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Top 5 signs of Hypertension: Its Causes & Cure

Top-5-signs-of-Hypertension--Its-Causes-&-Cure

Hypertension is a condition where blood pressure is higher than normal levels. Blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood pumped out of the heart and the amount of resistance the arteries produce towards the flow of blood. Hence the more blood the heart pumps, the narrower the arteries, and the more resistance and blood pressure. Hypertension is usually diagnosed accidentally during routine health check-ups for some other health problem. The patient does not experience any symptoms in the early stages and is only expressed when the condition gets severe. Hypertension can also lead to life-threatening diseases like heart failure, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. Extreme high blood pressure needs to be treated as an emergency.

It is always better to keep the blood pressure in check, especially for people with a family history of hypertension or other heart and kidney diseases. Hypertension not only affects the older population anymore. It is getting more common amongst the younger adults too.

Top 5 signs of hypertension

There are many signs and symptoms associated with high blood pressure. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms and signs. If left untreated for a long time, extreme hypertension may lead to brain damage, stroke, and heart attack. It can lead to brain edema, drowsiness, and coma in rare cases.

Out of the many signs, the top 5 signs of severe hypertension are frequent headaches, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, restlessness, and blurred vision. Such signs of high blood pressure need immediate medical attention.

Read More Hypertension: A Lifestyle Disorder

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is regarded as one of the silent killers as most people do not exhibit any signs or symptoms, even when the blood pressure readings are very high. Some might experience headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, etc. But there are no specific symptoms to confirm the diagnosis unless and until the blood pressure reaches a severe stage. Some of the few symptoms experienced by hypertensive patients are:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nosebleed
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Blurring of vision
  • Chest pain and palpitations
  • Anxiety and difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating and fainting spells
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Facial flushing
  • Blood spots in eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting

How to read blood pressure?

Blood pressure or BP is measured in millimeters of mercury assigned as mm Hg. It has two numbers, of which the top number is called systolic pressure. It indicates the pressure in the arteries during a heartbeat. The lower number is called diastolic pressure. Diastolic pressure indicates the pressure in the arteries between two heartbeats.

Once detected, a proper treatment plan and dietary measures can keep the blood pressure in check. However, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases with increasing age. Hence it is better to regularly monitor the blood pressure every year once a person reaches their 20s.

Suppose a person is at risk of developing high blood pressure or is already a hypertensive patient, then it is better to get a personal blood pressure machine and regularly monitor themselves.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

There are no definitive causative factors for hypertension. Some of the factors contributing to high blood pressure are:

  • Family history of hypertension
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive intake of salt in the diet
  • History of smoking and drug abuse
  • Excessive mental stress

Other medical conditions that can cause high blood pressure are:

  • Aldosteronism: It is a condition where there is excessive secretion of the hormone aldosterone. It disrupts the balance of sodium, potassium, and water in the blood, which leads to high blood pressure.
  • End-stage renal disease: It is a condition where the kidneys lose their functioning capacity, leading to fluid retention in the body. This condition leads to high blood pressure.
  • Thyroid disease: When the thyroid gland does not function properly, it can cause an imbalance of thyroid hormones and metabolism.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea: It is a condition where breathing stops suddenly and starts again during sleep.
  • Certain medications also can cause high blood pressure.

Read More All about hypertension!!

Different types of hypertension

Primary or essential hypertension

This type of hypertension develops over the years gradually as a person ages, and there is no identifiable cause for high blood pressure.

Secondary hypertension

This type of hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition. Many medical conditions and certain medications may lead to secondary hypertension.

Risk factors

Some of the risk factors for hypertension are:

  • Age: The risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age. Hypertension is found more commonly in men than women and around the age of sixties.
  • Family history: Hypertension is more common in people with a family history of high blood pressure.
  • Obesity is one of the most upcoming common risk factors for hypertension.
  • Lack of physical activity increases the risk of obesity and high cholesterol. In addition, these factors contribute to high blood pressure as the fat gets deposited in the arterial walls and leads to narrowing of the arteries and hence high resistance to the blood flow.
  • Tobacco chewing and smoking are severe risk factors for hypertension as they not only raise the blood pressure but also damage the arterial walls. They also cause the formation of plaques in the arteries and narrowing of the arterial lumen. Not only smoking personally, but second-hand smoking also can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Alcoholism also affects the heart, leading to hypertension and heart damage. Drinking too much alcoholic drinks over a period of time can damage the heart.
  • A high sodium diet and food can lead to edema and fluid retention leading to high blood pressure.
  • A low potassium diet or loss of potassium can increase sodium levels in the blood. Usually, potassium helps to balance the sodium levels in the blood. A proper balance between the levels of potassium and sodium is essential for a healthy heart.
  • High levels of mental stress can lead to an increase in blood pressure. In addition, long-term stress leads to many unhealthy habits such as binge eating, smoking, and addiction to alcohol. These habits further increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Certain chronic illnesses also lead to high blood pressure, especially diseases of kidneys, diabetes, etc.
  • In some women, pregnancy can cause high blood pressure due to the strain on the heart and fluid retention.
  • An unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits, along with a sedentary life, can lead to high blood pressure in anyone despite their age.

Complications

The excessive strain on the heart and the excessive pressure on the arterial walls may damage the lining of the arteries and many vital organs in the body. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the damage. If hypertension is left untreated or not managed properly, it can affect various organs and lead to many complications. Some of the complications are:

  • Hypertension may lead to hardening and thickening of the arteries due to the deposit of atheromatous plaques in the arteries. This condition can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
  • High blood pressure puts a lot of strain on the heart. This leads to hypertrophy of ventricular walls and heart failure.
  • Hypertensive retinopathy is a condition where the eyes’ blood vessels get thickened, narrowed, or torn, leading to loss of vision.
  • Metabolic syndrome is characterized by obesity, high triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high insulin levels in the blood. This syndrome leads to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Vascular dementia is due to an inadequate supply of blood to the brain due to the narrowing of arterial walls. Lack of proper blood flow and lower levels of oxygen supply to the brain can lead to a lack of concentration and memory loss.

Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured by a sphygmomanometer or BP machine. Nowadays, convenient and user-friendly BP machines are available for easy use and regular personal monitoring. Blood pressure can be categorized according to the levels of measurement. They are:

  • Normal blood pressure: blood pressure measuring less than or equal to 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic)mm of Hg
  • Elevated blood pressure: from 120 to 130 (systolic)/80 (diastolic)
  • Stage 1 hypertension: from 130 to 140 (systolic)/80 to 90(diastolic)
  • Stage 2 hypertension: from 140 or higher (systolic)/90 (diastolic)
  • Extreme hypertension: blood pressure higher than 180 (systolic)/120 (diastolic)

Other diagnostic procedures are:

  • An ECG: to measure the heart rate and rhythm.
  • An echocardiogram: to check for any abnormality in the valves, blockage, and the rate of blood flow.
  • And a routine blood test.

Keep track of your blood pressure

Blood pressure can be elusive to diagnose as it keeps fluctuating due to various factors. To confirm and diagnose hypertension, regular blood pressure monitoring is needed. The blood pressure should be measured twice daily in the morning and evening to get accurate readings.

Management of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension can be managed by specific changes in lifestyle and diet along with medications as prescribed by a physician. Some of such modifications are:

  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Regular physical activity and exercise
  • Manage stress by following relaxing techniques like yoga and meditation
  • Reduce the body weight and manage a healthy weight
  • Follow the medications as per the doctor’s advice regularly

Homeopathic treatment for hypertension

High blood pressure itself is a symptom of an underlying health problem most of the time. Homoeopathic treatment takes the subjective signs and the specific symptoms of an individual in treating a person. There are many best homoeopathic medicines for hypertension. When the problem is identified early, it can be safely treated and maintained with homeopathic medicine. If the blood pressure is too high, there are many homeopathic medicines and homeopathic mother tinctures to control and maintain the levels of blood pressure. Many homeopathic products and medicines are available online. There are many reliable websites for online medicine purchases in India. Before taking any homeopathic treatment, consult a registered homeopathic physician since homoeopathic medicines are unique, and the same medicine may not be suitable for different individuals.

Conclusion

Hypertension is one of the common health problems affecting a majority of the population. Lifestyle and hereditary factors mostly cause hypertension. The normal blood pressure is 120/80. Any value between 120 and 140 is called a pre-hypertensive stage that can be controlled and treated with proper medication along with various lifestyle changes such as exercise, reducing the salt intake, quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, eating vegetables, etc. High blood pressure can lead to many serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, etc., if left untreated. When the blood pressure increases beyond 150/90, then the person might need immediate medical attention. Always talk to a specialist for proper advice and treatment plan for managing high blood pressure.

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