The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
What Is Hypertension?
What is hypertension? Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of the arteries, the main blood vessels in the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers. The first (systolic) represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is contracting or beating. The second number (diastolic) represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is resting between beats. Hypertension is diagnosed if, when measured on two different days, the systolic pressure on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic pressure on both days is ≥90 mmHg. What are the risk factors for hypertension? Modifiable risk factors include an unhealthy diet (excessive salt intake, a diet high in saturated fat and trans fats, low fruit and vegetable intake), physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and being overweight or obese. Non-modifiable risk factors include a family history of hypertension, age over 65 and comorbidities such as diabetes or kidney disease. What are the common symptoms of hypertension? Hypertension is known as the "silent killer." Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because they may not have any warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is important to measure your blood pressure regularly. If symptoms do occur, they can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heartbeat, vision changes and buzzing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, restlessness, chest pain and muscle tremors. The only way to detect hypertension is to have your blood pressure measured by a health care professional. Measuring blood pressure is quick and painless. Although anyone can measure blood pressure on their own with automatic devices, evaluation by a health care professional is important for assessing risks and related conditions. What are the complications of uncontrolled hypertension? Among other complications, hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart. Excessive pressure can harden the arteries, reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. This increased pressure and reduced blood flow can cause:
- Breast chest pain, also known as angina pectoris.
- Myocardial infarction, which occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die due to lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, which occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to other vital body organs.
- An irregular heartbeat that can lead to sudden death
- Reduce salt intake (to less than 5g per day).
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Regular physical activity.
- Avoidance of tobacco use.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Restrict the consumption of foods high in saturated fat.
- Eliminate/reduce trans fats in the diet.
- Stress reduction and management.
- Regular check of blood pressure
- Treatment of high blood pressure
- Manage other medical conditions.