High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is a cardiac medical condition. Often chronic in nature, characterized by increase in pressure of serum or blood flowing through the arteries in the human body. Blood pressure is clinically measured in the units of ml meters of mercury (or mmHg) and usually represented in the form of two numbers showing the systolic and diastolic pressure. The upper number is the systolic pressure (considered normal if it is below 120) and the lower number is known as diastolic pressure (considered normal if it is below 80).Any considerable upper limit variation of these two range of pressures qualify the patient as suffering from hypertension. Persistent hypertension multiplies the risk of several cardiac diseases like heart stroke, heart failure or kidney damage. Dietary and life style modification may help in alleviating the risk of major diseases to result in, which if inadequate, should be helped with proper medication to control the condition.

Hypertension Causes - Major Causes of High Blood Pressure

There are several factors that influence the high blood pressure or hypertension condition. Listed below or the common ones:

  • Health of kidney, blood vessels and the nervous system.
  • Presence of certain undesirable hormone levels in the body. E.g. hyperthyroidism condition.
  • Age. With the aging of a person the blood vessels in the body become stiffer shooting up the blood pressure.
  • Heriditary factors can also contribute to hypertension.
  • Diabetes.
  • Intake of excess of salt in the diet.
  • Smoking.
  • Stress or anxiety.
  • Potassium deficiency.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Many a times there may be no symptoms at all, but the most commonly observed symptoms of hypertension are mentioned below:

  • Confused state of mind or hamper in decision making.
  • Head ache.
  • Irregular heartbeats. Heart may beat faster than normal.
  • Fatigue or reluctance to do physical activity.
  • Bleeding through nose.
  • Changes in vision, blurred vision etc.

Types of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

High blood pressure condition is generally classified in two broad categories.

  1. Essential Hypertension
  2. This is the most common type of hypertension affecting almost about 90- 95% of the patients of high blood pressure. There are a variety of factors that may cause such a situation which include smoking, excessive stress, higher body mass index (obesity), deficiency of important minerals in the body, alcohol intake, salt sensitivity etc.

    This category of hypertension is many a time found to be profoundly influenced by the family history of high blood pressure.

  3. Secondry Hypertension
  4. This category of hypertension is characterized by a definable and clear clinical root cause that is usually hormonal imbalance in the patient's body.

    Irregular pathological mechanisms such as malfunctioning of endocrine system, that regulate the blood plasma flow to the heart is considered to be the main cause of this hypertension. In addition it can be also caused by conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Diagnosis of Hypertension and Hypertension Treatment

The diagnosis of any kind of hypertension will involve an initial physical examination by the health care professional to check the blood pressure. If it is found to be over shooting the normal limits, he/she has the reasons to believe that the patient is suffering from hypertension. These instrumental measurements can be repeated over time so that the observations are confirmed. The pressure can be measured if you have the instrument at home also and you need to monitor the readings variation over a period of time to come to a viable conclusion.

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Apart from this the other clinical tests may include Blood tests, Ultrasound, Urine analysis, echo cardiogram and electro cardiogram.

These tests intend to look at any potential problems in the heart, kidney, eyes or other organs of the body.

The treatment of hypertension is aimed at reducing the blood pressure so that the complications risks are lowered and the condition can be put under control

As a primary measure to tackle the problem, the patient may be recommended to incorporate some life style changes in his routine, this includes losing weight , performing some exercises and considerable dietary changes. In addition to incorporating these changes , the patient in most cases is subscribed a medicines for controlling the blood pressure which come in a range of varieties. A few examples are :

  • Alpha blockers
  • Beta blockers
  • Diuretics.
  • Central alpha agonists
  • Calcium channel blockers. Etc.