High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is spreading at a high rate these
days. Initially it was thought to be an old age disease but now, even children are susceptible to
it. It is very common in people who are over the age of 35, are obese or of African American ethnic
It is the primary cause of death in one third of women and men in United States.
In 77 percent of stroke and two third of heart attack cases, hypertension is the main factor.
Furthermore, hypertension is directly related to 26 percent of chronic kidney failures. The
presence of high blood pressure also creates a higher risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
Despite being widespread, it has no specific causes that a person can monitor.
The known factors that can increase the risks of developing high blood pressure include obesity,
diabetes and smoking although these are not the primary causes of hypertension. When there is an
absence of any identifiable cause, then it is called primary hypertension which is the case in 90
percent of people. High blood pressure that is associated with certain medications, kidney disease,
hormonal imbalance and sleep apnea is called secondary hypertension.
This disease is very difficult to catch because it has very mild or no symptoms.
In fact, most people go about their life without finding out that they are suffering from high
blood pressure. However, there are some symptoms that a hypertensive patient can experience like
dizziness, nausea, blurred vision or headache. But the problem with these signs is that they are
precursors of several other medical conditions as well. Consequently, many people do not get proper
medical attention until their symptoms increase in severity and force them to visit a doctor.
Hypertension is a progressive disease that can affect vital body structures including kidneys,
brain, eyes, heart and blood vessels.
Since it has such confusing symptoms it is crucial to check your blood pressure
regularly. It is easy to measure blood pressure these days. There are blood pressure machines
available or you can check it with a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure is measured in two readings,
the systolic and diastolic. The systolic number is the measurement of your pressure inside the
blood vessels when the heart is beating. The diastolic is the measurement of the pressure when the
heart is between beats. The normal level of blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg, where
the first number is the systolic and the second is the diastolic reading.
Do not drink coffee, alcohol or smoke 30 minutes before taking the reading.
Also, clear your bladder. In order to get a precise measurement, take a couple of readings at two
minutes apart and then take out their average.
If hypertension is not treated timely, it can lead to other medical
complications such as kidney failure, strokes and cardiovascular disease. Hence, it is important to
take all possible steps to avoid this disease and if it does occur, then to consult a doctor
urgently. It has been observed that people who are inactive, obese, smokers, drink excessive
alcohol and have a family history of blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing
Fortunately, preventing high blood pressure is possible by taking care of some
things. The foremost thing to do is to have a balanced diet. According to a study published in the
Journal of the American Medical Association, minimizing your alcohol intake; maintaining normal
body weight; working out; consuming folic acid; and eliminating over-the-counter pain medication
are very effective ways to protect oneself from developing high blood pressure.