High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. This blog discusses the causes of high blood pressure.
Hypertension is high blood pressure, means a persistent increase in blood pressure above the normal range of 120/80 mmHg Blood pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through the blood vessels and the amount of resistance it faces while the heart is pumping. Narrow arteries increase resistance. The narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure will be. It can lead to many health issues in the long run and include fatal heart diseases. Early detection may prevent some of these health diseases, hence let’s learn about high blood pressure symptoms.
High blood pressure symptoms
Knowing the symptoms, observing them early leads to early detection. Early detection plays a vital role in preventing some of the health issues that hypertension might cause later. But the thing with hypertension is that it is a silent medical condition. Many people won’t experience high blood pressure symptoms. It may take decades in some cases for this condition to reach levels severe enough that symptoms become obvious. Symptoms of severe high blood pressure may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Visual changes
- Blood in the urine
In case if anyone close to you experiences these symptoms, make sure they get immediate medical attention. But instead of waiting for these severe high blood pressure symptoms to appear, it is advised to get your blood pressure readings at regular intervals.
Cause of high blood pressure
There are two types of hypertension and they have different causes.
Primary hypertension: It is also called essential hypertension and develops over time. Causes of high blood pressure in this case are generally not identifiable. Most people suffer from essential/primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension: It often occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. Several conditions that may cause secondary hypertension include:
- Kidney disease
- Side effects of medications
- Use of illegal drugs
- Congenital heart defects
- Problems with your thyroid
- Alcohol abuse or chronic use
- Adrenal gland problems
- Certain endocrine tumors
Diagnosis and Treatment
Most doctors’ offices check blood pressure as part of a routine visit. If you don’t receive a blood pressure reading at your next appointment, request one.
In case your blood pressure is elevated, request your doctor to have more readings over the course of a few days or weeks. If the elevated blood pressure levels persist on each visit, then your doctor will probably conduct the following tests to rule out underlying conditions.
- Urine test
- Cholesterol screening and other blood tests
- Test of your heart’s electrical activity with an electrocardiogram (EKG, sometimes referred to as an ECG)
- Ultrasound of your heart or kidneys
The treatment of hypertension will depend on factors like types of hypertension you have and what causes have been identified. For primary hypertension, lifestyle changes may help reduce your high blood pressure and if it is not enough, then they may prescribe medication.
If you have secondary hypertension, then treatment will focus on other condition so that the medicines don’t have side effects.
In conclusion, one should be aware of the high blood pressure symptoms, as early detection and diagnosis can mitigate the situation.
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