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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is a “Silent Killer”: Couse, Symptom, Diagnose and Treatment

hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a “Silent Killer”. It is one of the major conditions that impact 1.13 billion people globally. The majority of those affected are adults over 40. Your chance of developing hypertension can be enhanced by several variables, such as a sedentary lifestyle, aging, stress, family history, smoking cigarettes, being overweight, eating a high-sodium diet, etc. Furthermore, several illnesses, including diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and chronic renal disease, can also cause high blood pressure.

Your blood vessel walls thicken as a result of the illness, increasing blood flow and raising blood pressure. This can therefore result in tiny wounds to different body organs. The majority of people do not even realize they have hypertension because they do not exhibit any visible symptoms. Consequently, many cases of hypertension remain undiagnosed. However, symptoms like a strong headache, exhaustion, light-headedness, chest pain, breathing difficulties, etc., can strike patients. After receiving a diagnosis of hypertension, you must take the appropriate actions to maintain control over your blood pressure.

risk factor of high blood pressure
risk factor of high blood pressure

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:

  • Headache
  • Dyspnoea
  • Dizziness
  • Nosebleeds
  • altered vision
  • chest discomfort
  • exhaustion
  • swelling in the legs and feet
  • abnormal heart sounds
  • constriction of the eyes’ blood vessels retinal hemorrhage
  • altered reflexes

Blood pressure is a “silent killer.” The majority of the time, there are no symptoms or indicators. Symptoms may appear in severe or chronic hypertension.

Reasons for High Blood Pressure:

Most of the time, the etiology of hypertension is unknown. The onset of hypertension is caused by a combination of nutritional, behavioral, environmental, and hereditary variables.

  1. Primary (essential) hypertension: The majority of persons have high blood pressure for unknown reasons. Primary (essential) hypertension is the term for this kind of high blood pressure that often develops gradually over many years.
  2. Secondary hypertension: Your high blood pressure is referred to as secondary hypertension if it results from an underlying medical issue. Secondary hypertension can result from several illnesses and drug interactions, such as:
  • Kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid issues
  • Congenital blood vessel malformations
  • Certain drugs, including birth control pills, over-the-counter painkillers, cold medicines, and decongestants
  • Some illegal substances, like amphetamines and cocaine
  • Lifestyle choices like smoking, not exercising, being overweight or obese, etc.

Types of Hypertension:

The blood pressure is divided into five ranges by the American Heart Association.

  1. Normal blood pressure (BP): Your blood pressure is regarded as being within the normal range if it is less than 120/80 mm Hg, which is the sum of your systolic and diastolic readings, or less than 120 mm Hg and 80 mm Hg, respectively. This suggests that all is well with your heart.
  2. Elevated blood pressure: This is the state in which your blood pressure measurements are regularly within the 120–129 mm Hg systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic ranges. If appropriate action is not taken to reduce your blood pressure, there is a significant likelihood that you will develop hypertension in the future if you now have increased blood pressure.
  3. Stage 1 hypertension: is defined as blood pressure values that are consistently between 130 and 139/80 and 89 mm Hg (systolic and diastolic measurements, respectively). Your doctors may give medication or advise diet restriction based on your age and risk factors.
  4. Stage 2 hypertension: When your blood pressure continuously exceeds 140/90 mm Hg, or 140 mm Hg for the systolic and 90 mm Hg for the diastolic measurements, you are in this stage. At this point, in addition to lifestyle treatments, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication to control hypertension. In addition, you may be instructed to monitor your general health and take a reading of your blood pressure at home.
  5. Hypertensive crisis: This is the most serious kind of hypertension and needs to be treated very soon. If your blood pressure readings at this point are higher than 180/120 mm Hg, call your doctor right once. This suggests that symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, back pain, weakness, or numbness could be indicators of organ damage. speech difficulties or visual changes. Hurry to a hospital as soon as possible rather than waiting for the readings to drop.

stages of hypertensions

For a Better Understanding, you can also read

Risk Factors for Hypertension:

Modifiable risk factors

  • Current cigarette smoking, second-hand smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dyslipidemia / hypercholesterolemia
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Physical inactivity/low fitness
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Excessive use of alcohol

Non-modifiable risk factors

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Family history
  • Increased age
  • Low socio-economic/educational status
  • Globalization, urbanization
  • Gender (more prevalent in males)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Psychosocial stress

Identification of Hypertension:

Measurements of blood pressure are the basis for the diagnosis of hypertension. According to the World Health Organization, several days must pass with the measures taken to diagnose hypertension. Twice a day, two successive measurements are taken and recorded, ideally a few minutes apart (morning and evening)

Basic testing:

  • Blood glucose test
  • Complete blood count
  • Lipid profile
  • Kidney function test
  • Serum sodium, potassium, calcium
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Urinalysis
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Uric acid
  • Urinary albumin to creatinine ratio

Prevention Of Hypertension:

  1. Be kind with yourself. Reduce tension!

High blood pressure is largely caused by ongoing stress. If you respond to occasional stress by smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating unhealthy foods, it can even cause high blood pressure. Controlling your stress can aid in preventing hypertension.

  • Allow enough time to complete your tasks.
  • Develop the ability to say no and live within reasonable bounds.

Aim to develop an acceptance of the things you cannot alter.

  • Recognize your stressors and make an effort to avoid them.
  • Set aside 15 to 20 minutes each day to sit still and take deep breaths.
  • Practice meditation! For many, using techniques like breathing, chanting, or visualization can be a useful way to handle stress.
  1. Reduce the amount of salt you consume

Limiting your daily salt consumption to fewer than 6 grams is beneficial for your heart in addition to lowering blood pressure. Try these suggestions to cut back on sodium in your diet:

  • Pay close attention to the food labels and choose those that are low in salt.
  • Steer clear of processed foods because they are heavy in salt.
  • Acquire a liking for foods that are low or unsalted.
  • Refrain from adding salt to prepared meals and salads.
  1. Consume heart-healthy meals

Foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, two types of healthy fats, are beneficial to the heart. Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals is also essential for preserving healthy blood circulation. Foods high in fiber can help reduce cholesterol. Thus, for improved heart health, make sure your diet includes foods like almonds, apples, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables.

  1. Engage in regular exercise

Physically active people frequently have better heart health and can avoid problems like hypertension.

  • Walking vigorously for 30 to 45 minutes three to four times a week can reduce blood pressure by 7-8 mm Hg.
  • You are free to choose any kind of exercise that you enjoy, such as cycling, swimming, walking, or running.
  1. Drop those excess pounds

In addition to other lifestyle disorders, blood pressure prevention in overweight or obese individuals may be achieved with weight loss alone.

  • Try to keep your daily calorie consumption to no more than 1500 Kcal. Consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products with low fat.
  • Continue to drink water. Consume around two liters of liquids over the day.
  1. Drink less tea or coffee.

Even those without hypertension may have transient increases in blood pressure when they consume caffeine. Try to keep your caffeine use to no more than two cups each day.

  1. Avoid drinking alcohol

Both men and women are more likely to develop hypertension if they have more than two drinks every day. Additionally, it may lessen the benefits of blood pressure drugs. Limit your alcohol consumption to weekends or special events. Recall that moderation is essential.

  1. Give up smoking

An increased risk of hypertension is associated with smoking.

  • Your blood pressure rises for several minutes after you stop smoking a cigarette.
  • Giving up smoking facilitates a normal recovery of blood pressure.
  • Individuals who give up smoking, regardless of age, tend to live longer.

A Specialist To See:

It is advisable to see a doctor right away if you notice any hypertension-related signs and symptoms because prompt diagnosis and treatment can enhance your general health. Additionally, it is advisable to have your blood pressure checked by a doctor at least once a year if you are older than 40 or if you have any risk factors for high blood pressure.

  • Family physician,
  • General practitioner
  • Cardiothoracic vascular surgeon (CTVS)
  • Cardiologist
  • Neurologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • And nutritionist

Management of High Blood Pressure:

Maintaining blood pressure within the normal range reduces the chance of difficulties in the future, which is the primary goal of treating hypertension. There are so many numerous medications available today to lower blood pressure. To manage their hypertension, more than hypertensive people are prescribed two or more antihypertensive medications.

As part of your first-line treatment for hypertension, your doctor may prescribe different classes may be provided if you have stage 2 hypertension and do not have any high-risk conditions. You must take blood pressure medicine exactly as directed. Never forget to take your blood pressure medicine or stop taking it suddenly.

Rebound hypertension is a sudden spike in blood pressure that can occur when certain blood pressure medications, including beta blockers, are stopped abruptly. see your doctor about possible options if you miss doses due to financial difficulties, prescription side effects, or simple forgetfulness. Never interrupt your course of treatment without consulting your physician.

Ayurveda Herbs :

For the treatment of hypertension, certain medications such as Arjuna, Punarnava, Ashwagandha, Guggulu, Gomutra (cow urine), and Triphala might be utilized.

ayurvedic herbs
ayurvedic herbs

Alternative Therapies For Hypertension

According to Ayurveda, hypertension can be attributed to 2 types of causes:

Diet-related Causes (Aharaj-Indiana): 

 These include consuming an excessive amount of salt (atilavana), wine (atimadyapana), and meat (mansa-sewan).

Lifestyle-related Causes (Viharaj-nidana):

These include, among other things, adhering to natural desires like urination (vegavidharana), sleeping during the day (divasvapna), staying up late at night (ratrijagarana), overexerting oneself (ativyayam), stress and worry (manashetu), and inactive lifestyles (avyayama).

Yoga: You can reduce stress by practicing meditation and other calming methods. Regular and suitable practice might also help you to gain.

  • Pranayama
  • Shavasana
  • Vajrasana
  • Makarasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Sukhasana

At-home Treatment for High Blood Pressure:

Blood pressure can be effectively controlled by implementing tiny but deliberate dietary adjustments and leading a healthy lifestyle. Reducing the dosage and quantity of drugs may even be beneficial in certain circumstances. Here are a few simple techniques for managing blood pressure:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Cut down on salt intake
  • Limit your calorie consumption
  • Restrict your intake of caffeine
  • Manage stress
  • Quit smoking & cut down on alcohol

Tips to measure BP at home:

If you are diagnosed with High BP, then you need to use a digital

BP monitoring machine as advised by your doctor. 

Complications related to high blood pressure:

Chronic hypertension may have negative effects. Reduced blood flow to your body’s various organs is caused by the hardening of blood vessel walls. The risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, aortic aneurysm (bleeding from major blood vessels), nephropathy (damage to the kidneys), retinopathy (loss of vision), etc. is increased by hypertension. The likelihood of problems is increased in many individuals with hypertension who also have other health risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

  • Coronary artery disease: The heart’s workload and efficiency can both be impacted by damaged blood arteries in the heart. This may result in left ventricular hypertrophy, or thickening of the heart’s muscle wall, and angina, or chest pain, which may ultimately result in heart failure.
  • Stroke: Uncontrolled hypertension weakens and destroys the brain’s tiny arteries, making them more prone to burst and leak. Additionally, it may result in blood clots forming in the veins, which could obstruct blood flow and perhaps result in a stroke.
  • Dementia: Another significant risk factor for dementia in midlife is hypertension. The blood vessel wall thickens as a result of persistently high blood pressure, which narrows the small blood vessels. The bigger cerebral arteries narrow as a result of plaque buildup. These plaques have the potential to burst and obstruct blood flow within the blood arteries, killing tissue in the parts of the brain in charge of memory and executive function.
  • Aortic aneurysm/dissection: High blood pressure damages blood vessel walls, which can eventually lead to an enlargement. This causes the blood artery wall to develop an aneurysm, which is a pouch-like structure that, if ruptured, can be fatal.
  • Hypertensive nephropathy/CKD: The kidney’s blood flow is reduced due to damage to its tiny capillaries. Reduced kidney function and ultimately renal failure result from this.
  • Hypertensive retinopathy: This condition affects the eye’s optic nerve, choroid, and retina. The retina’s blood vessels are constricted. This blurs vision causes retinopathy, and ultimately results in blindness.

By managing the identified risk factors and blood pressure, these problems can be avoided. Reduction of blood pressure to <130/80 mmHg has been shown to reduce heart complications by 25%.

For a Better Understanding, you can also read

Conclusion

The most successful technique in the search for the best medication to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol turns out to be a combination of conventional drugs and natural remedies. It’s crucial to speak with medical experts to create a plan that meets each person’s needs. People can take control of their health and make the path toward a heart-healthy future by adopting a holistic lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is the silent killer known as hypertension?

The majority of people do not even realize they have hypertension because they do not exhibit any overt symptoms. Consequently, many cases of hypertension remain undiagnosed. Your blood vessel walls thicken as a result of the illness, which reduces blood flow to your body’s organs. If left untreated, it can harm your circulatory system and play a major role in the development of various health risks, such as stroke and heart attack.

Is hypertension limited to the elderly population?

Hypertension is not exclusive to the elderly. The WHO estimates that in 2015, about 20% of women and 24% of men over the age of 18 had hypertension. In children and teenagers, the prevalence of hypertension is 3.5%. The noteworthy impact of childhood obesity might be ascribed to the rising incidence. Young adults are less likely to be receiving treatment for hypertension and to be aware that they have it.

Even if hypertension runs in my family, is it still preventable?

Indeed. You can manage your hypertension even if you fall into the high-risk category. Even with higher risk factors, you can prevent hypertension by following certain measures like eating a nutritious diet, reducing your salt intake, keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly, consuming less alcohol, effectively managing your stress, etc. And remember to obtain frequent checkups with your physician.

Is it okay to take prescription pharmaceuticals alongside Ayurveda or homeopathic remedies?

Complementary and alternative medicines are used by the great majority of people on the planet as supplements or substitutes for conventional treatments. The drugs may have a significant impact on your health. Additionally, they may interfere with other prescriptions. The combination of allopathic and alternative medicines may significantly lower your blood pressure. Therefore, discuss the side effects and potential drug interactions of your complementary and alternative medications with your doctor of alternative medicine. Similarly, disclose to your allopathic physician any Ayurvedic/homeopathic drugs or supplements that you presently take or would like to take.

Should I stop taking my medicine after my blood pressure is back to normal?

The condition of hypertension is chronic. Medication is an effective treatment and control method. Even if your readings have been lower, you will still require daily medicine for the remainder of your life. Maintaining a nutritious diet, taking medicine as prescribed, and other lifestyle changes can help you keep your blood pressure within normal limits and reduce the chance of developing difficulties down the road. But you shouldn’t stop taking your medications without first talking to your doctor. Your blood pressure is maintained under control by your antihypertensive drugs. Your blood pressure may spike if you stop them suddenly.

If I take more than one medication, would I develop an addiction to the hypertensive medications?

No. Medication for hypertension does not lead to addiction. You won’t get dependent on them. High blood pressure medications assist in keeping your blood pressure within normal ranges. For the rest of your life, you must take them every day. As long as you continue to take them, they drop your blood pressure and maintain it there. If you cease taking your medication, your blood pressure will simply return to its elevated levels.

I was told that consuming two cloves of garlic every morning on an empty stomach can help reduce hypertension. Is that accurate?

Garlic contains a bioactive substance called allicin. It helps control blood circulation and possesses antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. Because allicin inhibits angiotensin-converting enzymes and dilates blood vessels, it is also believed to be useful in decreasing blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. Allicin is present in garlic. Most allicin is found in raw, smashed garlic. When consumed empty-handed, its antimicrobial properties are enhanced. Therefore, taking a daily dose of raw garlic in the morning on an empty stomach can serve as an additional therapeutic option to help manage your hypertension.

If I eat too much common salt without having any risk factors, may I acquire hypertension?

Sodium, a mineral found in salt, is necessary for both the proper operation of your body’s water and fluid balance as well as the health of your muscles and nerves. However, eating too much salt raises blood pressure in several ways. Consuming too much common salt puts too much strain on your kidneys. Your body retains water due to a buildup of salt. Your body’s increasing fluid content puts more strain on your heart and blood vessel pressure. Some persons tend to be more sensitive than others to the effects of sodium on blood pressure. If you have ‘salt sensitivity’, excessive consumption of salt can independently influence the development of hypertension

Which foods can make me more likely to get hypertension?

Excessive salt intake can independently affect the development of hypertension if you have “salt sensitivity.”

Notice of Disclaimer

This website’s content is provided only for educational reasons; it is not meant to replace medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The reader should check with their physician to see if the material is appropriate for their particular circumstance, as each person has different needs.

 

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