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Causes and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure – Treatment and Prevention of High Blood Pressure

Overview: Causes and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of blood pressure on the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure is the force of blood pressure on the walls of the arteries that is greater than normal values (140/90 mmHg or higher). High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer” because of the absence of pronounced symptoms. In some cases (especially when BP readings reach dangerously high levels), a person may complain of headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath.

Many people do not associate these symptoms with abnormal blood pressure readings because they are not in the habit of periodic BP monitoring at the doctor’s office or at home. People with diabetes who have high blood pressure are at twice the risk of heart disease than those who are hypertensive but do not have diabetes. Studies also show that hypertension increases the risk of kidney disease, diabetic eye disease and stroke1.

Blood Pressure Readings:

Pre-hypertension (a risk factor for hypertension) – 120-129 mm Hg / <80 mm Hg.

Grade 1 arterial hypertension – 130-139 mm Hg or 80-89 mm Hg.

Grade 2 arterial hypertension – ≥140 mm Hg or ≥90 mm Hg.

Types Of Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure is of two types:

Primary (Essential) Hypertension (Or Hypertension) – the most common type of high blood pressure, often has no cause, develops over many years, and the risk increases with age;

Secondary Hypertension occurs against the background of the development of a disease (kidney, endocrine system organs, sleep apnea) or taking certain medications.

Blood pressure is recorded in two measures.

The first (systolic pressure) is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart muscle is contracting.

The second measure (diastolic pressure) represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest between two contractions.

The diagnosis of hypertension is made when, based on blood pressure measurements taken on two different days, the systolic pressure on both days is 140 mm Hg or more and the diastolic pressure on both days is equal to or greater than 90 mm Hg.

Causes Of High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is caused by a significant disorder of the vascular wall, when not only the diameter of the blood vessels is significantly altered, but also the passage of blood flow is impeded. Then the heart needs to contract more strongly than usual to move blood through the vascular channel, and this can lead to serious diseases.

  • An estimated 46% of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have the disease.
  • Less than half (42%) of adults with hypertension are diagnosed and treated.
  • Approximately one in five (21%) adults with hypertension have the disease under control.
  • Hypertension is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
  • Reducing the prevalence of hypertension by 33% between 2010 and 2030 is among the global targets for non-communicable diseases.

Risk Factors

Modifiable risk factors include an unhealthy diet (excessive salt intake, high saturated fat and trans fats in the diet, lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet), lack of physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, and being overweight and obese.

Unmodifiable risk factors include the presence of hypertension in direct relatives, age older than 65 years, and comorbidities such as diabetes or kidney disease.

According to statistics from the American Diabetes Association, approximately 73% of adults with diabetes have high blood pressure or use prescription blood pressure medications2. The causes of high blood pressure have not yet been determined, but there are factors that increase the risk of high blood pressure including:

  • Heredity
  • Race
  • Age
  • Passive lifestyle
  • Overweight
  • Stress.
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive salt intake in foods;
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.

Symptoms:

High blood pressure is not usually identified by outward signs or symptoms. Very high blood pressure can cause headaches, blurred vision, chest pain, and other symptoms. The only thing you can do is measure your blood pressure during every visit to your doctor. This is a quick and simple procedure and you have probably undergone it many times. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you to take more frequent measurements.

The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to measure your blood pressure. If hypertension is left untreated, it can lead to other health problems such as kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke. If you have very high blood pressure (usually 180/120 or higher), you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Severe headache
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision and other visual disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Mental confusion
  • Tinnitus
  • Nosebleeds
  • Heart rhythm disturbances.

If you have any of these symptoms against the background of high blood pressure, you should seek help immediately.

Complications Of Uncontrolled Hypertension

Hypertension, among other complications, can cause serious damage to the heart. Excess pressure can cause arterial walls to lose their elasticity and reduce the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.

The reduction of the flow of blood and oxygen increased pressure and decreased blood flow can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina pectoris;
  • Heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, causing heart muscle cells to die from oxygen starvation. When blood flow is blocked, this leads to severe heart damage,
  • Heart failure, in which the pumping function of the heart muscle cannot fully supply other essential organs with blood oxygen; and cardiac arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden death.
  • Hypertension can also cause stroke, leading to rupture or blockage of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain. blood pressure can cause severe kidney failure.

Prevention:

High blood pressure cannot be cured, but it is usually well controlled.  You can reduce the likelihood of having high blood pressure by doing the following:

  • Maintaining a normal weight
  • By exercising
  • Eating a healthy diet, that is, including fruits, vegetables and whole meal products in your diet every day.
  • Favouring low-salt, low-fat foods and lean meats
  • Not abusing alcohol
  • Not smoking.
  • Your doctor may additionally prescribe medication to help you maintain normal blood pressure. The choice and dosage of medications depend on your individual characteristics.

The lifestyle adjustments listed below help prevent high blood pressure and help lower it.

Recommended:

  • Reducing stress levels and correcting stressful conditions
  • Regular blood pressure checks
  • Treating high blood pressure
  • Treatment of other medical conditions
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Increase physical activity, which may include walking, running, swimming, dancing, or muscle-strengthening exercises such as lifting weights.
  • Do weight-bearing exercise two or more days a week
  • Reduce your body weight, if you have a fatty body.
  • Always follow your doctor’s prescription, and take medications as recommended by your doctor.
  • Do not miss scheduled doctor’s appointments.

Not Recommended:

  • Consume too much salty food (if possible, no more than 2 grams of salt per day);
  • Smoke or use tobacco;
  • Abuse alcohol (maximum of 1 standard dose per day for women, 2 standard doses per day for men);
  • Skipping medications or giving your medications to other people.
  • If high blood pressure is controlled, then you are prevented by heart attacks, strokes, and kidney damage, as well as other health problems.
  • Do not eat fatty food.

Treatment Of High Blood Pressure:

Treatments are as follows:

There are several medications commonly used for high blood pressure:

  • ACE inhibitors cause blood vessels to relax and prevent kidney dysfunction. Examples: enalapril, and lisinopril.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) cause blood vessels to relax and prevent kidney dysfunction. Examples: losartan and telmisartan.
  • Calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels. Examples: amlodipine, felodipine.
  • Diuretics remove excess water from the body, lowering blood pressure. Examples: hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone.

Lifestyle Modifications:

Treatment of arterial hypertension is based on lifestyle modification, continuous BP monitoring, and the use of hypotensive drugs (blood pressure-lowering medications) – one or more based on the patient’s situation. A better lifestyle can reduce the chances of high blood pressure. It involves:

  • A healthy diet with low salt content
  • Weight loss
  • Physical activity
  • Avoiding tobacco

Medicines:

The drugs prescribed for high blood pressure include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, alpha-beta-Adreno blockers.

In most cases, these drugs do not cause side effects. However, do not self-medicate, it is necessary to consult a doctor who will select an effective drug and prescribe a scheme for its reception. It is important to follow all recommendations, observe the dosage, and not skip taking the drug(s).

Daily Blood Pressure Monitoring:

In the diagnosis of arterial hypertension, an accurate picture of the patient’s blood pressure indices is given by daily blood pressure monitoring (SBPM). DMAD also excludes the factor of chance, distortion of real BP values (the so-called “white coat” syndrome or hypertension “white coat”), and registers imperceptible changes in BP (for example, during sleep). This test is recommended by the American Heart Association to confirm the diagnosis of arterial hypertension. Your recommended target blood pressure level may depend on whether you have other medical conditions.

Target blood pressure levels below 130/80 are recommended if you have:

  • Diabetes (high blood sugar levels)
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • High risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • For most people, the target blood pressure is less than 140/90.

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