Hypertension: Definition, Types, and Management
Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a common medical condition in which the pressure of the blood against the walls of arteries is consistently elevated. This condition can cause damage to the blood vessels and organs over time, and increase the risk of various health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
It is typically diagnosed when a person’s blood pressure reading is consistently higher than 140/90 mmHg. The diagnosis can be confirmed through repeated readings taken over time.
In this blog, we will talk about hypertension, its type and tips to manage it.
Types of Hypertension
There are two types of hypertension: primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension.
- Primary Hypertension: This type of hypertension develops gradually over time, without a known cause. It affects most people with high blood pressure, and risk factors include age, family history, obesity, lack of physical activity, and a diet high in salt and saturated fat.
- Secondary Hypertension: This type of hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as kidney disease, hormonal imbalances, or certain medications.
Symptoms of Severe High Blood Pressure
The condition doesn’t usually have symptoms. If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain signs to watch out for, including:
- Severe headaches
- Blood in the urine
- Irregular heartbeat
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Pounding in your neck, ears, or chest
Causes & Risk Factors
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but there are some factors that can lead to high blood pressure which include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much salt in the diet
- Lack of Vitamin D
- Too much alcohol consumption
- Older age
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
Managing high blood pressure is essential to prevent long-term health problems. The following are some ways to manage high blood pressure:
- Lifestyle changes: this includes losing weight, increasing physical activity, and reducing salt intake.
- Medications: there are several medications available to lower blood pressure, including diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers.
- Monitoring: Regular blood pressure monitoring at home or in a healthcare setting is important to track progress and ensure that the treatment plan works.
- Stress management: high levels of stress can raise blood pressure, so finding healthy ways to manage stress such as exercise, meditation, and deep breathing can help.
- Healthy diet: following a diet that is low in salt and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to lower blood pressure.
- Quit smoking: smoking can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Limit alcohol intake: excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure, so it is recommended to limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.