise in blood pressure, but while relaxing it slows down. But when the raise stays most of the time, it is a matter of concern.
Certain tests are included in the diagnosis of hypertension:-
- Urine test
- ECG( electrocardiogram), which senses the heart’s electrical activity.
- Blood test
- Cholesterol screening
- Ultrasound of heart or kidney
These tests help in evaluating the secondary cause for elevated blood pressure. Your doctor will treat you on the basis of the results of those tests. No specific treatment will be advised if the reports were normal. Though, some minor changes might be asked to follow.
Treatment Of Hypertension
As we discussed the types of hypertension, the treatments differ in both cases. It depends on your diagnostic results.
Primary hypertension treatment
If you are diagnosed with primary hypertension, then most probably your doctor won’t prescribe you any medication. But the advice on changing your lifestyle and reducing your stress level may be given.
According to the condition of the patient or to convince them with treatment doctors may prescribe some low potency medicines.
Secondary hypertension treatment
If you are diagnosed with secondary hypertension, which often results as a consequence of any pre-existing illness, then the focus will be on the other disease. It may be possible that the existing condition is interfering with your blood pressure. Thus, consequently, the priority will be on the comorbidity issue.
Sometimes, even after the treatment of an existing illness, hypertension stays persistent. In such cases, your doctor may advise you to take some medications, and change your lifestyle a bit.
Medications for high blood pressure
Well, in hypertension patients go through a trial and error phase while choosing the correct combination of medicines, that will work in your case.
Some of the medications involved in treating hypertension include
Beta-blockers:- these blockers, makes your heartbeat slower and with less effort. This minimizes the amount of blood pumped through your arteries with each heartbeat. It lowers blood pressure. Beta-blockers also block the hormones that raise blood pressure.
Some common examples of beta-blockers are atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol.
Diuretics:– the excess of fluids and high sodium levels can increase the level of blood pressure. Here diuretics are given, which releases the excess of salt and fluids out of your kidney. It makes you urinate more, removing the extra fluid out through urine.
ACE inhibitors:- Angiotensin is a chemical composition that makes your blood vessels narrow and tighten. The ACE inhibitor that is an angiotensin-converting enzyme helps in controlling the secretion of this chemical more than necessary. This relaxes the blood pressure and lowers the level.
Angiotensin 2 receptor blockers( ARB’s):- while ACE focuses on resisting the formation of angiotensin, ARB’s block the angiotensin from binding it with the receptors. In absence of the chemical blood vessels won’t shrink and turn down the high blood pressure.
Calcium channel blockers:- such blocker blocks the calcium to enter the cardiac muscles. This lowers the blood flow and relaxes the high pressure.
Alpha 2 antagonist:- this medicine changes the nerve impulses that cause blood vessels to shrink. Thus, helps blood vessels to relieve and lower high blood pressure.
High blood pressure or hypertension is common among a high range of populations. But the point to understand is that not all of them have to take medicines. As hypertension varies from primary level to secondary depending on the persistency of blood pressure. What most people experience is the primary level, in which the blood pressure raises for some duration and falls off by calming yourself. While in the second case, the problems occur due to any pre-existing disease that might be causing the favorable conditions to raise the blood pressure.
By changing some lifestyle and habits you can get rid of primary symptoms but for the severe symptoms, have to take a combination of anti-hypertensive medicines.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you feel when you have high blood pressure?
People with high blood pressure may have a prominent feeling in the head or chest, followed by lightheadedness and dizziness, and few other signs. It may also be possible that people spend years without knowing of their condition. Most people don’t feel any severe symptoms of high blood pressure.
What should we do when BP is high?
High blood pressure brings a lot of other conditions which can make a loop of illnesses in your body. Hence, maintaining blood pressure is vital for us.
What you should do when bp is high:-
Lose extra weight and watch your waistline. Increased weight can increase blood pressure.
Exercise regularly:- exercise about 30 minutes regularly, it will help you in lowering blood pressure by about 5-8mmhg. Try to be consistent with your workout, or else it will rise again.
Eat a healthy diet:- eat whole grains, vegetables, and fruits and prefer low-fat dairy products. Avoid unsaturated fats and go with saturated fats and cholesterols.
Reduce sodium in your diet:- cut off your sodium intake. For this, you can avoid processed foods and use less salt in your diet than usual. Also, read the label before buying a food product and choose products with low sodium.
Limit the amount of alcohol:- consume alcohol in moderation and it will eventually lower your blood pressure.
Quit smoking:- smoking highers your blood pressure and quitting smoking will relieve your blood pressure taking it back to normal.
Cut out your caffeine:- well it’s haven’t clear whether caffeine raises blood pressure, but if you’re dealing with high blood pressure cutting out your caffeine can help you in calming down.
How can you lower your blood pressure immediately?
Well, an instant down in blood pressure can’t be achieved quickly and you have to follow a specific routine for it. For example, take limited or low salt in your diet, and exercise daily. Besides this, stress management should be done to make the exercise and diet rules worth it. In the majority of people, high blood pressure often arises as a result of a stressful lifestyle.
What causes high blood pressure?
The common causes of high blood pressure are:-
- Having someone in the family with high blood pressure
- If someone is older than 60, blood vessels become more fragile and don’t stay flexible.
- High levels of stress, like anxiety, depression, or issues.
- Eating high sodium diets
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Eating highly saturated foods
- Being physically inactive
- In women, using oral contraceptives may be the cause
- Drinking alcohol severely or moderately
Should I be worried if my blood pressure is 150 100?
Yes, you should take an immediate step, if your blood pressure rises to 150/100. Let me tell you that the ideal level of blood pressure is considered as 90/60 mg or 120/80mm Hg. High blood pressure for a long time may lead to other problems too.
What is stroke level blood pressure?
Blood pressure above 180/120 mmHg is considered stroke blood pressure. This condition is an emergency condition and requires medical treatment immediately. In the medical world, this condition is known as hypertensive crisis.
Does anxiety cause high blood pressure?
Anxiety will not cause you high blood pressure for the long term. However, episodes of anxiety may cause temporary, dramatic spikes in your blood pressure. And if those temporary dramatic spikes occur repeatedly, like daily they will cause damage to your blood vessels drastically as severe high blood pressure can. Generally, people with anxiety rely on some unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, and overeating which causes their blood pressure to rise.
When should someone go to the hospital for high blood pressure?
Generally, people with hypertension don’t need to visit the hospital often. Though, if your blood pressure is reached up to 180/120 mmHg, and you are feeling other symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, severe headache, numbness, weakness and a loss of vision, etc, you should go to the hospital as soon as possible.
What is the best drink for high blood pressure?
There are 7 amazing drinks for high blood pressure:-
- Tomato juice
- Prune juice
- Beet juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Berry juice
- Skim milk
What is the best drink for high blood pressure?
Alcohol:- you should avoid alcohol consumption as too much alcohol can raise blood pressure according to the American Heart Association.
Sugary drinks that contain caffeine and high fructose corn syrup like sodas and fruit juices. Also, avoid processed and packaged foods as well.
Does drinking a lot of water increase blood pressure?
Drinking water raises a bit of blood pressure, though the pressor effect of oral water is an essential yet unrecognized amazing factor in clinical studies of pressor agents and antihypertensive medications. The national academy of sciences says drink water while thirsty rather than drinking a specific glass of water daily. However, it’s not clear yet if water raises blood pressure. A healthy body will balance and regulate body fluids instantly.