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Hypertension Overview

Hypertension Overview

Overview and Facts

High blood pressure, aka hypertension, is a very common affliction around the world. Blood pressure itself is when your blood pushes and presses against your arterial walls. Healthy and normal blood pressure is 120/80. Prehypertension extends to the range of 120-139/81-89. High blood pressure is a reading at or anything greater than 140/90. The top number is called systolic and the bottom one is labeled diastolic; The systolic reading indicates when your heart is beating while the diastolic figure pertains to your heart at rest. If a cause can be found, then you have what’s known as secondary hypertension; if no cause can be determined, you have developed essential hypertension. Moderate hypertension in the 140/90 range is symptomless. Very high blood pressure produces a host of symptoms that will now be addressed.

Signs and Symptoms

Together with the symptoms of hypertension, in severe cases, comes high blood pressure readings. Normal blood pressure readings do not manifest any symptoms. High blood pressure symptoms include some indicators that are abundant: you may feel chest pain, be tired, have extreme headaches, incur vision problems, and have an abnormal heartbeat. You shouldn’t wait until you develop any one of these symptoms before visiting your physician. It’s important to have frequent medical checkups, at least once a month. And each time make sure your doctor takes your blood pressure. Pressure can change over time especially if you grow vulnerable to some of the specific causes of hypertension, the subject of which will be approached shortly. Always remember that high blood pressure is a very dangerous condition. You can develop a stroke, a myocardial infarction (heart attack), and severe kidney damage if you don’t watch yourself and keep it in check with your phsyician’s help.

Causes and Diagnosis

There are multiple causes of hypertension. Once a doctor makes a diagnosis, he can help you learn some of the specific reasons why you may have developed it. The factors include obesity, smoking, genetic predisposition, family history, high cholesterol, diabetes, stress, excessive sodium (salt) intake, chronic kidney disease, and the consumption of two or more alcoholic drinks per day. Thyroid and adrenal disorders can also cause hypertension, as can a paucity of consumption of necessary electrolytes and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. African Americans are twice as likely as caucasians to develop high blood pressure. Moreover, pregnant women and women on birth control pills are at a greater risk of having a resultant hypertensive condition. A full and complete diagnosis uses several tests to confirm, in addition to the physician performing a blood pressure reading.

Tests and Treatments

The main tests to confidently diagnose for hypertension include a phsyical examination with listening to the heart using a stethoscope, taking an ankle and arm pulse, and performin both an EKG and an echoocardiogram. An EKG is also known as an electrocardiogram or an ECG. The test measures your heart’s rhytm and speed. An echocardiogram utilizes ultrasonic waves to develop pictures of your heart’s valves and chambers. Taking one or two in-office blood pressure readings will definately confirm the diagnosis. When you first hear that you have a high reading it’s natural to be alarmed. And it’s good because it means that you will take action to try to treat it. As far as treatments go, there are many medications too numerous to mention here in this short article. But you can rest assured that the best way to treat your condition is by getting your prescriptons filled immediately and by following your physician’s instructions for taking the pills. Medicine is the first course of treatment. But there are other action steps vis-a-vis your treatment program that you can take as well. Treatments for high blood pressure include making healthy and appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes. We will now address these modalities.

Helpful Tips and Home Remedies

The best approach to incorporate in treating your hypertension, in addition to taking your prescribed medication, is to think about exactly what your lifestyle is like. Are you always sedentary? Are you obese? Do you eat a high fat, high salt, high cholesterol diet? How much do you exercise each day? One of the first steps is to develop a healthy eating plan. Try to eliminate junk food, sweets and baked pastries. Begin to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, fiber, and lean meats. Certainly hop on an exercise plan after discussing it with your doctor. Exercise and proper diet will help you lose weight, feel better, and remain more active. Definately minimize your salt intake. Sodium is disasterous for your blood pressure. One “home remedy” you can use is to liberally sprinkle garlic on your food. This herb is a powerhouse when it comes to naturally lowering both your high blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. Science has proven it’s efficacy. Stay well.

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