Understanding Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

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High blood pressure is a common artery-related disease. The condition is also known as hypertension. The heart has to work harder to circulate blood.

Blood pressure is calculated in millimeters of mercury. Hypertension is blood pressure readings of 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or above.

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association classify blood pressure into four groups. Normal blood pressure is considered optimal.

  • Normal blood pressure: Blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.
  • High blood pressure: The top number varies from 120 to 129 mm Hg, whereas the bottom number falls below, not above, 80 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: The peak value runs from 130 to 139 mm Hg, while the bottom number falls between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: The highest number is 140 mm Hg or higher, while the lowest is 90 mm Hg or higher.

Symptoms

A person with hypertension may not experience any symptoms. Without identification, hypertension can harm the heart, blood vessels, and other organs, including the kidneys.

Blood pressure should be checked regularly. However, most persons with hypertension will have no symptoms at all.

If high blood pressure progresses to a hypertensive crisis, a person may develop headaches and nosebleeds.

Causes

The etiology of hypertension is often unknown. In many cases, it is caused by an underlying medical problem.

Primary or essential hypertension is defined as high blood pressure caused by no other ailment or disease.

Secondary hypertension occurs when an underlying disease causes high blood pressure.

Primary hypertension may be caused by obesity, insulin resistance, high salt intake, excessive alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking.

Secondary hypertension has distinct causes and is a consequence of another medical condition.

Chronic kidney disease is a cause of high blood pressure because the kidneys can no longer filter fluid. This extra fluid causes hypertension. Hypertension can also result in CKD.

Other illnesses that can cause hypertension include diabetes, which can cause kidney and nerve damage.

  • Pheochromocytoma is a rare adrenal gland cancer.
  • Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
  • Hyperparathyroidism (calcium and phosphorus imbalance)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sleep apnea

How can I tell if my blood pressure is high?

Checking your blood pressure is the only way to determine whether it is too high. Even if you feel OK, you should see a doctor for a yearly checkup. You will not feel ill if you have high blood pressure. So, these screenings are critical and can save lives. If your blood pressure is higher than normal, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes and drugs to help you lower it.

How prevalent is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is extremely prevalent. This equates to around 116 million individuals. Of those, 37 million have blood pressure readings of at least 140/90 mmHg. Approximately two-thirds of those people live in nations with low or moderate incomes.

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