Written by Nakelium
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the power of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as it runs through them. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood (haemoglobin) from the heart to the body's tissues. By means of movement of blood via arteries which pushes it against the inside of the artery walls. Increase in the pressure the blood exerts on the artery walls, the greater the blood pressure will be. The size artery also affects the blood pressure. When the muscular walls of arteries are stress-free, or expanded, the force of the blood flowing in them is lesser than when the artery walls contracted, or constrict.

What Are its Signs and Symptoms?
Hypertension is a common and serious health problem, because analysis is based on blood pressure evaluations, this condition can go hidden for years, as symptoms are not noticed until the body is injured from serious high blood pressure. Millions have hypertension without knowing it. In the United States, over 50 million people age six and older have high blood pressure. Hypertension is profound in men than women and in people over the age of 65 than in younger persons.

Hypertension is grave because people with it have an increased risk of heart disease and many medical problems than people with normal blood pressure.

Different activities or circumstances usually raise blood pressure. Physical movement can momentarily increase blood pressure. Stressful situations can make blood pressure go up, but blood pressure usually returns to normal when the stress goes away. A temporary increase in blood pressure is not hypertension. Identification of hypertension is ascertained only when a person has several high blood pressure analyses over a period of time.
Medical and family report help the physician know if the patient has any circumstances or maladies that might lead to or cause the hypertension. Medical reports of hypertension might suggest a genetic predisposition for hypertension.
Secondary hypertension is when a person has hypertension caused by additional medical ailment. Secondary hypertension is caused by a number of different illnesses. Many with kidney disorders have secondary hypertension. The balance of salt and water in the body is regulated by the kidneys. Blood pressure goes up if the kidneys cannot liberate the body of unwanted salt and water. Additional circumstances that can lead to hypertension are blood vessel diseases, thyroid gland disorders, some prescribed drugs, alcoholism, and pregnancy.

Other Common Causes of Hypertension includes:
·         Excess Sodium According to the American Heart Association, extreme levels of salt (or sodium intake of more than 1,500 milligrams per day) leads to high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases—irrespective of age, current health status, and family history.
·         Unhealthy Lifestyle Hypertension is also linked to inactive lifestyle - little or no exercise, leads to increase in weight and undue pressure on the heart.
·         Age Growing older, naturally leads to increase our blood pressure
·         Sleep Apnea Sleep Apnea is a condition that originates from oxygen’s levels to decrease during sleep apnea, leading to increased blood pressure and worries on the cardiovascular system. People with awkward sleep apnea are associated to high risk of hypertension.
·         Bad Diet Hypertension and heart conditions liked to obesity and diabetes are known with sugar and fat-laden diets.
·         Fatness Obsessed people are linked to so many higher blood felons. Inactive lifestyle, poor diet, increased sodium levels, and raised insulin levels all leads to the thickening of the arteries, and stimulates situations like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
·         Drugs and Alcohol Excessive drinking of alcohol or use of recreational drugs like stimulants e.g. cocaine, amphetamines and crystal methamphetamine causes over works for the heart and arteries and cause damage.

Smoking and Hormonal Conditions are also causes of hypertension.

Since hypertension doesn't have symptoms, it is imperative to have blood pressure checked frequently. Blood pressure is known with an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. Normal blood pressure is distinct by a range of values. Blood pressure lesser than 120/80 mm Hg is believed to be normal. Different factors such as discomfort worry and nervousness causes temporary increase in blood pressure. Therefore, hypertension is not based on one high blood pressure analysis.

Complications of High Blood Pressure
When blood pressure stays for a long time, it damages the body and this leads to complications such as:
·         Aneurysms
·         Chronic Kidney Disease
·         Cognitive Changes
·         Eye Damage
·         Heart Attack
·         Heart Failure
·         Peripheral Artery Disease
·         Stroke

There is no cure for chronic hypertension, but blood pressure can be lowered with the correct treatment. The aim of cure is to reduce blood pressure to levels that will stop heart disease and other complications of hypertension.

Changes that may reduce high blood pressure includes

·          Eating a healthier diet with less salt
·          Reducing fat intake
·         Regular Exercise
·         Stop smoking
·        ·         Losing weight
·         Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink
·         Managing stress

Most prescribed drugs:
·        ·          Diuretics: They help kidneys reduce unwanted salt and water from the body's tissues and the blood
·         ·         Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers are used to lower blood pressure by working on the nervous system to reduce the heart rate and the force of the heart's contraction.
·        ·           Calcium channel blockers: Calcium channel blockers stops the pass of calcium into muscle cells in artery walls.
·       ·           Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors): ACE inhibitors stop the manufacture of substances that narrows blood vessels. They reduce the accumulation of water and salt in the tissues.
·       ·         Alpha-blockers:  Alpha-blockers works on the nervous system to widen arteries and lessen the force of the heart's contractions.
·        ·        Alpha-beta blockers: Alpha-beta blockers conglomerate the actions of alpha and beta blockers.
·        ·         Vasodilators: Vasodilators lower blood pressure quickly and are used in hypertensive emergencies when patients have chronic high blood pressure.
·         ·        Peripheral acting adrenergic antagonists: Peripheral acting adrenergic antagonists works on the nervous system to ease arteries and the force of the heart's contractions.
·        ·          Centrally acting agonists: Centrally acting agonists works on the nervous system to ease arteries and slow the heart rate.

Prevention of hypertension centres on dodging or removing known factors that causes it. People with increased risk because of age, race, or sex or those who have an inherited risk can reduce their chance of having hypertension.
The following should be done to prevent hypertension:
·         Reducing salt intake
·         Reducing fat intake
·         Losing weight
·         Getting regular exercise
·         Quitting smoking
·         Reducing alcohol consumption
·         Managing stress

Mayo Clinic Staff Heart-Healthy Living
McNamara, Damian. "Obesity Behind Rise in Incidence of Primary Hypertension." Family Practice News April 1, 2003: 45-51.
McNamara, Damian. "Trial Shows Efficacy of Lifestyle Changes for BP: More Intensive Than Typical Office Visit." Family Practice News July 1, 2003: 1-2.
"New BP Guidelines Establish Diagnosis of Pre-hypertension: Level Seeks to Identify At-risk Individuals Early." Case Management Advisor July 2003: S1.
"New Hypertension Guidelines: JNC-7." Clinical Cardiology Alert July 2003: 54-63.
American Heart Association. 7320 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75231. (214) 373-6300.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. PO Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105. (301) 251-1222.
Texas Heart Institute. Heart Information Service. PO Box 20345, Houston, TX 77225-0345.

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