(High Blood Pressure)

Hypertension (HTN), also known as high blood pressure is a common condition. When the force of blood on your atery walls are high then you may be diagnosed with HTN. Your blood pressure is higher when your heart pumps more blood and your arteries are narrow. HTN develops over many years and can be easily detected. Uncontrolled HTN increases risk of serious health problems.


There could be many causes but some include,

* The amount of water and salt you consume
* The condition of kidneys, nervous system and blood vessels
* Hormone levels
* Age


You can possibly have hypertension for years without symptoms. In most cases there are no symptoms. Symptoms of a more severe form of hypertension are very common in everyone which would make it hard to diagnose. Some of these symptoms include:

* Severe headache
* Nausea
* Throwing up
* Moderate to severe headache
* Confusion
* Changes in vision
* Nose bleeds

If these apply, you may have Malignant Hypertension. You should contact your doctor for a blood pressure test.

Higher Risks

You are at higher risk of Hypertension if you,

* Are African-American
* Obese
* Often stressed and/or anxious
* Consume large amounts of alcohol
* Consume too much salt (sodium)
* Have a family history of hypertension
* Have diabetes
* Smoke

Types of Hypertension

Primary Hypertension: Also known as, essential hypertension. It is most common and frequently there is no cause found.

Secondary Hypertension: Caused by another medical condition or medication. It may be caused by kidney damage, tumors, coarctation of the aorta, thyroid dysfunction, pregnant related conditions, sleep apnea syndrome, medications, and recreational drugs.  

Malignant Hypertension: Is the most severe form of hypertension and becoming very rare. It rapidly leads to organ damage and is fatal within 5 years if not treated quickly.

Isolated Systolic Hypertension: When your systolic blood pressure is above 160 mm Hg and the diastolic is below 90 mm Hg. It occurs in elders and results from age related hardening of the arteries. The Western diet is believed to be the cause.

White Coat Hypertension: Also known as anxiety induced hypertension. If your blood pressure is high when tested more than once by a health professional then you have white coat hypertension. When testing your blood pressure out of a clinical environment, if you receive high readings and low when tested by a health professional then you do not have white coat. Although, regular follow up is necessary. To prevent this form of hypertension then lifestyle changes would be wise. Consume less salt, less alcohol, no nicotine, more exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables, and have a high fibre, low fat diet.

Resistant Hypertension: If your blood pressure can not be decreased to below 140/90 mm Hg although a triple-drug regime.

How to read a Blood Pressure Reading

American Heat Association Recommendation

* The top number
* Higher than bottom number
* Measures the pressure in your arteries when your heartbeats

* The bottom number
* Lower than top number
* Measures pressure is arteries between your heartbeats

Normal Blood Pressure:
* Systolic is less than 120
* Diastolic is less than 80

* Systolic is 120-139
* Diastolic is 80-89

Hypertension Stage 1:
* Systolic is 140-159
* Diastolic is 90-99

Hypertension Stage 2:
* Systolic is 160 or higher
* Diastolic is 100 or higher

Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency care needed):
* Systolic is higher than 180
* Diastolic is higher than 110

Exams and Tests

Blood Pressure readings taken from home or your own device may be a better measure of your current blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems etc then have it checked more often. All adults should have checked their high blood pressure checked every 1-2 years if their blood pressure was less than 120/80 mm Hg.


When going through treatment your goal is to reduce your high blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. You should,

* Have a healthy diet including potassium and fiber
* Drink lots of water
* Exercise regularly (30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day)
* Do you smoke? Quit
* Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
* Limit the amount of salt you eat (less than 1,500 mg a day)
* Reduce stress. Try meditating
* Lose weight

These may seem like a lot of things to do but if you're serious about your health then take action now before its too late. Although Hypertension is not a major illness, one complication does lead to another.

(the likely course of a disease)

If Hypertension is not controlled, you are at a higher risk of bleeding from the large blood vessel. You are more prone to chronic kidney disease, heart attack, heart failure, poor blood supply to legs, problem with vision and stroke.

Remember, controlling Hypertension is no ones choice but your own. Make the right lifestyle choices and stay healthy.

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