High Blood Pressure: Symptoms,Prevention and Treatment
This condition is synonymous to hypertension.
It is quite a common but complicated condition.
Having this state doesn’t occur instantly and it takes time for it to develop.
This blog post is a complete guide on high blood pressure. Learn ways in which you can manage it well
What is High Blood Pressure
This condition begins to develop when your blood pressure continues to increase uncontrollably.
A blood pressure measurement determines how much and at what speed is blood passing through the blood vessels.
It determines the resistance level which is met when the heart is pumping the blood. If you have narrow arteries, the resistance increases and gives higher blood pressure levels.
If your blood pressure is high at a constant level, you will face other health problems too like heart diseases.
It also causes severe damage to your blood vessels, organs like brain, kidneys and eyes.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
While it isn’t possible to point out the exact reasons why you might have this condition, some factors which can trigger it are:
- Smoking heavily
Overweight or obesity
Not being physically active
Having a diet heavy on salt intake
High alcohol consumption
Stressing a lot
Being in old age
Before moving forward, the most common inquiry a person can have is:
How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
To confirm whether you are a patient of high blood pressure, you would need a professional consultation with your doctor.
Your medical advisor will measure your blood pressure to see if it’s high or low. The procedure is fast and painless.
5 Categories of Blood Pressure Readings:
According to Healthline, the following are 5 set readings for blood pressure:
Healthy: It is when your reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
Elevated: The systolic number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. This isn’t highly dangerous and you are not put on medicines but your doctor will advise you to have an active lifestyle.
Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. This becomes a critical condition and you will have severe symptoms like extreme pain, heavy headaches, shortness of breath and even visual impairment.
It can’t get any simpler than that. Adapt a healthy eating regime. This means introduce greens, unprocessed food items into your diet. And aim to consumer more fruits and vegetables every day. It is ideal if you have 5-8 servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
Cut down on sugar
It will be ideal for you to consume less sugar. Remember this doesn’t just mean raw sugar but also sweetened items like flavoured drinks and yogurts. Look into packaged foods and read labels to understand your sugar intake. Draw the line yourself.
Strive for your ideal weight
Here it is important to note that we are talking about the ideal weight your doctor will recommend to you and not the unnatural, glamorous looks that you see on your favorite shows. The realistic weight goal will be healthy and will be attainable with eating healthy and working out.
Adapt a regime to consume less calories everyday till you are eating better. Indulge in simple exercises before hard-core cardio.
It will be easier to adapt and will be benefitting in the long-run as a lifestyle alteration.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly
Lastly if you are at the risk of this condition, the best way you can prevent issues from arising is to monitor your blood pressure regularly.
There are great machines that help you to take accurate readings right at home.
Create a chart and log your readings consistently to notice if there has been a major change in them. If you see high variation, it is best to visit your doctor and seek medical advice.
Let’s now look into the different treatments available to you.
Remember the goal is that the blood pressure should be under 134/80
A number of factors are looked into by your doctor so to determine which the most effective treatment for you is.
This identification process will look into the kind of hypertension you are facing and the causes behind it.
Primary hypertension treatment options
This type of diagnosis means that you can just adapt some lifestyle changes which can help to keep your high blood pressure in control.
In case these changes are not getting the job done properly, you will get a prescription for strong medication.
Let’s now talk about secondary hypertension treatment:
In cases where the doctors find out that there are some underlying issues which needs correction, the treatment will focus on trying out various medications.
Your doctor will see what medications are effective for you and don’t cause any side effects.
In some cases, only medication will not help. You will have to instil some lifestyle alterations too, so to reduce the blood pressure.
Did you know that hypertension treatment is continuously evolving?
Sometimes something can work in the beginning but becomes null midway. It is important you meet your doctor on a regular basis to monitor progress.
When it comes to blood pressure medications, there are certain trial and error phases through which a combination is made to see what works best for you.
The common medications include:
Beta-blockers- It makes your heart beat slower. There is less force on it. This means there is lesser need of blood to be pumped in the arteries, lowering the blood pressure.
Diuretics-Did you know that having high sodium in the body can increase the blood pressure? These are water pills which focus on removing excess sodium in the body.
Calcium channel blockers- this medicine aims to block calcium entry into the heart’s muscles. It lowers the blood pressure and makes the heartbeats less forceful. It also aims to relax blood vessels.
Sometimes all you need is to adapt a healthy eating lifestyle. Let’s look at some of the most common habit updates:
You should consume food which keeps your blood pressure stable and keeps hypertension in control and reducing the risk of an onset of heart disease, stroke or even a heart attack. Eat more of:
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Workout Often
Indulge in physical activity often. To reach a healthy weight you should aim to work out at least three times a week in a moderate physical activity.
This helps to reduce your stress levels and makes you more in tuned with your physical and mental awareness, strengthening your build and well-being.
If you are overweight, aim to reach your ideal weight.
Stress Management 101
Look at these proven ways to manage your stress better:
- Deep breathing
- Muscle relaxation
Adopting a cleaner lifestyle
This is the ultimate advice by doctors. Quit smoking. The chemicals in tobacco damage the body in many ways.
Also limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is known to increase your blood pressure. Aim to quit this habit too.
What you take in plays a major role in your health. Try to consume healthy food items. It serves a long way in giving you a healthy outlook:
Adapt a Plant-based Diet
This will give you a higher intake of fiber. Also if you consume less meat, it means you are consuming less unhealthy saturated and trans fat. Consume more of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. It’s the ultimate health makeover.
Reduce Sodium Intake
While overall too much salt consumption isn’t good in general but it is especially harmful in the case of those who suffer from hypertension.
The ideal consumption of sodium should be 1500 milligrams and 2300 milligrams per day
Aim to eat from outside where they make heavy use of salt and try to cook at home often.
Cut back on sweets
Sugary drinks and beverages have no nutritional value. They are empty calories. If you have a sweet tooth, try to satisfy it with fresh fruits or dark chocolate.
Manage Your Life Better
High Blood Pressure or hypertension is a serious condition which needs your undivided attention. In certain cases, just a lifestyle alteration can help when you start eating healthy and work out often.
However in certain cases, you will need to even take on strong medication to keep your blood pressure readings stable.
We hope this guide was helpful to you in knowing ways to identify your high blood pressure, which category it falls. As well as finding ways in which you can have an effective treatment. We also highlighted prevention techniques to avoid the onset of complications.
If you need more details and guidance, feel free to reach out to us at Al-Qudrah Medical Centre. Our team of capable medical professionals will aim to provide all the information you need to manage your condition even better.