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

1) Heart attack or stroke (most common)
2) Aneurysm
3) Heart failure
4) Kidney damage.
5) 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.

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