What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?
Hypertension is the high blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the common heart diseases today.
Hypertension is a dangerous disease that has a very bad impact on human life۔ If not diagnosed and treated early hypertension can cause heath attack and death. In this article, we discuss hypertension types causes symptoms treatment.
High blood pressure is diagnosed when the B.P. recording is greater than 140/90 mm Hg. A BP of 140/90 mm Hg to 160/100 mm Hg is mild hypertension; a higher B.P. of up to 180/110 mm Hg is moderate hypertension and above that hypertension is severe.
Types of Hypertension
Secondary hypertension is diagnosed when a cause is discovered, e.g. renal (kidney) artery stenosis (narrowing), coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta, Phaeochromocytoma (hormone-producing tumor of the adrenal gland). All these makeup only 5% of all cases of hypertension. In the majority of cases, no cause can be found. These cases are called primary or essential hypertension.
When hypertension is very severe, it progresses rapidly and produces Organ damage and death in a short time, the term used is malignant hypertension. However, we must note that there is no such thing as benign hypertension. All types of hypertension are injurious, although malignant hypertension is a particularly severe type.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is usually known as “Silent Killer” Disease. A person usually ignores this killer disease and may not notice any symptom. If this disease remains undetected it may cause kidney failure, damage to the cardiovascular system and often leads to heart attack. So it is strongly recommended to not ignore any little symptom of hypertension and consult your doctor immediately.
Causes of Hypertension
There are certain very important associations which are so common that they may be the cause. The followings are the main causes of hypertension.
1. Familial —there may be a genetic trait for hypertension. Usually one or both parents of a hypertensive, have also had hypertension.
2. Smoking —very strong correlation.
3. Excessive alcohol intake.
Damage caused by Hypertension
The damages caused by hypertension progress with time. They are:-
1. Accelerated atherosclerosis giving:
(a) Early myocardial infarction (heart attack)
(b) Angina pectoris
(c) Cerebrovascular accident —paralytic stroke.
2. Heart failure
3. Kidney failure
4. Blindness (retinal haemorrhage)
5. Insulin resistance —diabetes mellitus
There is an association between hypertension and diabetes. It is postulated that hypertension causes the diminished response to insulin. On average hypertension may shorten life by 5-10 years.
Treatment of Hypertension
Fortunately, there are effective methods of controlling hypertension in a majority of patients. Heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure can be prevented to a large extent. However the most important and common complication, i.e. heart attack, does not seem to be influenced by control of hypertension. The following steps may control hypertension.
- Reduce salt usage in your diet
- Control alcohol use
- Make more vegetables and fruits part of your daily diet
- Try to reduce your weight
- Daily exercise
- Try to reduce stress
- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH Diet)
For drug treatment please consult your doctor.
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