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Hypertension/Silent killer

April 30, 2024
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Hypertension/Silent killer

Hypertension, a form of non-communicable disease, is a blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 millimeter mercury or higher. This disease is so lethal because it shows no symptoms at all. Some of the many factors that contribute to the development of hypertension are getting older, having a family history of the disease, eating poorly, not getting enough exercise, and being overweight. The rising incidence of hypertension seen throughout the industrialized world can also be found in Europe and the United States.

Hypertension kills around 9.4 million people globally every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). By the year 2030, this may be responsible for one in every four deaths worldwide. The progression of this chronic disease can be slowed by using preventative and therapeutic measures, so information and understanding of the causes and risk factors for hypertension are critical.

In this article we will explore the link between hypertension and other health problems like kidney failure, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), as well as what we can do to stay healthy.

Role of the Circulatory System in Blood Pressure

Problems with the blood vessels or the circulatory system are a common root cause of hypertension. The effective functioning of your tissues and organs relies on a sufficient supply of oxygen, which is regulated by your blood circulation system. The human body’s circulatory system consists of the arteries, veins, capillaries, and blood vessels that transport blood to and from the heart. All of the body’s tissues and organs benefit from oxygenated blood thanks to the coordinated efforts of these components. The heart’s pressure on the arteries forces oxygenated blood into them. This is called systolic pressure.

On the other hand, diastolic pressure is what your body feels when it sends blood to your heart when it is relaxed. The normal blood pressure is 120 mmHg for the systolic part and 80 mmHg for the diastolic part. Any deviation from this range can be very bad for your health.

Worldwide, millions of people suffer from hypertension, a leading cause of death. Hypertension affected 28% of adults in the United States and 27% of adults in Canada, but 44.2% of adults across Europe. This substantial geographical difference in hypertension prevalence is a vital health indicator. Since it’s a disorder in which blood pressure is always within a relatively normal range, understanding its many stages is crucial for managing it.

Stages of Hypertension

There are three stages of hypertension.

First Stage of Hypertension

When your systolic blood pressure, also called the upper range of blood pressure, is 130 to 139 and your diastolic blood pressure, also called the lower range of blood pressure, is 80 to 90, you have high blood pressure. This is also known as stage 1 hypertension. In this case, the patients are told to change what they eat and take some medicines to keep heart disease under control.

Second Stage of Hypertension

A condition where the patient’s blood pressure reaches 140 over 90 mmHg constantly means that the patient needs to take medicines regularly.

Third Stage of Hypertension

A hypertensive condition may occur when a patient’s blood pressure reaches 180 over 120 mmHg. If the patient is not given medication or emergency care, organ failure, including a heart attack and vein breakage, may result.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Usually, no specific symptoms are found in hypertension patients.

However, sometimes, when it reaches a hypersensitive condition that is 180 over 120 mmHg, patients feel severe headaches, breathing problems, chest pain, blurred vision or other vision problems, nausea, and abnormal heart rhythm.

But here are some risk factors that lead to this illness: family history, age, chronic kidney disease, gender, lack of physical activities, diabetes, smoking, harsh alcoholic drinking, high cholesterol level, and last but not least, stress, which is the most prominent cause of high blood pressure.

Secondary hypertension, which results from underlying medical conditions like pregnancy-induced hypertension or certain organ disorders, accounts for a very small fraction of cases of high blood pressure.  Most cases of high blood pressure without a known cause are attributed to primary hypertension.  It is often possible to return blood pressure to normal by treating the underlying cause.

Diagnosis of high blood pressure

The diagnosis of hypertension is not as complicated as any other circulatory system disease. Healthcare providers use a sphygmomanometer to diagnose this illness. This monitors the force of blood against the artery walls. If you or any other person is experiencing HBP, then early diagnosis or even regular monitoring is crucial to controlling it. Here, the most critical reading to consider is systolic pressure, which elevates, especially after the age of 50; if you cannot control this, this silent killer disease leads to life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, or even kidney failure.

Effects of high blood pressure

Damage to artery walls is one of high blood pressure’s long-term effects. Extra pressure is placed on the cardiovascular system when blood pressure is high, especially in the systolic range. Atherosclerosis caused by LDL cholesterol plaques forms when arterial tissues and walls are damaged due to hypertension. The result is a narrowing of the arteries and an elevation of the intravascular pressure. Arrhythmia, heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses can develop as a result of this self-perpetuating cycle.

Treatments—Medication and Prevention

Increased physical activity, dietary adjustments (especially the adoption of low-sodium options), weight loss, and abstinence from alcoholic beverages and tobacco use are all effective ways for patients with high blood pressure to bring it down. In patients with preexisting renal disease, cardiovascular disease, or other chronic conditions, the doctor may advise maintaining a blood pressure reading of 130 over 80 mmHg or 140 over 90 mmHg.

Fortunately, hypertension may be managed medically. Lisinopril and enalapril are examples of ACE inhibitors; these medications help maintain peace by preventing further renal damage and relaxing tightened blood vessels. Angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARBs), which include telmisartan and losartan, have joined the fray. ARBs exert themselves constantly to widen blood vessels and protect the kidneys from damage. Calming calcium channel blockers like amlodipine and felodipine are effective at lowering blood pressure by easing tension in the blood vessels. Diuretics like chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide help regulate water in the body, allowing you to lose weight and lower your blood pressure. In an effort to bring down your blood pressure, these are your best friends.

Final thoughts

Hypertension is becoming more and more common worldwide, posing a silent yet fatal threat to health. Given its complex relationship to serious health issues like kidney failure, stroke, and cardiovascular illnesses, it is critical to comprehend and treat this problem. People can reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure by adopting a combination of lifestyle modifications and medical interventions, such as medication and preventive measures, thereby protecting their long-term health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

In five minutes, how can my blood pressure be lowered?
By following these strategies, you can lower your blood pressure.
. Inhale deeply and make an effort to unwind.
. Sip on some water.
. Try getting some exercise.
. Consume some dark chocolate.
. Have a chilly shower.

Which meals lower blood pressure?
Here are the top 18 meals to avoid high blood pressure
fruits, such oranges and kiwis.
veggies, such as beets and green leafy vegetables.
nuts, such walnuts and pistachios.
fatty fish, like mackerel.
spices, like cloves.

About the author

Dr. Madilyn Adams is a PhD in molecular medicine from Harvard University and has been working as a medical blogger for seven years.

References

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4314-hypertension-high-blood-pressure

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