Blood pressure is the measure of force at which the blood pushes against your artery walls. It is high when the heart beats and pumps blood and low when it rests between the beat. The former is called systolic pressure, and the latter is called diastolic pressure. This pressure difference is used to calculate your blood pressure. It is mandatory to get your blood pressure frequently checked as you might have high blood pressure (Hypertension) even without any visible symptoms. Gradual damage to your blood vessels and heart happens along the course of time if left unnoticed. This might even lead to a heart attack or stroke. There are some medicines that your doctor might prescribe to treat or control high blood pressure which prevents you from getting a stroke.
Most of the symptoms go unnoticed, but when blood pressure develops over a long period you might experience:
- Recurring Headache
- Shortness of breath
- nose bleeds
- Vision problems
- Bloody urine
- Chest pain
- arrhythmic heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
Types of blood pressure:
There are two types of hypertension:
- Primary hypertension: This type of hypertension gradually develops over time and does not have any external cause for this.
- Secondary hypertension: This type of hypertension is caused due to an already existing body condition like Obstructive sleep apnea, Kidney problems, Adrenal gland tumours, Thyroid problems.
Why does our blood pressure shoot up:
The risk of high bp increases with age. People above the age of 60 are more prone to high bp.High bp runs in your family genes. So at times, genes are also responsible for developing high bp.
Obesity is one of the major reason to get hypertension, because the heftier you are, the more blood, the body requires to circulate oxygen to all the organs, this causes more blood pumping and thus hypertension.
Tobacco usage is also a major cause of high blood pressure. Reason being that the constituents present in tobacco which affects the artery lining. Eventually, this will cause narrowing of the artery and triggers heart diseases.
Stress is a major cause of the increase in hypertension. Stress though causes these temporary fluctuations over the bp numbers. But when alcohol or tobacco is consumed along, it aggravates the health risk than giving a solution to it.
How is hypertension diagnosed?
To measure blood pressure, your doctor will place an arm cuff which is inflatable around your arm and measure your bp using a pressure-measuring gauge.
The blood pressure reading is given in millimetres of mercury, and it has two numbers. The first number measures the pressure in your arteries during your heart beats. The second number measures the pressure in your arteries between heartbeats.
Blood pressure measurements are categorised in the below-listed categories:
Normal blood pressure:
Your bp is considered to be normal if it’s below 120/80 mm Hg.
Elevated blood pressure:
Elevated blood pressure is a systolic pressure from range 120 to 129 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure fall below 80 mm Hg. Elevated blood pressure worsens over time so its high time to take precautionary steps to avoid further worsening.
Stage 1 hypertension.
Stage 1 hypertension ranges from 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranges from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
Stage 2 hypertension:
Stage 2 hypertension ranges from a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure ranges from 90 mm Hg or higher.
How to treat hypertension?
- Eat healthy food like a lot of fruits and vegetables.
- Minimise the consumption of salt in your food
- Regular workouts
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Avoid food which makes you obese
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Do not take much stress.
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Eat lesser processed food
- Make time for yourself, thus feeling relaxed
Some natural food you can consume to reduce blood pressure are:
- Calcium-rich dairy food
- Dark chocolates
- Olive oil
Some common medicines which are prescribed by the doctor are:
Diuretics: These range of medicines increases your frequency to urinate and thus flushing out excess sodium present in the body.
- Bumetanide (Bumex)
- Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
- Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- Ethacrynate (Edecrin)
- Furosemide (Lasix)
They directly show their effect on heart thus reducing blood pressure thus reducing the faster pace of the heartbeat.
- Acebutolol (Sectral)
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Bisoprolol fumarate (Zebeta)
These are enzymes which reduce the production of angiotensin which generally narrows the blood vessels.
- Benazepril hydrochloride (Lotensin)
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enalapril Maleate (Vasotec)
- Fosinopril sodium (Monopril)
CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS:
These channel blockers relax the blood vessels thus reducing the blood pressure.
- Amlodipine besylate (Norvasc, Lotrel)
- Clevidipine (Cleviprex)
Vasodilators relaxes the artery walls that causes blood pressure to drop.
All the medications taken for high bp should be prescribed by a doctor rather than over the counter medicines as the doctor should know your medical history before prescribing the medicines.