High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a health condition that results when the force exerted by blood flowing through the arteries remains consistently high. There are people who can live with HBP for years without exhibiting any symptoms, but this can later result in severe health complications. It is, therefore, important to be going for regular check-ups.
Causes of high blood pressure
High blood pressure can be broadly classified as primary or secondary hypertension. These are the causes of high blood pressure.
- Develops overtime with no specific cause
This is primary hypertension. It develops slowly over a long period and it cannot be linked to a specific cause.
- Health problem
This can be a kidney problem, blood vessel defect, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea or a thyroid problem. It is secondary hypertension and develops pretty fast.
- Certain medications
There are also medications that can contribute to HBP including cold remedies, birth control pills, some pain relievers and illegal drugs like cocaine. Persons affected by such cases may realize positive improvements after stopping the medications.
Some of the risk factors that have been linked to the condition include genetics, overweight problems such as obesity, age, sleep deprivation, smoking and alcohol consumption.
There are people who will not experience any prior symptoms until the condition starts causing serious health problems. However, there are some who will show some early signs like nausea, headache, dizziness, vomiting, nosebleeds, breathlessness, blurred vision/ double vision and shortness of breath.
In babies and infants, the condition is characterized by symptoms like seizure, lethargy, irritability, respiratory distress and nosebleeds. Those exhibiting such symptoms should seek immediate health attention to avoid possible health complications.
High blood pressure is a serious health issue and you should take immediate steps when you have high blood pressure. These are the treatments available for high blood pressure.
1. Taking medications
People are advised to keep monitoring their blood sugar levels on a regular basis since the condition can develop without any early signs or symptoms. Testing for HBP is done using a sphygmomanometer, and this has to be done by a trained health practitioner for accurate diagnosis. This will also facilitate proper interpretation of the test results.
There are also other additional tests that may be found necessary including urine/blood tests, electrocardiogram, stress test, and ultrasound.
The doctor will mostly likely prescribe medications for people with serious cases of high blood pressure. These include ACE (Angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors, ARBs (Angiotensin-2 receptor blockers), diuretics, calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers. There are cases where different medications can be prescribed at the same time.
2. Eating habit
You should try to avoid or limit eating certain food that leads to high blood pressure, like salt. You must include lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables in your diet.
3. Making lifestyle changes
In mild cases of HBP, the health practitioner can ask you to make some lifestyle changes such as exercising, losing weight, reducing salt intake, quitting smoking, reducing or stopping alcohol consumption, reducing caffeine intake, switching to a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. These are steps that can also be followed by healthy persons to lower the risks of getting high blood pressure.
If HBP is not managed in time, it can contribute to health problems like heart attack, stroke, heart failure, damaged blood vessels and memory troubles among others.