Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious health problem which affects nearly 40 to 50 percent of the population.According to the recent analysis by World Health Organisation (WHO), the total number of people suffering from hypertension is predicted to be around 1.57 billion by the year 2025.
Blood is the fluid connective tissue, carried to all parts of our body in vessels called arteries. The arteries play a key role in providing blood (thus oxygen and energy) to all organs of the body.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the arteries. Around 75 million people have hypertension in the US and more people are dying of the hypertension-related cardiovascular disease. In the year 2011-2012, about one-third of all individuals between the age range of 20 have high blood pressure assessments and a number of people are under antihypertensive medications.
What is Hypertension?
An abnormally high blood pressure and a combination of high psychological stress are known as Hypertension.
While suffering from hypertension, the blood pressure reading will be greater than 140 over 90 mm.
Hypertension is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure. The Systolic pressure would be the first readings viz. a pressure by which the heart pumps blood through the body, and second readings would be the Diastolic pressure meaning a pressure at which the heart relaxes and refills the blood.
Causes of hypertension
Acute stress and extreme environment are the main factors for increasing the blood pressure in normal and healthy individuals. The increasing rate of the prevailing condition is mostly blamed on the lifestyle and dietary factors such as inactive habits, tobacco, alcohol use and high diet sodium content from processed fatty foods.
Symptoms of hypertension
High blood pressure is itself asymptomatic, that means there is no indication or any clear symptoms. This is the reason why hypertension is also referred as ‘the silent killer’ since it could cause damage to the Cardiovascular system.
Hypertension could also create problems in the high blood pressure affected organs. Long lasting hypertension could lead to complications by arteriosclerosis, where the production of plaques narrows the blood vessels.
A systolic blood pressure readings of 180 mmHg or above and a diastolic blood pressure readings of 110 mmHg or above could indicate the signs of hypertensive crisis that requires immediate medical attention.
Diagnosis of hypertension
Diagnosis of hypertension is usually carried out by measuring blood pressure using sphygmomanometer. At least 3 different elevated readings are required to diagnose hypertension.
This examination along with additional tests help to identify the causes of high blood pressure and any other complications. Additional diagnosis might include kidney ultrasound imaging, urine tests, blood tests and electrocardiogram (ECG).
Treatment and precautions
- Weight loss treatment programs like diet and exercise, as hypertension and obesity are related to each other.
- Having a well-balanced diet including whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
- Avoiding fatty and high cholesterol foods could lower the blood pressure by14 mm Hg.
- Having low sodium diet could reduce blood pressure by 3 to 9 mm Hg.
- Drinking more milk increases the intake of calcium and vitamin D as this reduces the risk of blood pressure.
Hypertension could be easily lowered or controlled by regular exercise, by following a strict low sodium diet and also supplemented with food rich in potassium, calcium, low-fat protein sources, whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables.
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