Elevated blood pressure is medically termed Hypertension. According to guidelines, normal blood pressure is equal to or less than 120/80 mm Hg. whereas blood pressure ranges between 120/80 to 139/89 mm Hg has termed prehypertension and blood pressure measures 140/90 mm Hg or above is known as hypertension.

Types of Hypertension

Hypertension is of 2 types:

1) Essential hypertension (primary hypertension):

In this type, there is no specific or known cause of hypertension. That is why it is also known as idiopathic hypertension. It accounts for about 95% of cases.

2) Secondary Hypertension:

In this type, there is always an underlying cause that leads to hypertension. These secondary causes may include kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction, and adrenal gland disease. It accounts for 5% of cases.

Pathophysiology of Hypertension:

It is a very complex phenomenon having multiple factors. The kidney is the main target organ as well as a participant in this hypertensive mechanism. The main factors involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension are genetics, sympathetic nervous system, reninangiotensinaldosterone system, obesity, and increased dietary salt intake.

Symptoms of Hypertension:

Hypertension can remain undiagnosed for many years. Look for the symptoms below

  1. Headache
  2. Nose bleed
  3. Vision problem
  4. Chest discomfort
  5. Irregular heartbeat

Complications of Hypertension:

Hypertension is a serious health condition and if left untreated, it can lead to many complications. It may include

Heart attack or stroke (most common):

  1. Aneurysm
  2. Heart failure
  3. Kidney damage.
  4. Blurred vision or blindness

Management of Hypertension:

Diagnosis and appropriate treatment at an early stage is a very important aspect to avoid
complications of hypertension. This may include

Lifestyle Changes:

  1. Dietary modifications. For example less salt consumption.
  2. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example, starting physical activity.
  3. Losing weight (in case of obesity).

Medication:

Common drugs used to treat hypertension are:

  1. Diuretics.
  2. Angiotensinconverting enzymes inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors).
  3. Calcium channel blockers.
  4. Angiotensin II receptors blockers.

Hypertension is a fatal condition. You should regularly take the prescribed medication as per the doctor’s prescription. And you should regularly monitor your blood pressure at home or through a nearby facility.