Generic Blood Pressure F.A.Q.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is a term used for the health disorder distinguished by raised blood tension in the vessels, hollow organs or in the chambers of the body. High blood tension can provoke damage to blood vessels, heart, kidneys and cause heart attack, stroke and other serious complications.
Arterial hypertension is the most prevalent disorder of the cardiovascular system. Around one-third of the adults suffer from it. The older people get, the more frequent is hypertension development. By the age of 60, around 50-65% of people develop elevated arterial tension.
Essential hypertension makes up 90% of all cases of hypertension. In the rest, secondary hypertension is diagnosed. This includes renal - 3-4%, endocrine - 0.1-0.3%, hemodynamic, neurological, stressful, due to the intake of certain substances (iatrogenic) and hypertension of pregnant women.
Iatrogenic hypertension is primarily manifested in the intake of dietary supplements and drugs. Women who take hormonal contraceptives develop hypertension more often (primarily in obesity, women who smoke and elderly women).
What causes hypertension?
There are different causes of disease development. Here we list the most prominent ones:
– Hereditary factor;
– Abnormal development (for instance due birth traumas);
– Stress, atherosclerosis;
– Alcohol consumption;
– Excess salt in the body;
– Low physical activity;
– Renal, endocrine, cardiovascular, neurogenic diseases;
– Use of supplements or certain medications;
– Poor quality water consumption;
– Harmful working conditions;
– Microclimate of residential premises;
– Incorrect rest;
– Electromagnetic fields, radiation;
– Deficiency of vitamins, essential bio-elements;
The disorder is most frequently developed in the 60s or later in life because of the accumulation of negative factors and diseases over the lifetime.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
When the arterial pressure is higher than 140/90, the following symptoms can develop:
– Noise in the ears;
– Rapid heartbeat;
– Pulsing sensation in the head;
– Face reddening;
– Darkening in the eyes;
– Lowering of productivity;
– Swelling of the face;
Sometimes hypertension can be present without any symptoms but then result in a heart attack or stroke.
Thus it is recommended to measure arterial pressure at home for every people older than 50.
The main and easily observed symptom that can be noticed if you measure blood tension is when it is persistently elevated. The numbers indicate the stage of the disease:
– Arterial tension in the range between 140-159/90-99 mmHg indicate a mild (I stage) hypertension;
– Arterial tension up to 170/109 mmHg indicates a moderate (II stage) hypertension;
– Arterial tension higher than 180/100 mmHg indicates a severe (III stage) hypertension.
How is hypertension diagnosed?
The main three methods of the disease diagnosis are:
– Measuring of arterial pressure;
– Physical examination;
The measuring of the blood pressure is done at home with the use of blood pressure meter. A family that has a member with elevated arterial tension should always have the pressure meter. The norm for an adult is 120-140/80-90 mm Hg but there are some people for whom the normal tension is the lowered one so for them these numbers can indicate an elevated tension. Blood tension can vary depending on age, heart condition, emotional status, physical activity drugs use, and so on. Therefore, if once you have had an increase in arterial tension; it does not mean that you have hypertension. It is necessary to measure the tension at different times, at least with an interval of 5 minutes.
Besides the doctor should ask a patient about all of the previous or present diseases, negative factors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, high cholesterol, and so on, and the family history of hypertension.
– Physical examination includes the study of the heart with a stethoscope. This method allows detecting the presence of heart murmurs, changes in characteristic tones (amplification or, conversely, attenuation), as well as the occurrence of uncharacteristic sounds. These data, first of all, speak about the changes occurring in the heart tissue due to raised blood pressure, as well as the presence of defects.
– Electrocardiogram, echocardiography, arteriography, and other methods of diagnosis are made if there is a suspicion of heart disease or to monitor the changes in the cardiovascular system of an individual with hypertension once a year.
How to know if I have high blood pressure?
According to the norms established by the World Health Organization, the norms for adults are:
– Lowered but normal tension is 115-110/70 mmHg;
– Optimal tension is 120/80 mmHg;
– Upper limit of normal tension is 130-139/85 mmHg;
– Arterial hypertension is diagnosed in a persistent or recurring tension of 140/90 mmHg;
What are the dangers of high blood pressure?
Untreated and uncontrolled arterial hypertension is fraught with severe complications. All of them affect the heart and/or vessels of target organs, so they are often referred to as cardiovascular complications:
– Accelerated development of atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries;
– Acute heart failure;
– Heart attack;
– Cardiac arrest;
– Decreased vision (up to complete blindness);
– Accelerated development of cerebral arteriosclerosis;
– Dynamic and organic disorders of cerebral circulation;
– Hypertensive nephroangiosclerosis;
– Chronic renal failure;
– Dissecting aortic aneurysm;
– Relative stenosis of the aortic valve.
How is high blood pressure treated?
The therapy of the disease depends on the type of hypertension. Individuals with arterial hypertension are first of all encouraged to change their lifestyle through acquiring healthier eating habits, incorporating exercises in their daily routine, cease smoking and consuming alcohol, and so on. For mild to moderate hypertension, these recommendations can be sufficient and no drugs are needed. But if a patient fails to follow these recommendations or already suffers from severe hypertension, antihypertensive medications are prescribed.
b) Thiazide and thiazide-like
d) Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
– Antagonists of adrenergic receptors
a) Alpha blockers
c) Alpha and beta blockers
– Adrenergic receptor agonists
a) Alpha2 agonists
– Calcium channel blockers
a) ACE Inhibitors (for instance, Altace (Ramipril) by IPCA)
b) Angiotensin-2 receptor antagonists
c) Aldosterone antagonists
e) Centrally acting adrenergic or alpha receptor stimulants in the brain
f) Direct renin inhibitors
How to prevent hypertension?
The prophylaxis of hypertension is possible. For this, you have to follow simple rules on a constant basis:
– Develop healthy eating habits
– Make it full and diverse: the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates for the day should be approximately equal to 1: 1: 4. The diet should include: vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, dairy products, legumes, bread, and pasta from durum wheat, berries and greens.
– Have a good breakfast and then eat 4–5 times a day in small portions. Thus, you will never experience hunger and be able to control the quality and quantity of food you eat.
– Limit fat and fat intake: replace butter with vegetable oil. Exclude from use: sausages, sausages, smoked meats.
– Use only iodized salt.
– Limit the use of carbonated beverages, chewing gum, sweets. Replace candies with dried fruit.
This will help your body organs function properly and do not get extra weight.
– Quit smoking
– Try not to smoke at your first craving better chew a gum, drink a glass of water.
– Spend more time outdoors - it will fill your lungs with oxygen and lift your spirits.
If you alone cannot quit the habit on your own ask for help from a specialist.
– Become more active physically.
– Work around the house or in the garden.
– Incorporate physical activity in your usual daily routine, for example, use the stairs, and not on the elevator; do breaks in your work for little walks, spend your lunch break going to a nearby park.
– Add to your life the type of exercising you enjoy, for instance, tennis, football, volleyball, basketball; snowboarding, skiing, skating; cycling; aerobic training; dance, fitness (yoga, pilates, etc.); swimming, etc. But please before starting any exercises, consult your doctor!
– Avoid stress
– Plan a working day in advance; alternate periods of intense work with proper rest.
– Get enough sleep - An average person needs 7–8 hours of sleep per day.
– Do not eat on the go: breakfast, lunch and dinner should be a time of rest.
– Do not try to relieve stress with tobacco or alcohol. The problems that caused stress and the stress itself will not go anywhere but your health will suffer.
– Physical exertion, especially related to water, will help relieve emotional stress: enjoy swimming or aqua-aerobics.
– Give yourself some time for relaxation every day: sit in a comfortable armchair, turn on pleasant music, close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on the seashore or whenever you would like.
– Try to get distracted, go to classes that cause positive emotion, go to a concert, start reading, walking in nature or chatting with friends.
Focus on the positive: the circumstances of your life are often better than you think when you are upset.
Watch your mood, irritability and temper as a source of disease. A benevolent facial expression and smile will improve your mood and attitude towards you.