Hypertension, also know as high blood pressure, is a disorder where the pressure of blood against the artery walls is too high enough to lead to death.
Blood pressure is defined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the arteries. The more extra blood the heart pumps, the tighter the arteries, the higher the blood pressure.
Hypertension usually does not cause any symptoms. Therefore, a person can have high blood pressure and don’t know it. This is why hypertension is also called a silent killer.
We at Mayor Boss is ready with a general guidelines summary that will make our readers fully understand hypertension causes, symptoms, and treatments. So, let’s get into it!
What are the types of hypertension?
Hypertension is classified into two types:
- Essential hypertension also called primary hypertension. It gets its moniker from the fact that there is no known cause for this hypertension, and it develops gradually over many years. 90-95% of hypertensive cases are essential hypertension.
- Secondary hypertension covers the 5 – 10% left. This is a type of hypertension that has an underlying cause example kidney diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, endocrine diseases, thyroid disorders, medications such as hormonal contraceptives, heavy Alcohol intake, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, cold remedies, and steroids.
What are the warning signs of hypertension?
Symptoms of high blood pressure are almost absent, but when present you feel
- Pounding feeling in the chest or head.
- Severe headache that is mostly felt in the forehead (frontal lobe headache).
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chest pain
- Hematuria (blood in urine)
- Ringing sound in the ears (Tinnitus)
- Dyspnea (difficulty breathing).
What can happen if you have hypertension?
Over time, long-standing elevated blood pressure in a person can put the person at risk for so many diseases, like:
- Cardiac arrest is a sudden stop of heartbeat due to electrical heart malfunction.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Chronic kidney disease
- Vision problems leading to blindness if not properly managed.
- Coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction): is when one of the coronary arteries is blocked, therefore preventing blood flow to the heart. This is a circulatory problem.
What causes hypertension?
- Massive caffeine consumption.
- Chronic alcohol use
- Certain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Too much salt consumption and low potassium intake
- Age (60years and above)
- Lack of exercise.
- Family history of hypertension
- Race ( hypertension is prevalent in people of African descent)
How do you diagnose hypertension?
The diagnosis is made with a sphygmomanometer. The normal blood Pressure level is 120/80mmhg. Any person with Blood pressure above 140 /90 at rest with blood pressure taken on two or more separate days is diagnosed hypertensive. Other investigations are:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Lipid profile
- Chest X-ray.
- Biochemical blood analysis
- Renal ultrasound
- Body mass index
- Echocardiography (ECHO).
Can hypertension be cured?
Unfortunately, high blood pressure primary hypertension cannot be cured. But it can be managed with lifestyle modifications and drugs. If the doctor prescribed your medications, then you need to take them consistently. Examples of lifestyle modifications to adopt:
- Reduce stress
- Losing weight
- Eat less salt and increasing the intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium to your diet.
- Exercise regularly
- Limit intake of alcohol
- Limit smoking
- Reduce caffeine intake
How is hypertension treated medically?
- Antihypertensive used for treatment of hypertension are:
- Beta-blockers(Propranolol, Atenolol, Metoprolol, Bisoprolol)
- ACE inhibitors(Captopril, Enalapril, Lisinopril, Benazepril, Perindopril)
- Calcium channel blockers( Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Felodipine, Verapamil)
- Diuretics: (a) Loop diuretics: furosemide. (b)Thiazide diuretics: hydrochlorothiazide. (c) Potassium sparing diuretics: spironolactone.
- Vasodilators( Nitroprusside, Sildanefil)
- Angiotensin 2 receptor blockers(ARBs): Losartan, Candesartan, Valsartan
- Renin Inhibitors(Aliskiren).
- Endothelium receptor blockers (Bosentan)
Lastly, If you abruptly have a sharp increase in pressure, do not wait, call an ambulance, and while waiting, drop your legs in warm water to increase the blood vessels, calm down and breathe, relieve your emotional stress.