Hypertension is higher than normal blood pressure, specifically systolic blood pressure above 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure above 90 mm Hg (140/90 mm Hg). Prolonged (chronic) high blood pressure is likely to induce cardiovascular (heart and circulatory system) damage or other adverse consequences.
Pre-hypertension is systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mm Hg. Pre-hypertension is an intermediate case between normal and high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered high blood pressure, then you have prehypertension. And that means you may have a higher risk for stroke and heart disease.
Normal blood pressure for adults is generally in the range of 90/50 to 120/90 mm Hg .
Hypotension is an abnormally low blood pressure, usually below 90/50 mm Hg. In severe or prolonged cases, it can be a serious medical condition.
Your heart contracts and relaxes to pumps blood through your arteries to all parts of your body. Blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries. Systolic pressure is a measure of the blood pressure when the heart pumps. Diastolic pressure is a measure of the pressure between heart beats.
Syptoms of Hypertension
If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for,including:
- Severe headache
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
Causes of Hypertesion
Elevated blood pressure is quite in common. Between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 people have hypertension. Incidence of hypertension is significantly higher in African-Americans than in other racial groups. The chances of developing hypertension are increased for individuals who:
- are overweight
- have a family history of hypertension
- are men over 45 and women over 55
- have prehypertension
- consume too much salt
- consume too much alcohol
- do not exercise
- do not consume enough potassium
- take certain medications have chronic high levels of stress
Hypertension can also be caused by a variety of other medical conditions. These cases are also called secondary hypertension. In other cases, there is no known cause (idiopathic), and the condition is sometimes called essential hypertension.
Adverse consequences of chronic hypertension may include:
- Retinal vascular damage. Blood vessels in the eye may burst and bleed, sometimes resulting in blindness.
- Cerebrovascular disease and stroke due to "hardening" or damage to the blood vessels in your brain.
- Left ventricular hypertrophy (enlarged heart), possibly leading to heart failure.
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack).
- Aneurysm (a weakened area in a blood vessel). Rupture of an aneurysm can lead to a stroke or death.
- Renovascular disease. Blood vessels in the kidney may narrow or block completely, ultimately leading to kidney failure.
If you have high blood pressure, there are things you can do to bring it down, including taking medication.
Shed Some Pounds
If you’re overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure. It will also help with sleep apnea -- when your breathing briefly stops multiple times while you sleep. (It can raise your blood pressure and make your heart beat irregularly.) Shed pounds slowly with a steady mix of healthy eating and exercise.
Keeping tabs on the scale will help your blood pressure take care of itself. Check your readings regularly at home, and try to stay in your target range.
Watch What You Eat
- The experts recommend you:
- Skip foods high in total and saturated fat.
- Load up on fruits and vegetables in as many colors as possible.
- Go heavy on whole grains, and stay away from processed foods, especially ones high in carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and salt.
- Control how much alcohol you drink. While small amounts may lower your blood pressure, large amounts can have the opposite effect. Have no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman; two or less if you’re a man.
- Go easy on the caffeine. It can raise your blood pressure.
These are the basic rules of a program called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). It’s considered by many to be the best diet when it comes to managing and lowering blood pressure.
Now, new research shows that blood pressure-lowering pills may help lower the risk of stroke in people with prehypertension.
Source: 1. ilpi.com 2. webmd.com