Prevalence of high blood pressure is rising among people at an alarming rate. Healthcare experts have named it as a ‘silent killer’ because it does not show any significant signs & symptoms. Sedentary lifestyle and dietary factors are known to accelerate this life-threatening condition. High blood pressure can be controlled efficiently by managing daily routine habits.
What is Hypertension?
Also known as ‘high blood pressure’ (HBP), hypertension is a serious condition which occurs when flow of blood through heart becomes high enough to put strain on arteries. Uncontrolled blood pressure can adversely impact our body and result in conditions like stroke, heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases.
Medical professionals have categorized hypertension into two groups namely essential (primary) hypertension and secondary hypertension. It is difficult to say what exactly leads to the development of hypertension. However, the following factors may fuel up the risk of hypertension.
- Primary Hypertension – The enumerated factors may increase the chances of primary hypertension.
- Genetic Abnormality – In several instances, it has been observed that hypertension is caused due to genes.
- Obesity – Obesity or being overweight doubles up the risk of high blood pressure. Therefore, one should maintain a healthy weight to minimize the risk of hypertension.
- Poor Diet – Improper eating habits can also result in hypertension over a period of time. Patients who have a habit of eating salty food preparations can develop high blood pressure easily.
- Secondary Hypertension – The given factors may lead to secondary hypertension.
- Chronic kidney disorder
- Congenital heart disorders
- Thyroid problems
- Side-effect of certain medicines and drugs
- Adrenal gland disorders
- Endocrine tumors
- Taking illegal drugs like cocaine
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Habit of smoking
- Hormonal problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
In addition to this, hypertension can also occur due to stress. Men are more prone to develop high blood pressure as compared to women.
In most instances, hypertension does not show any symptoms. However, patients with a severe condition of hypertension may experience the following signs and symptoms.
- Shortness of breath
- Severe headache
- Chest pain
- Blood in the urine
- Visual changes
Patients should consult a well-experienced doctor if they experience these symptoms. Early treatment will help reduce the risk of complications in future.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Patients can visit any doctor for checking blood pressure. Doctors usually measure the blood pressure with a special instrument known as a sphygmomanometer. They will place an arm cuff and note down the readings. These days, many doctors have started using a digital device for measuring blood pressure. Blood pressure is calculated into two parts – systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
- Systolic Blood Pressure – It can be defined as the maximum rate at which the heart beats. Normal range of systolic blood pressure is 60 – 80 mm-Hg.
- Diastolic Blood Pressure – It is the minimum pressure of blood vessels when heart of the patient relaxes between beats. A normal range of diastolic blood pressure is 90 – 120 mm-Hg.
Hypertension develops when blood pressure exceeds its normal range. It is important for a patient to visit a doctor frequently for complete health check-up.
Patients should immediately take an appointment with a doctor if they experience any signs or symptoms of hypertension. The following instructions may help the patients.
- Symptoms – Patients should clearly discuss the symptoms that are bothering them. In addition to this, they should also tell the doctor if they have a family history of hypertension.
- Medicines – Patients should make a precise list of medicines and health supplements they take on a daily basis.
- Daily Routine – Patients should freely discuss regarding their daily routine and eating habits with the doctor. Also, they should not hesitate to mention if they have a habit of drinking alcohol or smoking.
Treatment options for hypertension mainly include making lifestyle changes and intake of medicines prescribed by doctors.
- Lifestyle Changes – Patients can highly benefit by making the following changes in lifestyle.
- Less Salt Intake – Patients should cut down the quantity of salt intake. Patients should ask a doctor regarding how much salt they should take on a daily basis. It will help to control high blood pressure.
- Balanced Diet – Patients should follow a diet containing fruits and vegetables. It will not only help managing blood pressure but also improve overall health.
- Physical Activity – Obesity can worsen the condition of hypertension. Therefore, patients should indulge in exercises for staying fit and controlling high blood pressure.
- Less Caffeine, Alcohol, and Smoke – Patients should quit the habit of smoking, drinking alcohol as well as beverages like tea or coffee in a large amount as they increase the blood pressure. If patients find it hard to quit these habits, they may take the help of professional therapists and get over these habits completely.
- Proper Sleeping Schedule – Patients should maintain a proper sleeping schedule. They should take a sound sleep of 6 – 8 hours daily to remain healthy.
These changes along with proper medications can help to control high blood pressure to a greater extent.
- Medications and Drugs – Surgeons may recommend the following medicines for managing hypertension.
- Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors – These medicines are helpful in widening the narrowed blood vessels and regulating normal flow of blood. Most common ACE inhibitors include enalapril (Vasotec, epaned), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), and fosinopril (Monopril).
- Calcium Channel Blockers – Calcium channel blockers can considerably help to maintain normal blood pressure. Doctors may prescribe nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia, AF Edita B CR), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Verelan).
- Angiotensin-2 Receptor Blockers (ARB) – These medications mostly include irbesartan (Avapro), valsartan Diovan), azilsartan (edarbi) and others. Just like ACE inhibitors medications, they also control blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
- Diuretics – Also known as ‘water pills’, diuretics help manage the sodium level in body. It can considerably lower the high blood pressure by flushing out excess water. Most common diuretics medications are amiloride (midamor), ethacrynate (edecrin), and metolazone (mykroz, zaroxolyn).
- Beta-Blockers – These medications are known to control hypertension by lowering the flow of blood. Some common beta blockers include zebeta, ziac (bisoprolol), coreg (carvedilol), and tenormin (atenolol).
- Renin Inhibitors – Kidneys generate an enzyme called as renin. Renin can accelerate some chemical processes that may eventually lead to hypertension. Renin inhibitors can help control these chemical processes and minimize the risk of hypertension.
Doctors will prescribe appropriate medications for hypertension depending on patient’s health status. Sometimes, these medications may cause side-effects. If patients experience any side-effects, they should visit the doctor for a better healthcare solution.
High blood pressure can strain the blood vessels and negatively affect body parts like heart, eyes, brain, and kidneys. Patients struggling with high blood pressure are at an elevated risk of developing the following medical conditions.
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Heart attacks
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Kidney disorders
- Vascular dementia
- Aortic aneurysms
Patients should keep a track of their blood pressure readings to avoid these complications.
Hypertension and Stress Management with Travcure Medical Tourism
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