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Hypertension FAQs. Answered

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Hypertension FAQs. Answered

As per WHO, more than 1 billion people are suffering from hypertension worldwide, with the majority of them living in low-income countries. Lifestyle choices such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and lack of exercise have increased hypertension symptoms in the current generation.

Often, hypertension doesn’t show any symptoms for years, making people believe that they are healthy. It slowly damages the body leading to serious health complications and increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and death.

Despite this evident severity of hypertension, there’s still not enough awareness about the medical condition. People often find themselves caught off-guard when asked about hypertension, its causes, effects, and treatment. When diagnosed, a lot of patients and caregivers have questions about managing hypertension. Through this article, we’ve tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions by hypertensives.

What Is Hypertension?
What Is Hypertension?Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition in which the blood pressure is high against your artery walls. Based on the research, half of the adults will or have been diagnosed with this condition. It can damage blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes.

I’ve Never Had It Before, Why Now?
The cause of high blood pressure is not known. It is often the result of an underlying condition which could be due to:

  • Genes:Genes This could be due to genetic disorders received from your parents.
  • Physical Changes:Physical Changes High blood pressure could occur due to some inherent body changes, such as a change in kidney functioning, etc.
  • Environment:Environment Lack of physical activity and poor diet can lead to weight problems that increase hypertension risk.
  • Lifestyle Choices:Lifestyle Choices Predominantly sedentary lifestyle, erratic eating habits, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive drinking are some habits that can contribute to the occurrence of hypertension.

How To Measure And Understand The Readings?
How To Measure And Understand The Readings?The high blood pressure reading is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), which is written as Systolic Pressure. This shows the pressure in arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood. The pressure in your arteries between beats of the heart is read as Diastolic Pressure.

What Are The Complications?
Excessive pressure on artery walls due to high blood pressure causes damage to the body’s blood vessels and organs. It can further lead to:

  • Heart attack or strokeHeart attack or stroke
  • The inappropriate bulge in the artery wall that can ruptureThe inappropriate bulge in the artery wall that can rupture
  • Failure of kidneyFailure of kidney
  • DementiaDementia
  • AneurysmAneurysm
  • And many other such complications

What Are The Treatments?
Your doctor can determine the best treatment for high blood pressure after considering the type of hypertension and its causes. Following are some important aspects that are included in a hypertension treatment plan as prescribed by doctors.

  • Exercise regularlyExercise regularly
  • Keep yourself stress-freeKeep yourself stress-free
  • MedicationMedication: Hypertension can be treated with medication recommended by your doctor. This includes-
    • Diuretics
    • Calcium-channel blockers
    • Vasodilators
    • Angiotensin receptor blockers

What Sort Of Dietary Changes Should I Make?
A healthy diet such as DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) is recommended to lower high blood pressure. This includes-

  • Limit consumption of meatLimit consumption of meat
  • Eat green leafy vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foodsEat green leafy vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods
  • Reduce sodiumReduce sodium
  • Reduce sugary food and sugarReduce sugary food and sugar
  • Quit smokingQuit smoking
  • Avoid consuming alcoholAvoid consuming alcohol

When To See The Doctor?
When To See The Doctor?If you have a severe headache, fatigue, double vision, or difficult breathing, contact your doctor. As hypertension doesn’t show symptoms for years, get tested for it annually. High blood pressure may require a doctor’s check-up at regular intervals.

Conclusion
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, do not panic. Consult your doctor and gather as much info as you can on the disease that will help take care of your body.

Move towards positive lifestyle changes such as exercise, adequate sleep, healthy food, and managing stress. This, along with the medication prescribed by your doctor, can help you in tackling it effectively.

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