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 pre–hypertension 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, renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, obesity, and increased dietary salt intake.
Symptoms of Hypertension:
Hypertension can remain undiagnosed for many years. Look for the symptoms below
- Nose bleed
- Vision problem
- Chest discomfort
- 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):
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage.
- 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
- Dietary modifications. For example less salt consumption.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example, starting physical activity.
- Losing weight (in case of obesity).
Common drugs used to treat hypertension are:
- Angiotensin–converting enzymes inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors).
- Calcium channel blockers.
- 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.