The Cause and Diagnosis of Pseudo Hypertension
What is Hypertension?
While the blood flow provides oxygen to various body cells and removes carbon dioxide, the difference in its pressure can cause complications in the body. Hypertension is termed as a condition when the blood pressure levels are 140/90 mmHg and above. Ideally, blood pressure has to be maintained at around 120/80 mm Hg. It is a cause of concern if the blood pressure goes above these levels, and is the emergency if it is above 180/110. Although hypertension is a commonly observed lifestyle disease, it is difficult to be diagnosed as it may not show any immediate symptoms. No wonder it is called a ‘Silent Killer’, it may lead to severe conditions like stroke and heart attack if left untreated. The following measures and BP medication can treat high BP or hypertension:
What is Pseudo Hypertension?
As the name suggests, Pseudo Hypertension is a condition when cuff blood pressure, measured by a sphygmomanometer, shows an inaccurate and much higher reading than the arterial blood pressure. If not verified, patients with such readings are often diagnosed incorrectly as having hypertension. A patient who doesn’t have high blood pressure, and is given medication to reduce blood pressure, is actually at the risk of suffering from low blood pressure. It is, therefore, important for the doctor to carefully diagnose the condition of Pseudo Hypertension before beginning the treatment.
The most common cause of Pseudo Hypertension is the thickening of arterial walls with age. The condition is actually pretty common amongst the elderly. The thickening makes the compression of arteries difficult. It causes stiffness in the arteries, and the cuff meter detects the blood pressure higher than the actual pressure.
The variation in the actual blood pressure and the readings through cuff meter or finger blood meter is how Pseudo Hypertension is diagnosed. The Pseudo Hypertension diagnosis is all about finding the target pressure, which is considered for the treatment. If there is a difference in cuff pressure and intra-arterial pressure of the patient, a medical expert will arrive at the diagnosis of Pseudo Hypertension, especially in the following cases:
- If the cuff pressure readings are high, but there is no sign of organ damage.
- When the patient exhibits symptoms of low blood pressure (like dizziness and confusion) after starting treatment for high BP.
While Pseudo Hypertension is a condition of high blood pressure just like hypertension, its most common cause is the stiffness and blockage in arteries. The treatment is similar to the treatment of high blood pressure, such as changes in lifestyle, eating habits, and blood pressure medication. However, the diagnosis of Pseudo Hypertension needs the expertise and experience of the medical practitioner. It’s therefore advised to visit your doctor or an expert cardiologist regularly to monitor the blood pressure. This especially holds true for senior citizens, and caretakers should keep this in mind.
Note of Caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health-related problems.