Homedicare India Pvt. Ltd HYPERTENSION High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most common of all cardiovascular diseases. It is the leading cause of stroke and a major cause of heart attack. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it flows through your body. Like air in a tyre, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity. Just as too much air pressure can damage a tire, too much blood pressure threatens healthy arteries. There are two kinds of blood pressure. 1. Systolic Pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood. 2. Diastolic Pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. The first number in your blood pressure reading measures systolic pressure. The second number measures diastolic pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 in a healthy adult. If your blood pressure was as high as 140/90 on at least two occasions you are said to have high blood pressure. If the levels remain high, your doctor will probably begin treatment. If your blood pressure reading is as high as 200/120, you need treatment immediately. Imagine a balloon being filled with air continuously, weakening the rubber and finally causing the balloon to burst. Similarly, consistently high blood pressure forces the heart to work far beyond its capacity and cause the following health hazards: Injury to blood vessels Damage to the brain Damage and failure of kidneys Optical nerve damage Retinal hemorrhage Heart attack Stroke Homedicare India Pvt. Ltd Risk Factors Family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes Pregnancy, birth control pills or medication that constrict blood vessels Age of 60 or above Obesity Inactive lifestyle Excessive consumption of alcohol Smoking Diet high in fat and/or sodium Most of the risk factors are within your control and there is much you can do to reduce your risk for hypertension ! Symptoms In the vast majority of cases, there are no clear warning signs of hypertension (high blood pressure). If symptoms do occur, they may include: Headaches Chest pain or tightness Nosebleeds Numbness and tingling Excessive perspiration Muscle cramps Weakness and palpitations Diagnosis Your doctor will not diagnose you with hypertension based on just one reading of your blood pressure. A minimum of three high blood pressure readings taken at different times of the day, over a period of a week to ten days (on three non-consecutive days) is necessary to make a diagnosis of hypertension. Treatment Fortunately, high blood pressure can be controlled effectively. The first step is early detection. Have your blood pressure checked regularly Hypertension is a "the silent killer" as it rarely exhibits symptoms even as it inflicts serious damage on the body. Depending on how high your blood pressure is, your doctor will first recommend: Positive lifestyle changes such as a diet and exercise program, smoking cessation, to help lower your blood pressure. If your blood pressure still stays high, it may be time for medication. Homedicare India Pvt. Ltd Medications that are used to treat hypertension are called antihypertensive drugs. There are many different types of medication available to reduce high blood pressure. Some get rid of excess fluid and sodium, while others relax tight blood vessels. Others prevent blood vessels from constricting and narrowing. Your doctor will choose the antihypertensive medication that is best for you given your age, medical history, etc. Remember! Medication that someone else is taking for hypertension may not be the right medication for you, or may not be the dosage that you require. Hence, never self-medicate! Because there is no known cure for hypertension, treatment is generally a life-long process. To maintain your blood pressure, it is important to stay on your medication until your doctor asks you to stop.
Pages to are hidden for
"hypertension"Please download to view full document