High blood pressure or hypertension
What is blood pressure?
Usually our body requires certain amount of pressure to get the blood round in our body. Therefore blood pressure is defined as a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body or strength of your blood pushing against the sides of your blood vessels.
Usually blood pressure readings have two numbers, for example 120/80mmHg. The top number called systolic blood pressure. (The highest pressure when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body) The bottom one is called diastolic blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
Which also called hypertension means the pressure in your arteries is higher than the normal level or recommended level.
High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms and it called silent killer that’s why it is so dangerous. Because over time if it is not treated, your heart may become enlarged making your heart pump less effectively and this can lead to heart failure. It also can lead to heart attack or stroke and kidney diseases because of extra strain on the heart and blood vessels.
Causes of high blood pressure
It is not clear from the evidences the exact cause of hypertension. However, it is well known that lifestyle can affect the risk of developing high blood pressure and for most people; there may be no single cause for their high blood pressure.
The person will be at a higher risk if he eats too much salt, doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, not active enough and overweight as well as having a family history of high blood pressure.
Additionally, studies also showed that there are some risk factors which might increase the chances of having high blood pressure. For example old age, ethnic and genetic causes, other medical conditions can cause high blood pressure more specifically kidney problems. For these people treating the medical problem may lower their blood pressure back to normal.
Diagnosis of high blood pressure
In order to make the diagnosis of high blood pressure and because blood pressure normally varies throughout the day, it is recommended to take two to three blood pressure readings each at three or more separate appointments. It should be measured in both arms to determine if there is a difference, it's important to use an appropriate-sized arm cuff.
In specialised centres high blood pressure also can be diagnosed by using a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring test called ambulatory blood pressure monitoring which measures blood pressure at regular intervals over a 24-hour period and provides a more accurate picture of blood pressure changes over an average day and night.
This test is usually recommended for some people who have a condition known as ‘white coat hypertension’ or ‘white coat syndrome’. This is a condition where your blood pressure rises only because someone is taking your blood pressure, and not because you have an underlying medical problem and it return to normal when your doctor or nurse stops taking it.
Prevention of high blood pressure
Changes in the lifestyle can help in preventing high blood pressure from occurring. It also can reverse prehypertension and help control existing high blood pressure or prevent complications and long-term problems associated with this condition.
It had been noted that regular exercise may reduce the blood pressure significantly, eating healthy balanced food such as fruits and vegetables also reduce the blood pressure.
Evidences from studies indicate that moderate reduction in sodium intake can lower blood pressure levels by 2 to 8 mmHg.
Studies also revealed that moderate weight loss can have a significant impact in lowering high blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or the blood pressure is not controlled with changes in lifestyle it is important to obtain medicines from your doctor.