BP Basics

Do You Clearly Understand Your Hypertension?

Today’s stressful life has given us many health problems and ‘Hypertension’ is one of them, which is also known by the names like ‘arterial hypertension’ and ‘high blood pressure’. Not only heart related diseases like heart failure, heart attacks and strokes can be a result of hypertension but it has also been found to contribute towards other very serious (chronic) diseases such as kidney (renal) failure and arterial aneurysm.

There are two types of hypertension: essential hypertension, which can be caused from no clear reason, and secondary hypertension, which normally happens because of a certain reason such as kidney failure or surgery.

Normally physicians consider blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg, as a normal blood pressure. And if the blood pressure reading is between the normal range and 139/89 mmHg, it is called ‘pre-hypertension’, which is considered to be a ‘warning flag’. However, if a person is already suffering from hypertension, the situation may grow worse in the later case. But the facts stated earlier are not proven, experts are not united in their opinion. For some, the normal blood pressure is 115/75 while for others the stage of pre-hypertension is not a disease but a level where risk of hypertension can be developed.

It is also seen that the patients of diabetes (mellitus) and kidney problems with a blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg mostly suffer from high blood pressure. Not everybody would come to know this because blood pressure taken at home normally comes out to be lower than when it is measured at the doctor's clinic or hospital.

The disease has almost no physical presence on the patient. For there may be the cases wherein the person whose blood pressure is under 240/120 will not show any signs of hypertension. And this is specifically the reason for which it is usually discovered 'by accident' and thus called as ‘The Silent Killer’.

Some symptoms like headache, blurred vision and damage of internal organ may indicate that the person is suffering from hypertension as well. It is thus always advisable to monitor your blood pressure regularly.

Take the blood pressure readings at least one hour after drinking or eating products containing caffeine, 30 minutes after smoking and when the sufferer is in light or humorous mood.

It is usually seen that weight loss and regular physical exercise are recommended during the treatment of hypertension but the consultation of doctor should be taken before one resorts to medication even in case of pre-hypertension.

A little change in diet is also advisable, which may include a rise in the intake of calcium and fruit and avoiding smoking, as it contributes to hypertension and increases the risk of stroke and heart related problems. In addition to the oral medication, which is normally given to the patient for the purpose of rest, the range of herbal/homeopathic treatments are also available in the market that can be taken on the prescription of your physician.

Hypertension may be caused because of the sodium (salt) intolerance and sleep disorder (apnea). If a person takes alcohol in excess or is overweight, he can suffer from sleep apnea (characterized by waking frequently at night and excessive, loud snoring). The patient can control his blood pressure level by merely using less salt in the food and getting a good night sleep, which is not easy for the persons who are suffering from sleep apnea.

If treated carefully, at an early stage and by bringing minor changes in one’s present lifestyle, one can control the level of high blood pressure.