HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SYMPTOMS CAUSES DIET & TREATMENT

Dr.Armughan Riaz
M.B.B.S, Dip Card
Consultant Cardiologist

 

Causes for High Blood Pressure in the Elderly

Causes for High Blood Pressure in the Elderly, The most obvious reason for hypertension among elder people is age. Due to age, arteries become hard

Causes for High Blood Pressure in the Elderly

Although high blood pressure can happen at any age, it has been generally associated with elderly people. It is estimated that over 75 percent of people 80 years old or older are suffering from high blood pressure. There are different reasons why people of older age get hypertension. Whatever the reasons, its timely treatment is very important because if left untreated, it can lead to other health complications like stroke and heart attack.

 

The most obvious reason for hypertension among elder people is age

The most obvious reason for hypertension among elder people is age. Due to age, arteries become hard. It is not possible to stop the natural process but some lifestyle changes can slow it. Another cause of hypertension in elderly people is obesity. Obese people, especially those who carry most weight around their stomach, double their risks of getting high blood pressure. Hence, losing weight is very important if health problems are to be avoided in the later years of life. Third important cause of high blood pressure is related to improper diet. Excessive use of sodium is a major contributor of high blood pressure. Instead of processed and packaged foods, which are high in sodium, fresh fruits, vegetables and grains should be consumed. Besides this, drinking alcohol in excess can also lead to hypertension. One to two drinks per day are a suitable limit if normal levels of blood pressure are to be maintained.

Lack of activity is also an important cause of high blood pressure in elderly people. Most people neglect exercise completely as they age. However, it is important to realize that some sort of exercise is essential in every age. Physical activity always helps to keep the body fit and functioning properly.

It is also necessary to have regular medical checkups. These would help in early detection of any health problem and a timely treatment can be started. Since, hypertension does not have any signs, it is better to monitor one’s blood pressure frequently.

If a patient is diagnosed with high blood pressure, his doctor will prescribe medicines to control blood pressure besides recommending some changes in the lifestyle and diet. Diuretics or water pills are inexpensive and highly effective medicines for hypertension. These work by flushing water out of the body and excess sodium with it. Despite its benefits, only 24 percent of elderly men and 38 percent of elderly women are given diuretics. Beta-blockers are also prescribed to some hypertensive patients. These work to slow the heart down, thus lowering the blood pressure. Alpha blockers and alpha beta blockers work in the same way to control blood pressure that is by allowing the blood to flow more freely. However, alpha beta blockers also slow the heartbeat like beta blockers. As a result, less blood is pumped through the vessels and blood pressure goes down. Calcium channel blockers or CCBs are also prescribed for high blood pressure and lower blood pressure by keeping calcium from entering the heart. This in turn helps to relax the blood vessels. Angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE inhibitors causes the blood vessels to relax which lowers blood pressure.

All of these medicines have their merits and demerits. The medicine to use will be best decided by your doctor who will make the final decision after keeping your individual case in consideration.

 



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