Hypertension is one of the most prevalent diseases throughout the world. It is considered as one of the major causes for development of cardiovascular diseases.
Hypertension is characterized by a high blood pressure (BP).
BP is the force existing in the walls of arteries due to blood flow.
- The normal BP is 120/80mmHg (120 denotes systolic blood pressure and 80 denotes diastolic blood pressure).
- If BP is more than 120/80mmHg, but below 140/90mmHg, then that condition is called as pre-hypertension.
- If BP is more than 140/90mmHg, then that condition is considered as hypertension.
Causes of hypertension
Based on the cause, hypertension can be classified as either essential (unknown cause) or secondary (specific cause).
The main causes of hypertension are:
- High intake of sodium (>1500mg/day)
- Older age and stress
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Adrenal and thyroid gland problems
- Chronic kidney disease
- Increased cholesterol
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Drug use (e.g., Steroids)
In general, hypertensive patients may not have any symptoms. But, some patients might complain severe headache, nausea or vomiting, confusion, changes in your vision, etc.
Hypertension is diagnosed by measuring the persistent elevation of blood pressure.
Treatment of hypertension includes:
- Life style modifications
- Reduce the salt intake
- Maintain normal body weight
- Avoid stress
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
- Do exercise
- Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and with low fat
If hypertension is not controlled even after modifying life style, then drug are recommended to reduce blood pressure. There are different drugs available to reduce blood pressure. According to the requirement, physician will prescribe either single drug or a combination of two or more drugs.
The common drugs used to reduce blood pressure are diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.