When blood pressure builds up within the arteries, this can result to health complications such as heart attack. Hypertension is a condition in which the force of the blood that is exerted against the walls of arteries is high to cause other problems. The amount of blood that is pumped by the heart as well as resistance of arterial walls are two main factors, which determine blood pressure.
Symptoms of hypertension
In many cases, people experiencing high blood pressure show no signs or symptoms and even in very high pressure levels, there may be no signs. However, some people develop signs in their early stages of hypertension and these are such as spells of dizziness, mild headaches and above normal nose bleeding. These signs are common in people who have reached severe stage of hypertension.
It is recommended that you check your blood at least once in every two years and consult your doctor for advice when you realize that you have elevated blood pressure. The earlier you begin managing your hypertension condition, they more you are likely to live with it. This condition is not curable but it can effectively be managed through changes in lifestyles, medications as well as surgical procedure needless to mention exercise of the body.
What are the causes of hypertension?
There are two forms of hypertension and these are primary or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. In most adults, blood pressure elevates with age and there is no identifiable cause for the increased pressure. This is called essential or primary hypertension. On the other hand, secondary hypertension is caused by underlying conditions.
This type of blood pressure tends to appear suddenly. It is caused by factors such as medication and health conditions. People who suffer kidney problems, adrenal gland complications like tumors and those who have defects in their blood vessels are more likely to suffer from secondary hypertension. Medications like birth control pills, decongestants and pain relievers are some of the drugs, which can also cause elevated levels of blood pressure.
Risk factors of Hypertension
There are many risk factors associated with high blood pressure and one is age. You are more likely to suffer from blood pressure as you advance in age. In early middle age, men are likely to suffer from blood pressure than women and also women are likely to develop hypertension after they pass menopause stage.
People of same family relationship or blood relationship are more vulnerable to high blood pressure and this is from the gene composition. Race is another factor which is linked to hypertension and blacks are often likely to suffer the condition than whites.
Obese and overweight are other primary conditions, which can lead to hypertension. When you have more weight, it means that more blood has to be pumped to supply your increased body mass with nutrients and oxygen. This means that the volume of blood that circulates through the vessels is high and this creates pressure on the artery walls.
Tests and Diagnosis of hypertension
Blood pressure can be measured with a pressure measuring gauge and the readings are given in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The readings have two numbers an upper and lower number. The upper number shows the measure of blood pressure within arteries when the heart beats. The lower number on the other hand, measures blood pressure in the arteries between heart beat.
Both numbers are essential in measuring blood pressure but for adults over 50, the upper or systolic reading is more important. When lower reading or diastolic blood pressure is normal and the systolic or upper reading is high, this is the common hypertension in people more than 50 years. If you suffer blood pressure, your doctor will recommend other tests such as urinalysis and blood tests. You may also be tested of your heart’s electrical activity through electrocardiogram.
Treatment of hypertension
Treatment of blood pressure will mainly depend on your overall health. Medications used in treatment of high blood pressure include Thiazide diuretics, which act on kidneys to help the body get rid of sodium and water in order to reduce the volume of blood. These are some of the first medications taken when treating high blood pressure.
When combined with Thiazide diuretics, beta blockers are an effective treatment of high blood pressure. They are designed to reduce the work load of the heart and open up blood vessels. This causes the heart to beat slower and with less force. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme – ACE inhibitors are used to help the vessels relax and this is achieved by blocking the formation of vessel narrowing chemicals that are naturally produced by the body.
Other medications are such as vasodilators, which help in reducing the narrowing of muscles and constriction of the vessel walls as a result of muscle pressure. Along with the medications, a patient will need to change lifestyle by eating healthier diet and exercising.