Hypertension affects older adults as well as teens and children. Thanks to stressful life, unhealthy diet, and common diseases, high blood pressure is finding a large victim base. You may be suffering from hypertension without being aware of it.
This is because high blood pressure doesn’t have very pronounced outward symptoms. But that doesn’t prevent it from being a silent killer. With time, this condition can damage the heart, kidney, and lungs.
Young men are more likely to suffer from hypertension than women. But post 60 years of age, more women develop high blood pressure than men.
More than 10 million hypertension cases are reported per year in India. Around 1/3rd of the number accounts for people who show no hypertension symptoms.
Learn about the hypertension causes and the mechanism of pressure rise in the sections to follow. This will help you to delve deep into the signs of rising blood pressure and the long time implications of hypertension.
Hypertension definition can be put as a recurring rise of blood pressure in the arteries, which exceeds normal blood pressure of 140 over 90 mmHg. High BP indicates a blockage or narrowed down arteries which makes the heart pump more blood. High BP develops stealthily and damages your vital internal organs in the meantime.
Your blood pressure is composed of two pressure components.
|Part of Blood Pressure||Normal Reading||Definition|
|Systolic Pressure Number||Less than or equal to 120||It is the pressure created when your heart pumps blood throughout your body. It is the higher number of your blood pressure reading.|
|Diastolic Pressure Number||Less than 80||The lower number of pressure reading is the pressure created in the arteries when the heart is at rest between beats.|
Hypertension can be categorized into grades depending on the pressure reading range.
|Blood Pressure Grade||Systolic Reading (mmHg)||Diastolic Reading (mmHg)|
|Stage 1 Hypertension||130-139||80-89|
|Stage 2 Hypertension||=>140||=>90|
Your doctor or nurse will measure your resting blood pressure using a gauge and an inflatable shackle. The shackle inflates as the pump is compressed and then it is released.
With the help of an attached stethoscope, he/she will hear the first whooshing sound which is the systolic pressure. The point on the gauge when the sound stops is the diastolic reading.
Hypertension pathophysiology deals with the physiological factors that contribute to high BP. Blood pressure is the combined result of cardiac yield and total vascular opposition of your body. Here is a list of such factors that contribute to elevated blood pressure.
- Family history of hypertension points towards genetic mutation which can lead to hypertension in future generations. The mutation mainly affects reabsorption of salt by kidney and hyperlipidemia.
- A hyper excited sympathetic nervous system can ruin cardiovascular homeostasis and increase your blood pressure.
- Elevated levels of Renin enzyme can increase smooth muscle mass and cause constriction of blood vessels. This directly increases blood pressure.
- Changes in the endothelium of blood vessels can deprive the body of substances influencing blood flow. This can change the vascular tone and disrupt constriction-dilation balance in your blood vessels.
- High sodium and low potassium levels in your blood can also cause smooth muscle contraction of blood vessels and subsequent high blood pressure.
5 High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure symptoms are rarely encountered. Hypertension is so silent that many patients suffer major health issue before realizing the problem. Primary hypertension is the commonest type of high blood pressure.
It develops gradually and is not caused by any other health condition. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is caused as a symptom of other diseases like hyperthyroidism and diabetes.
High blood pressure symptoms in men are more pronounced because of their likelihood to suffer from hypertension. High blood pressure symptoms in women are similar to those of men, except during pregnancy. Here is a list of high blood pressure symptoms in men and women with uncomplicated high blood pressure.
A bad throbbing pain in your head, that won’t respond well to any medication, might be a symptom of hypertension. If you are healthy and haven’t had many headache episodes, you might want to contact your doctor and get your blood pressure checked.
In the case of malignant hypertension, you may experience foggy vision. This is due to a sudden shoot in blood pressure and may have cardiac complications involved.
Elevated blood pressure manifests as dizziness along with a severe headache. This may cause confusion and loss of balance.
Higher cardiac labor in high BP can result in clenching chest pain or symptoms similar to a heart attack. This symptom is seen in dangerously high blood pressure. Health care provider should be contacted without delay to prevent a stroke or heart attack.
During hypertensive crisis, blood may come from the nose. This is termed as epistaxis or nosebleed. This symptom indicates dangerous blood pressure which can be deadly if you don’t receive emergency medical care.
Some other rarely expressed symptoms are numbness, reduced urination, nausea and vomiting, seizures and weakness.
High blood pressure symptoms in women during pregnancy cause pre-eclampsia. It is also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension.
The symptoms are sudden swelling of body parts due to fluid retention, upper quadrant stomach pain, vomiting, and headaches. Without treatment, the condition can lead to blood clotting problems, premature birth, and maternal mortality.
Keeping a Check on Hypertension
Hypertension can wreck your internal organs and cause a plethora of health problems. Some are:
- Aneurysm or balloon-like bulge on the arterial
- Kidney disease.
- Heart attack.
- Cardiac failure.
- Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis (Plague deposit on artery walls).
Some simple precautionary steps and remedial lifestyle changes can prevent and manage hypertension.
- Regular blood pressure screening.
- Engaging in regular physical exercise of some form.
- Reducing extra body weight by exercising and diet control.
- Quitting alcohol and smoking.
- Better stress management to avoid high BP trigger.
- Following a hypertension diet known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
What is the treatment for hypertension?
Lifestyle modification and taking prescribed high blood pressure drugs like diuretics, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors can help you to keep your blood pressure under control.
What is DASH diet?
This hypertension diet includes divided daily servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains without much use of sodium.
What are the drugs that can elevate blood pressure?
Corticosteroids, birth control pills, amphetamines, and cyclosporine are some drugs that can raise your blood pressure.
What is the daily sodium intake limit?
A limit of 1500 mg sodium per day can help to prevent high BP.
What is hypotension?
When the heart doesn’t pump enough blood, the blood pressure goes down and results in hypotension.