Have you noticed that more and more celebrities are becoming Hypertensive these days? If you haven’t let’s be the first to tell you that City People has discovered the incidence is on the increase in Nigeria, where 2 out of 3 celebrities you run into these days are suffering from Hypertension or High Blood Pressure. And yet many of them don’t know they have B.P issues.
As you read this, have you gone to check whether you are hypertensive or not? Please do. Because many usually don’t know. They simply suffer persistent or recurrent headaches and they go to the hospital to see the doctor, only for simple checks to be carried out. And lo and behold they are told that their BP is high. And they are admitted and bombarded with drugs to bring down the high rate.
Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Lasisi Gbolade Taiwo (MB, CHB, FWACP) confirmed the prevalence of Hypertension. According to him, the prevalence of Hypertension appears to be more now because of the sedentary lifestyle of our elites, which causes Obesity. “Obesity is a risk factor for the development of Hypertension. Diet also plays a big role. High Salt load seen in processed food also contributes to the development of Hypertension”
So, how do you know if you are Hypertensive? What is the difference between Hypertension & High Blood Pressure?
US Center For Disease Control & Prevention reveals a lot. So also Health line. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. Your Blood Pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping.
Narrow arteries increase resistance. The narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure will be. Over the long term, the increased pressure can cause health issues, including heart disease.
Hypertension is quite common. In fact, since the guidelines have recently changed, it’s expected that nearly half of American adults will now be diagnosed with this condition.
Hypertension typically develops over the course of several years. Usually, you don’t notice any symptoms. But even without symptoms, High Blood Pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, especially the Brain, Heart, Eyes, and kidneys.
Early detection is important. Regular Blood Pressure readings can help you and your doctor notices any changes. If your Blood Pressure is elevated, your doctor may have you check your blood pressure over a few weeks to see if the number stays elevated or falls back to normal levels.
Treatment for hypertension includes both Prescription Medication and healthy lifestyle changes. If the condition isn’t treated, it could lead to health issues, including Heart Attack and Stroke.
WHAT CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
There are 2 types of Hypertension. Each type has a different cause.
(1) PRIMARY HYPERTENSION
Primary hypertension is also called Essential hypertension. This kind of hypertension develops over time with no identifiable cause. Most people have this type of high blood pressure.
Researchers are still unclear what mechanisms cause blood pressure to slowly increase. A combination of factors may play a role. These factors include:
Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. This may be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
Physical changes: If something in your body changes, you may begin experiencing issues throughout your body. High blood pressure may be one of those issues. For example, it’s thought that changes in your kidney function due to aging may upset the body’s natural balance of salts and fluid. This change may cause your body’s blood pressure to increase.
Environment: Over time, unhealthy lifestyle choices like lack of physical activity and poor diet can take their toll on your body. Lifestyle choices can lead to weight problems. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for hypertension.
(2) SECONDARY HYPERTENSION
Secondary Hypertension often occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. Several conditions that may cause Secondary Hypertension include: kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, congenital heart defects, problems with your thyroid, side effects of medications, use of illegal drugs, alcohol abuse or chronic use, adrenal gland problems, certain endocrine tumors
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HYPERTENSION?
Hypertension is generally a silent condition. Many people won’t experience any symptoms. It may take years or even decades for the condition to reach levels severe enough that symptoms become obvious. Even then, these symptoms may be attributed to other issues.
Symptoms of severe hypertension can include: headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, flushing, dizziness, chest pain, visual changes, blood in the urine,
These symptoms require immediate medical attention. They don’t occur in everyone with hypertension, but waiting for a symptom of this condition to appear could be fatal.
The best way to know if you have hypertension is to get regular blood pressure readings. Most doctors’ offices take a blood pressure reading at every appointment.
DIAGNOSING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Diagnosing Hypertension is as simple as taking a blood pressure reading. Most doctors’ offices check blood pressure as part of a routine visit. If you don’t receive a blood pressure reading at your next appointment, request one.
If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may request you have more readings over the course of a few days or weeks. A hypertension diagnosis is rarely given after just one reading. Your doctor needs to see evidence of a sustained problem. That’s because your environment can contribute to increased blood pressure, such as the stress you may feel by being at the doctor’s office. Also, blood pressure levels change throughout the day.
If your blood pressure remains high, your doctor will likely conduct more tests to rule out Underlying conditions. These tests can include urine test, cholesterol screening and other blood tests, test of your heart’s electrical activity with an electrocardiogram (EKG, sometimes referred to as an ECG), ultrasound of your heart or kidneys,
These tests can help your doctor identify any secondary issues causing your elevated blood pressure. They can also look at the effects high blood pressure may have had on your organs.
During this time, your doctor may begin treating your hypertension. Early treatment may reduce your risk of lasting damage.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS
2 numbers create a blood pressure reading:
Systolic pressure: This is the first, or top, number. It indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood.
Diastolic pressure: This is the second, or bottom, number. It’s the reading of the pressure in your arteries between beats of your heart.
5 categories define blood pressure readings for adults:
Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
Elevated: The systolic number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. Doctors usually don’t treat elevated blood pressure with medication. Instead, your doctor may encourage lifestyle changes to help lower your numbers.
Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. Blood pressure in this range requires urgent medical attention. If any symptoms such as chest pain, headache, shortness of breath, or visual changes occur when blood pressure is this high, medical care in the emergency room is needed.
A blood pressure reading is taken with a pressure cuff. For an accurate reading, it’s important you have a cuff that fits. An ill-fitting cuff may deliver inaccurate readings.
Blood pressure readings are different for children and teenagers. Ask your child’s doctor for the healthy ranges for your child if you’re asked to monitor their blood pressure.
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TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
A number of factors help your doctor determine the best treatment option for you. These factors include which type of hypertension you have and what causes have been identified.
Primary hypertension treatment options
If your doctor diagnoses you with primary hypertension, lifestyle changes may help reduce your high blood pressure. If lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough, or if they stop being effective, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Secondary hypertension treatment options
If your doctor discovers an underlying issue causing your hypertension, treatment will focus on that other condition. For example, if a medicine you’ve started taking is causing increased blood pressure, your doctor will try other medicines that don’t have this side effect.
Sometimes, hypertension is persistent despite treatment for the underlying cause. In this case, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help reduce your blood pressure.
Treatment plans for hypertension often evolve. What worked at first may become less useful over time. Your doctor will continue to work with you to refine your treatment.