Hypertension is high blood pressure. Why should we care about high blood pressure? It is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A person with high blood pressure, is twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. There is also risk of damage to the kidneys and eyes.
Two numbers are measured. The top number, known as the systolic number, is the pressure against the arteries when the heart beats. The bottom number, known as the diastolic number, is the force in the arteries when the heart is relaxed.
Normal blood pressure for an adult is 120/80. A diagnosis for hypertension would be made when the systolic number is over 140, and the diastolic number is over 90. It is important not to place too much importance on just one reading. It should be established that your blood pressure is consistently high. Almost everyone will have a high reading sometimes. It is your average reading which is important.
It is estimated that one in three adults has hypertension. Of those who have it, about a third don't realise they have it.
There are factors which definitely increase the risk of hypertension. These include smoking, obesity, too much salt, excessive alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle and stress. There are also hereditary factors. For example, it has been found black people are at a higher risk than whites.
In terms of diet, an important aspect is the "sodium-potassium ratio". Essentially we should all consume about twice as much potassium than sodium from our diets. We should all try to limit the sodium in our diets, by reducing salt intake. Too much of what people eat is processed food, which contains a lot of sodium. Cutting this out can be beneficial. Potassium intake can be increased by eating more fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least five portions a day.
Smoking should be stopped, even if it means nicotine patches. Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. There is also strong evidence that yoga has a lowering effect.
Hypertension is harmful to the kidneys, the little arteries which interface with the tiny filtering units have too much force against them. Research has shown a strong link to renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of kidney cancer.
There are different kinds of medication available to bring blood pressure down to normal. It must be stressed though, that it is better to try to lower it naturally. Research has shown a person on medication, with a reading of 120/80, does not have as low a risk of developing cardiovascular disease, as someone with the same reading who isn't on medication.
Many different hypertension medications exist. These include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. It is not uncommon for two different medications to be prescribed to the patient.
I would like to state that I first wrote this article on www.helium.com. It can be seen there under the title, "Explaining high blood pressure", by Carl Marshall.
Hypertension, the correct name for high b lood pressure. Hypertension can lead to serious consequences, and it is therefore important that your BP (B lood pressure) is correctly monitored and treated as necessary. Hypertension is simply put when your arteries are narrowed and the b lood is pushed harder through them. Most patients do not know they have hypertension until they go to their doctor for something else and have their B P read as routine. Normal B P’s are around 120/80, which is ideal. However as you get older this increases and the acceptable norm becomes 160/90 (at around 60 years). In ninety per cent of people the cause for their hypertension is unknown, this is called ‘primary or essential’ hypertension. In the rest of the cases there are reasons this is usually called ‘secondary hypertension’ Some of the main reasons include: chronic kidney diseases, diseases in the arteries supplying the kidneys, chronic alcohol abuse, hormonal disturbances and endocrine tumours. B P is measured with a special cuff machine, which is placed around your arm and the pressure increased until it feels tight. Then the pressure is released slowly and the pressure reading is taken with the sound of the heart beat/pulse. These days we are lucky enough to have home monitors and easy to use monitrs. The one I have at home slips around your wrist and within minutes you have an accurate B P reading. If you do have a chace to get a home moniitor it is certainly worth it. I was placed on tablets for Hypoertension, as every time I went to the Doctor/hospital I would get high B P readings. After being placed on the pills, I decided to invest in a B P home monitor (At a cost of around £50). Howeverm my home reading were far lower than those takenin medical centres. When I explained this to my doctors I was told it was probably ’white coat syndorme’. Apparently lots of people get stressed at medica
l centres (I dread to think what my readin would be like when I go to the dentist then!), and this could sometimes relate untrue readings. My monitoring at home contiuned and I was eventually allowed off the tablets. [It would be advisable to get your B P checked when you are more relaxed at home BEFORE going on medication. Some surgeries might loan you one for a few weeks to get a correct assessment – worth asking]. So are there any symptoms of Hypertension? Yes there are, but not many and like I have said many people ONLY get ther B P picked up at routine sugeries for something different. Signs of b lood presure include: Nose bleeds; serious breathing problems; headache; sleepiness; and confusion. However there are things that can INCREASE your risk of hyptertension and these include: · A tendency in the family to suffer hypertension · Obesity · Smoking · Diabetes type 1 or type 2 · Kidney diseases · High alcohol intake · Excessive salt intake · Lack of exercise You can help by having your B P read if you think you are at risk; changing your lifestyle (if it’s unhealthy); doing some exercise; stopping smoking; cutting down on alcohol. All can reduce your risk of complications from B P and indeed your B P itself. Future complications include: · Strokes (CVAs) - cerebral haemmorhage or cerebral thrombosis · Abdominal aortic aneurysms - expansion of the main artery in the abdomen · Heart failure (reduced pumping ability) · Kidney failure · Eye damage Treatments are available which are effective and your doctor will prescribe the medication he/she thinks is suitable for you. Some tablets offer protection against other problems, such as lisinopril in diabetics will help protect the liver against problems. B P can be controlled effectively with the right medication, although certain lifestyle changes may need to be made als
At age 14 I lost my fit, "healthy" 40 year old father to a heart attack. The doctor said that it was quite unexpected and he would have died even if he had been ill in hospital at the time and not at home. Six years later, my paternal grandfather too died from a heart attack. This time it was following fairly major surgery and it turns out that he had been told of the risks and decided not to tell the family so as not to worry us. At that time I was 20 and considered myself healthy too. While I had a desk job in an office, I played competitive tennis and tried to keep fit. It was therefore a shock to be told that I had hypertension when I visited the doctor. I thought that it only applied to middle-aged, overweight smokers and not me. What do the Blood Pressure numbers mean though? The heart has two chambers, one that pumps blood out an the other back in again. The two readings tell the doctor what is happening inside your heart. Generally speaking, the first reading should not be much more than 100+ your age over about 70. Therefore at 20 I should have had blood pressure of around 120/70. You can imagine what a shock it was to be told that ie was 180/120. I had the blood pressure of an 80 year old man, and a sick one at that. I have been on medication for over ten years now and while I am no saint (I don't play as much sport as I should and am a little overweight) my blood pressure has stabalised at around 140/80 for much of the last decade. In fact, I am growing into my blood pressure now. While taking exercise, not smoking and keeping the weight down is vital, so too is not worrying unduly about it. However, modern thinking is that poor cholesterol is worse than high blood pressure, or that the two together are even worse than one of them. You guessed it, I have high cholesterol too! I am married to a nurse so I try and take care of what I eat without being o
bsessive about it. However, I am pre-desposed genetically to these conditions. It hasn't made that much difference to my life. I have to be careful about sudden bursts of energy or tension and I find I get headaches more easily. I also get palpatations from sudden bursts of energy and have had the odd dizzy spells too. But apart from that I am able to walk and cycle for miles (very steep hills can sometimes be problem). The biggest problem I have found is getting life insurance. I have found that everyone wants to charge me lots more even though I probably less likely to die before normal because I am checked every six months by the doctor and am trying to be careful. Such is life though! If you are diagnosed, read the literature, keep the weight off, watch your diet, but don't dispair. I'd far rather have hypertension than, say, diabetes or something similar. It's not the end of the world.... yet!
High Blood Pressure is the silent killer. You can have it and not even know it. It can cause a stroke. The norm is 140/80..anything higher is considered mild hypertension and above 140/90 is considered high blood pressure. Lots of times if you cut out all salt from your diet, and lose weight and exercise that will lower your blood pressure. But you must be religious about it. And you must not drink alcohol, that can raise blood pressure also. The best type of exercise to do to lower your blood pressure is for example a rowing machine or a recumbent bike. I know people who have lowered their blood presure by doing these machines and diet. Salt increases the pressure in the artery walls. In order to get salt of of your system you need to drink alot of water. So avoiding salt will lower your blood pressure. Also losing weight will help. I have 2 relatives that have high blood pressure and they just don't understand why..but one is almost 180 pounds and 5 foot and doesn't exercise and eats alot of salty foods. If only life habits can change, health will change too. You have the power to change yourself. God has given us the ability to make our own decisions. We control our destiny. He shows us his will and the best path to take in life and if we listen to him then that is the best way to go, but lots of people feel they know what is best and have to learn the hard way.:( Also there is some new studies that say the herb valerian root extract lowers blood pressure. It relaxes the artery walls. It also is used to sleep. For blood pressure a much lower dose is used. So changing your diet and exercise is a good start to lowering your blood pressure. Also try to lower the stressors in your life. Take time out to meditate and relax. Enjoy the simple things....and try to be at peace with yourself.
Having found this category item on dooyoo, I feel compelled to tell my story, in the hope that it might help others. I have been suffering from this condition for about 4 years now, and after attending my doctor on numerous occasions, complaining about : High heart rate ( palpitations) sweats, dizziness, tiredness etc. my doctor regularly took my blood pressure over a period of a few weeks, and eventually diagnosed Hypertension. O.K. I thought, I’ll just get some pills and that will be that. What I didn’t know at that time is that hypertension is a very serious medical condition indeed. The problem here is that hypertension usually causes no "major" noticeable symptoms in itself but can lead to damage to various organs in the body if the blood pressure remains up for a long time. Over the period of a few years it can lead to damage in the heart and blood vessels, making it more likely that a sufferer will develop a stroke or have a fatal heart attack. It’s a sad medical fact that in the majority of cases there is no definite known cause of hypertension. Sometimes it can come as a result of kidney disease, glandular (hormone/endocrine) problems, or as a side effect of partaking of some medicines. If you are experiencing symptoms as described above or especially when you feel that your heart is pumping ‘heavier’ than normal, you get headaches, dizziness, or alterations in vision, then I would strongly suggest that you go to a doctor and ask for a series of blood pressure tests on different days. This should quickly establish a definite diagnosis. If you have hypertension, the doctor will also want to check to make sure that there is no evidence of any harmful effects on the blood vessels in the back of your eyes, your kidneys and your heart. Chest X-rays and an electrocardiogram may also be used as will a urine specimen and a
blood test to be taken in order to check on the condition of your kidneys and your cholesterol level. The bad news is that hypertension is probably going to be with you for life but there are many ways apart from taking prescribed drugs that you can help yourself. # STOP SMOKING. (Smoking greatly adds to the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.) # If you are overweight, try to lose those extra pounds. # Cut down the salt in your cooking, and do not add salt on the plate. # Exercise regularly if possible take at least 30 minutes of continuous exercise three times a week. ( Note ) Regular strenuous exercise will bring down blood pressure, but when you stop doing the excercise, the high blood pressure soon reverts to its previous level.) # Keep your alcohol intake to less than 28 units of alcohol per week for men or 21 units for women. One unit per day can help the circulation, but more than this can have negative effects. I won't go into the details of drugs here, suffice to say, your doctor will prescribe if necessary, and it is a wise idea to stick to their advice. For detailed information on the condition of hypertension you could visit : http://www.heartinfo.org/news99/hypguide042199.htm Anyway, Take ‘heart’, I Hope I haven’t frightened you too much. I do hope my wee opinion might keep you out of hospital, or worse, after all, the way things are going, I need as many of you raters to remain alive as possible. auldmac