Hypertension is a chronic or persistent medical condition also known as high blood pressure. This condition causes the arteries to consistently elevate blood pressure. When high blood pressure is normal, the blood flows through smoothly because the artery wall is smooth. However, when an individual is diagnosed with high blood pressure, the blood flows through the arteries with too much force. Eventually, high blood pressure can cause serious damage to the arteries if it goes untreated. Also, high blood pressure causes the heart to have to work much harder than normal to keep up the flow of blood through the arteries.
Hypertension can lead to damaged organs and several illnesses such as kidney failure and strokes. About 33% of people aren’t aware that they have high blood pressure. This ignorance can go on for years. For this reason, it is important to do periodic blood pressure screenings even if there are no symptoms present.
The normal blood pressure for an individual is 120/80 where 120 represents the systolic measure (peak pressure in the arteries) and 80 represents the diastolic measure (minimum pressure in the arteries). Blood pressure of between 120/80 and 130/89 is called pre-hypertension. Blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension.
There are two classifications for hypertension, which are essential or secondary. Essential is the term used for high blood pressure when its cause is unknown. Unknown causes for hypertension accounts for about 95% of cases. Alternatively, secondary hypertension is the term for high blood pressure with causes related to kidney disease, tumors or birth control pills. Although the exact causes of hypertension are unknown, there are several factors that are often associated with this condition such as:
Obesity or being overweight
Lack of physical
High levels of salt intake
Insufficient calcium, potassium or magnesium intake
Vitamin D deficiency
High levels of alcohol consumption
Medications such as birth control pills
Genetics (a family history of hypertension)
Clinic Kidney Disease
Adrenal or thyroid problems or tumors.
Symptoms associated with severe hypertension are severe headaches, fatigue or confusion, dizziness, nausea, problems with vision, chest pain, breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, and blood in the urine. You can find out whether or not you have hypertension by visiting a health professional who measures blood pressure. Remember, if your blood pressure is over 140/90 you will be diagnosed with hypertension. However, you can treat hypertension medically or by making lifestyle adjustments such as weight-loss, quit smoking, eating a healthy diet, reducing sodium intake, exercising regularly, and eliminating alcohol consumption. Medical options for treating hypertension include several classes of drugs that your health professional would prescribe based upon your specific condition and needs.
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