Hypertension or high blood pressure or BP is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against artery walls eventually leads to end-organ damage which means hypertension targets mainly: the brain, heart, and kidneys.
Hypertension is defined as having blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg. This means the systolic reading (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body) is over 140 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and/or the diastolic reading (as the heart relaxes and refills with blood) is over 90 mmHg.
Two types of hypertension are there:
Primary: Develops over the years, and is usually due to genetic causes and sedentary lifestyle.
Secondary: Caused by an underlying condition like kidney problems, thyroid problems, fatty liver, alcohol abuse or tumors.
There are risk factors that contribute to hypertension like age, family history, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress.
Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to:
- Heart attack/myocardial infarction or stroke.
- Heart failure
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys
- Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes
- Metabolic syndrome
- The trouble with memory or understanding
- How to manage hypertension:
- Several antihypertensive medications are available, but without making some lifestyle changes they won’t help.
- Lifestyle changes you need to make are:
- Eating a healthier diet with less salt
- Exercising regularly
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting the amount of alcohol, you drink
- Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you’re overweight or obese
- Consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (e.g. at least five portions per day)
- Remedies that Help too
- Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing
- Control blood pressure during pregnancy
- Take your medications properly
- Adopt healthy habits
- Manage stress