High Blood Pressure

Information on High Blood Pressure

What exactly is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the measurement of the force with which the blood exerts against the walls of the arteries. There are two types of blood pressure, namely systolic blood pressure, the pressure that the blood exerts on arterial walls at each heartbeat and diastolic pressure, the pressure of blood between each heartbeat.

A typical Blood pressure reading reads like 130/110 mm/Hg or millimeters of mercury. In this reading, the 130 denotes systolic pressure and the 110 denotes diastolic pressure.
A blood pressure reading of 140/90 indicates high blood pressure whereas 120/80 indicates normal blood pressure.

How is blood pressure measured? Traditionally, blood pressure is measured with the help of an analog device called the sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope or microphone. But with advances in science, a lot of digital devices with sophisticated as well as easy to use features have been introduced that have made blood measurement very easy.

What causes high blood pressure? Causes of blood pressure are varied and may differ from one individual to anther.

Some of the general causes are as follows –

Increase in the stiffness and narrowing of the smaller or peripheral arteries.

Rise of blood pressure is strongly related to genetics, overeating, obesity, excessive use of salt & caffeine and lack of physical exercise. High Blood pressure is a natural outcome of aging and it is a process that usually begins after the age of 40. Besides the physical factors, stress, tension and anxiety have been considered to be contributing factors that increase the incidence r severity of blood pressure.

People suffering from kidney diseases are also prone to high blood pressure. Women can also have bouts of high blood pressure when they are pregnant.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure? High blood pressure is known as the silent killer as symptoms of this disease are not readily apparent or can be easily misdiagnosed. The most effective way to detect high blood pressure is to have regular blood pressure measurements.

What are the risks of blood pressure? Blood pressure is a serious problem and can be a serious threat to your life. Untreated high blood pressure over a period of time can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney diseases as well as eye diseases.

What are the treatment options available for high blood pressure?

Medications include beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II antagonists.
Diuretics may also be prescribed as this type of medication helps to eliminate the excess quantity of water through urination and thus reduces the overall volume of blood.

Bringing about a dramatic change in your lifestyle habits by quitting alcohol, smoking, tobacco and the limiting daily intake of salt and caffeine can also help in reducing your blood pressure. There are a number of vitamins as well as herbs to keep your health in good condition and thus reduce your blood pressure.

However the best person to decide on how to manage and teat your blood pressure condition is your physician. In case the physician decides that bringing the blood pressure down in a relatively short period of time is imperative, then drugs may be prescribed.

Of course drugs work best if you incorporate changes in your lifestyle and diet and begin exercising regularly.