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Hypertension: Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Prevention

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Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition which is commonly seen in people over the age of 60. High blood pressure is defined when the blood pressure of a person reaches 140/90mmHg. This implies that the pressure in the persons blood vessels and veins have reached a dangerously high point which in turn inhibits the flow of blood throughout the body. While not immediately life threatening, hypertension is likely to grow from a mild disturbance to a more and more severe state if unnoticed or left untreated.

Hypertension is split into primary and secondary categories. Primary hypertension is the category in which most suffering from hypertension are classed. Those suffering from primary hypertension have no obvious underlying cause to their hypertension and have acquired this ailment without being diagnosed with other preliminary conditions which could be attributed to causing their hypertension in the first place. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is hypertension which is contracted due to preexisting medical conditions which were affecting the heart, kidney, arteries or the endocrine systems.

Diagnosis for Hypertension

Diagnosis for Hypertension

Causes

There are a number of factors which could essentially lead to hypertension. Obesity, insulin resistance, alcohol intake, salt intake, ageing, lifestyle, stress, potassium intake and calcium intake. As a person suffering from hypertension, it is important to note that any number of these factors could be working together in increasing blood pressure. For instance, a person who exercises regularly could still suffer from high blood pressure if he/she has an unhealthy potassium and calcium intake and is constantly stressed.

Diagnosis

Hypertension can be discovered through physical checkups or with an automated blood pressure meter. On an automated blood pressure machine, there are 2 readings, the systolic(top) and diastolic(bottom) readings. The systolic reading is the contracting of the heart muscles and the diastolic reading is the relaxing of heart muscles in between beets. The readings for a normal blood pressure should be between 100-140mmHg systolic(top) and 60-90mmHg diastolic(bottom). If the readings are above or below the normal range, it would be wise to consult medical professionals as soon as possible. It is also important to note that if blood pressure readings are above 180mmHg systolic or 110 diastolic, this person is suffering from a hypertensive crisis and should seek medical attention immediately as there is a much higher risk of health issues arising even if symptoms are not apparent.

Symptoms

Symptoms of hypertension include, but are not limited to, headaches, dizziness, buzzing in the ears and even fainting when hypertension first occurs. In worse cases, Hypertension could cause heart damage, chest pain, loss of vision, organ failure, brain hemorrhaging and even heart failure. Also, when conducting physical examinations, hypertensive retinopathy(eye damage due to hypertension) may be discovered as a symptom of hypertension.

Management and Prevention

Factors affecting Hypertension

Factors affecting Hypertension

Although hypertension is something that may come naturally with old age and lifestyles, there are methods in which hypertension can be managed.

First of all, a healthy dose of exercise is always a good way to cure ailments like high blood pressure. Consult a doctor to find out what kind of exercising program or timetable is best suited beforehand as too much of a good thing can still be bad.

Secondly, maintaining a healthy diet can help greatly reduce the risk of hypertension. As a general rule of thumb, More vegetables and less meat and less salt is a good way to stay healthy. It would also be helpful to keep a food diary in order to better understand what you are eating. Once again, the consultation of a nutritionist is the best way to find a diet most suitable.

Finally, Keeping away from tobacco(including second hand smoke) and limiting the amount of alcohol consumed can help maintain a lower blood pressure and a healthy lifestyle. While it is not necessary to completely stay away from alcohol, it would be wise to only consume a cup or two at most.

These are just some of the ways of which high blood pressure can be managed. It is always a good idea to consult a doctor or health expert in order to find out more and better manage the illness.


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