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If a person has high blood pressure it means that the walls of the arteries are receiving too much pressure repeatedly, the pressure needs to be chronically elevated for a diagnosis of hypertension to be confirmed.
Measuring blood pressure
The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body constantly every second of our lives. Blood that has low oxygen levels is pumped towards the lungs, where oxygen supplies are replenished. The oxygen rich blood is then pumped by the heart around the body to supply our muscles and cells. The pumping of blood creates pressure which is referred to as blood pressure.
When we measure blood pressure, we gauge two types of pressure:
When a person’s blood pressure is taken the doctor or nurse needs to measure both the systolic and diastolic pressures. The figures usually appear with a larger number first (systolic pressure), followed by a smaller number (diastolic pressure). The figure will be followed by the abbreviation “mmHg”, which means millimeters of mercury.
If you are told that your blood pressure is 120 over 80 (120/80 mmHg), it means a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg with a consensus across medical guidelines.
What the results of your blood pressure (Bp) says about your health status?
Anyone whose blood pressure is 140/90mmhg or more for a sustained period of time is said to have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Blood pressure is usually divided into five categories:
COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Having high blood pressure increases your risk for several health problems, such as:
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES;
Are majorly categorized into two, namely:
Even though there is no identifiable cause for essential high blood pressure, there is strong evidence linking some risk factors to the likelihood of developing the condition. Most of the causes list below can be risk factors for essential high blood pressure and secondary high blood pressure:
Various studies have offered compelling evidence that mental stress, especially long term, can have negative effects on blood pressure. A study carried out by researchers at the University of Texas, indicated that the way and manner air traffic controllers handle stress can affect whether they are at risk of developing high blood pressure later in life. Evidence from this study and many others, one can assume that some levels of stress if not managed properly, can be a risk factor for hypertension.
The older you are, the higher your risk of having high blood pressure.
If you have close family members with hypertension, your chances of developing it are significantly higher.
Smoking causes the blood vessels to narrow, resulting in higher blood pressure. Smoking also reduces the blood’s oxygen content so the heart has to pump faster in order to compensate, causing a rise in blood pressure.
People who drink regularly have higher systolic blood pressure than people who do not, said researchers from the University of Bristol, UK. They found that systolic blood pressure levels are about 7 mmHg higher in frequent drinkers than in people who do not drink. The risk may even sometimes include people who drink regularly, but not in excess.
Evidence in Europe and North America indicates that people with African and/or South Asian ancestry have a higher risk of developing hypertension, compared to people with predominantly Caucasian or Amerindian (indigenous of the Americas) ancestries.
Overweight and obese people are more likely to develop high blood pressure, compared to people of normal weight.
Lack of exercise, as well as having a sedentary lifestyle, raises the risk of hypertension.
Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System reported that societies where people don’t eat much salt have lower blood pressures than places where people eat a lot of salt.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing hypertension. Among patients with diabetes type 1, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is a risk factor for incident hypertension in type 1 diabetes intensive insulin therapy reduces the long-term risk of developing hypertension. People with diabetes type 2 are at risk of hypertension due to hyperglycemia, as well as other factors, such as overweight/obesity, certain medications, and some cardiovascular diseases.
Sleeping fewer than six hours a night could increase an individual’s blood pressure.
High blood pressure symptoms typically include:
Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should please see their doctor immediately.
Fruits and foods containing natural potassium, magnesium and fibre can help reduce high blood pressure . These include:
Drugs are usually prescribed as monotherapy (just one drug) and at a low dose. Side-effects associated with antihypertensive drugs are usually minor
The choice of drug depends on the individual and any other conditions they may have. While a single drug is usually tried in monotherapy first, a combination of at least two antihypertensive drugs is usually required.
Article by: edokita Team.