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What Is Hypertension?

When the pressure in the arteries rises above 130/90 mm of mercury as measured by Blood Pressure (BP) apparatus the person is said to have hypertension. However, awareness on this condition and knowing about the measures that can keep your blood pressure under control can prevent the development of various hypertension related complications, and thus, help you lead a normal life

What Are The Symptoms Of Hypertension?

Hypertension is called a silent killer. It is possible for people to have no complaints despite having a high blood pressure. Also, the symptoms may not correlate with the degree of rise in blood pressure. Headache, giddiness, irritability and nausea are some of the common complaints in patients with high BP.

What Are The Causes Of Hypertension?

  • Excessive salt and oil in the diet
  • Mental stress
  • Familial / genetic factors
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes and kidney disease

Hypertension detected in young patients may require additional work-up to rule out secondary causes.

Why Should We Treat Hypertension?

Uncontrolled blood pressure can give rise to the following conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Damage to arteries
  • Decreased vision
  • Sudden death

How Is Hypertension Treated?

Besides medication, the treatment for hypertension consists of lifestyle modifications to control the risk factors like

  • Restriction of salt in diet
  • Increased intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and unprocessed grains
  • Regular physical activity, yoga and meditation
  • Smoking and alcohol cessation
  • Weight reduction
  • Adequate rest and stress management
  • Control of diabetes

What Role Does Medicines Play In Controlling Hypertension?

There are several types of drugs available for treating hypertension. Your doctor will decide the most appropriate one for you after taking a detailed history and conducting a thorough clinical examination.

It is vital to take your medicines on time. You may have to continue your medications as per your doctor’s advice. Always remember the names of your medicines and never skip or miss your medications.

Regular follow up with your doctor is essential to check your BP as based on it a modification of the current line of treatment may be required. Your doctor may advice for blood tests, ECG and eye examination at regular intervals to check your over all health status.

Report urgently if you have any of the following:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Fits
  • Paralysis
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased urination
  • Severe cough and giddiness
  • Visual problems

A healthy lifestyle and adequate medical care will go a long way in preventing major catastrophes like heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

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