Everything you need to know about blood pressure | (Hypertension)

What is high blood pressure? Or

What is hypertension?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.

The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

The Blood Pressure Reading

Your blood pressure reading is written as 120/80.

It is spoken like this: “120 over 80.”

The systolic blood pressure reading is the higher number.

The diastolic blood pressure reading is the lower number.

The units are milli meters of mercury (mmHg).

It has two number of blood pressure.

What does systolic blood pressure means?

When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on those blood vessels, and that’s your systolic blood pressure

What does diastolic blood pressure means?

The diastolic reading, or the bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen.

Five categories define blood pressure readings for adults:

Healthy:A healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Elevated:The systolic number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. Doctors usually don’t treat elevated blood pressure with medication. Instead, your doctor may encourage lifestyle changes to help lower your numbers.

Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.

Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.

Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. Blood pressure in this range requires urgent medical attention. If any symptoms such as chest pain, headache, shortness of breath, or visual changes occur when blood pressure is this high, medical care in the emergency room is needed.

Symptoms of high blood pressure (hypertension)

One of the most dangerous things about hypertension — or high blood pressure — is that you may not know you have it. In fact, nearly one-third of people who have high blood pressure don’t know it. That’s because high blood pressure doesn’t have any symptoms unless it’s very severe. The best way to know if your blood pressure is high is through regular checkups. You can also monitor blood pressure at home. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:

Severe headaches

Nosebleed

Fatigue or confusion

Vision problems

Chest pain

Difficulty breathing

Irregular heartbeat

You might be more at risk if you are.

Overweight

eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables

do not do enough exercise

drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)

smoke

do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep

over 65

have a relative with high blood pressure

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high

Causes of high blood pressure

In about 1 in 20 cases, high blood pressure happens as the result of an underlying health condition or taking a certain medicine.Health conditions that can cause high blood pressure include:Kidney disease

Diabetes

Long-term kidney infections

Obstructive sleep apnoea – where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing

Glomerulonephritis – damage to the tiny filters inside the kidneys

Narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys

Hormone problems – such as an underactive thyroid, an overactive thyroid, Cushing’s syndrome,  increased levels of the hormone aldosterone (hyperaldosteronism), and phaeochromocytoma

Management of Hypertension.

Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension.

Developing a healthy diet

A heart-healthy diet is vital for helping to reduce high blood pressure. It’s also important for managing hypertension that is under control and reducing the risk of complications. These complications include heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.

A heart-healthy diet emphasizes foods that include.

fruits

vegetables

whole grains

lean proteins like fish

Increasing physical activity

Reaching a healthy weight should include being more physically active. In addition to helping you shed pounds, exercise can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure naturally, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Aim to get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.

That’s about 30 minutes five times per week.

Reaching a healthy weight

If you are overweight or obese, losing weight through a heart-healthy diet and increased physical activity can help lower your blood pressure.

Managing stress

Exercise is a great way to manage stress. Other activities can also be helpful. These include:

meditation

deep breathing

massage

muscle relaxation

yoga

These are all proven stress-reducing techniques. Getting adequate sleep can also help reduce stress levels.

Adopting a cleaner lifestyle

If you’re a smoker, try to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the body’s tissues and harden blood vessel walls.

If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.

Some of the medications used to treat hypertension.

Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers make your heart beat slower and with less force. This reduces the amount of blood pumped through your arteries with each beat, which lowers blood pressure. It also blocks certain hormones in your body that can raise your blood pressure.

Diuretics: High sodium levels and excess fluid in your body can increase blood pressure. Diuretics, also called water pills, help your kidneys remove excess sodium from your body. As the sodium leaves, extra fluid in your bloodstream moves into your urine, which helps lower your blood pressure.

ACE inhibitors: Angiotensin is a chemical that causes blood vessels and artery walls to tighten and narrow. ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors prevent the body from producing as much of this chemical. This helps blood vessels relax and reduces blood pressure.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): While ACE inhibitors aim to stop the creation of angiotensin, ARBs block angiotensin from binding with receptors. Without the chemical, blood vessels won’t tighten. That helps relax vessels and lower blood pressure.

Calcium channel blockers: These medications block some of the calcium from entering the cardiac muscles of your heart. This leads to less forceful heartbeats and a lower blood pressure. These medicines also work in the blood vessels, causing them to relax and further lowering blood pressure.

Alpha-2 agonists: This type of medication changes the nerve impulses that cause blood vessels to tighten. This helps blood vessels to relax, which reduces blood pressure.

High blood pressure complications during pregnancy.

Complications from high blood pressure for the mother and infant can include the following:

For the mother: preeclampsiaexternal icon, eclampsiaexternal icon, stroke, the need for labor induction (giving medicine to start labor to give birth), and placental abruption (the placenta separating from the wall of the uterus).

For the baby: preterm delivery (birth that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and low birth weight (when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces). The mother’s high blood pressure makes it more difficult for the baby to get enough oxygen and nutrients to grow, so the mother may have to deliver the baby early.

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