Everything You Must Know About High Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is a 'silent killer' disease. The disease can 'silently' remain in you without any indications.
Importance of Checking Blood Pressure
It is essential to have your blood pressure checked to know your heart health. Different factors can place you at a high risk of high blood pressure. Undetected high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
You have high blood pressure if your readings are around 135 over 85 or over, constantly for a few weeks to a month. Access treatment immediately to avoid other serious health complications.
What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
Blood uses pressure against your arteries to circulate through your body. Some health conditions can cause resistance to the natural flow of the blood in the arteries. The blood then can exert pressure against the arteries' walls. You can refer to the extra pressure beyond the normal one as high blood pressure.
What do figures in high blood pressure mean?
Blood Pressure Readings
Blood pressure is gauged by the readings you get from using blood pressure meter. It is essential you understand your readings even though your doctor may explain them to you.
Results of blood pressure reading have two fraction-like numbers. The top figure is systolic. It reads the pressure in the arteries on every heart muscle contraction. The bottom one is diastolic. It shows the amount of pressure the blood exerts on the arteries at every pause of the heart muscle beats.
The safe blood pressure readings for an adult is between 90/60 and 120/80. The chart below can enlighten you further on the meaning of the readings.
High blood pressure can strain your blood vessels and your heart. If the blood pressure is continuously high, you can risk getting either a stroke or a heart attack.Two types of High Blood Pressure
Every case of hypertension can be classified in either of the two types:Essential or Primary Hypertension
Essential hypertension has no known cause. You might want to refer to it as natural hypertension. It can take years to develop to a level of concern. Most hypertension cases that happen to adults fall under the essential hypertension category.Secondary Hypertension
The high blood pressure caused by other underlying health conditions is known as secondary hypertension. Different from essential hypertension that happens gradually, secondary hypertension can happen suddenly. The blood pressure also can shoot up suddenly to a level of great concern.What is the Cause of High Blood Pressure?
For essential blood pressure, there is no known cause. Although the type of hypertension may not have any specific cause, some factors may have a close link to the condition. Such factors are:
- Excess alcohol use
Some diseases or conditions can cause secondary hypertension. The leading causes of secondary high blood pressure include:
- Sleep apnea (breathing problem when sleeping)
- Inadequate blood supply to the kidney due to narrow arteries
- Kidney diseases
- Thyroid functioning abnormally.
- Hyperparathyroidism, which means overproduction of hormones from parathyroid glands
- Aortic Coarctation or some defects with aorta which may restrict regular blood flow
Other suspected causes are:
- The side effects of some medications
- Drug abuse such as cocaine
- Excessive sodium intake
- Excessive use of alcohol
- High consumption of caffeinated drinks
Not all cases of hypertension can reveal any signs. Almost one-third of people with hypertension learn about the condition during a routine medical check-up. High blood pressure usually has four stages:
Stage 1 – Stage 1 which is prehypertension, has a pressure level of 120/80 to 139/89.
Stage 2 – Stage 2 which is mild hypertension, has a level of 140/90 to 159/99.
Stage 3 – Stage 3 which is moderate hypertension, has a level of 160/100 to 179/109.
Stage 4 – Stage 4 which is severe hypertension, has a level of 180/110 and over.
Between your moderate and severe hypertension, you can experience some of the following symptoms:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Severe headache
- Chest pain
- Neck, chest, or ears pounding
- Blurred vision
- Difficult breathing or panting
High Blood Pressure Risk Factors
Some factors can expose you to high blood pressure. Some of the risk factors include:
Age – Men 64 years old and above are at a high risk of hypertension. The high-risk hypertension age in women begins at 65 years.
Race – Some people are at a high risk than others. In the US, African-American are at a high risk of hypertension, probably from the weight problem. Also, a specific gene that causes salt-sensitive could place this group of people at a high risk of hypertension from high use of salt.
Hypertension in the family – Inherited from parents with hypertension.
Physical inactivity – Physical inactivity can risk you to hypertension due to weight increase.
Unhealthy diet – A diet containing high sodium or table salt, high fat, and also low-potassium can risk you to high blood pressure.
Excessive alcohol use – Taking excessive alcohol frequently is termed as alcohol abuse, and can lead to hypertension.
Smoking tobacco – Smoking tobacco, whether direct or passive, is a risk to hypertension.
Obesity – Being obese can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Plaque buildup due to high cholesterol and high blood volume needed to supply your big body are some of the reasons.High Blood Pressure Treatment Treating the Causing Factor
Your doctor may need to initiate your treatment by identifying the cause of your high blood pressure. First, you may undergo various tests to establish the cause. Treatment of the condition causing the disease would then begin immediately.
For blood pressure with consistent readings of 135/85 mm Hg and above, your doctor may prescribe some medication as seem proper. One of the factors your doctor may consider while prescribing your medicine is your age, the stage, and the disease causing the condition. The following are some of the medicines your doctor might recommend for your treatment and their side effects:
Alpha blockers. Side effects include fatigue, lethargy, weakness, blood pressure dropping suddenly when standing up or sitting, nausea or headache, insomnia, swollen legs and ankles, rash, may cause impotence.
Alpha-beta blockers. cause morning dizziness from sudden blood pressure drop, weakness, light headedness.
Diuretics. May cause loss of potassium through urination.
Ace Inhibitors. Dangers are headache, dizziness, low blood pressure, drowsiness, diarrhea, cough, weakness, rash
Aldosterone antagonists. May cause a risk of high potassium.
Vasodilators. Dangers include heart fluttering, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, nausea, fluid buildup, headache, dizziness.
Change your lifestyle to enjoy quality life even in your high blood pressure condition. Take the following lifestyle changes steps:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Regular exercises and physical activities
- Reduce using salt
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Quit smoking (if you smoke)
- If you must use alcohol, do it moderately
- Practice deep breathing for relaxation especially when feeling anxiety
- Control your stress
Natural and Alternative Treatment
There are various alternative treatments for High Blood Pressure in heart disease. However, you may require consulting your health practitioner for the best therapy and advice. The following are some of the recommendations from our natural health practitioner, Yvonne Dollar Perc.
Begin your journey of excellent health by visiting Island HeathWorks. Get overall testing using the newest natural technology.
ZYTO Scan. One of the technologies we use is a ZYTO scan. The scan can relay results on the health of each organ in your body system. It would then be easy to establish any health problem and the treatment you may need. The test takes only 3 minutes with immediate results.
We do DNA health testing which could help detect this potential and many others. If you are concerned that you might have the possibility, then give us a call and we can set up a DNA health assessment test. The Gene CYP11B2 is a key factor in Heart Health as this gene helps to maintain blood pressure in normal ranges, essential for a healthy heart.
Hawthorn, 100 Capsules - Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help maintain and support cardiovascular health
Garlic, High Potency, 60 Tablets - Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve the symptoms associated with upper respiratory tract infections and catarrhal conditions. It's especially essential for the circulatory system.
The essential hypertension is one of many health conditions that can reside in your body without any indication. Such types of diseases are dangerous and can eventually cause other severe damages to your body. Early diagnose can save you from chronic or fatal diseases.
Misdiagnosing of high blood pressure and wrong treatment can lead to other severe health complications. One such condition is the heart attack. A heart attack is a highly fatal disease that would require emergency care.
Do you want to read and learn everything concerning the heart attack? Follow us on our next heart disease series which is heart attack disease.
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Enjoy your life by being 'hearty' healthy!
Editor: Yvonne Dollard Perc
Research Assistant: Elizabeth Njuguna
Designer: Sherry Robb
To learn more, contact Yvonne Dollard Perc at Island Healthworks. Yvonne offers phone consultations where she will develop an individualized health care program and lifestyle plan tailored to your specific needs through a personal health and lifestyle analysis.
Call 250-468-7685 to speak with Yvonne and set up a phone consultation!
This article is intended for educational purposes and the information contained within is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please seek appropriate medical attention for any health complaints. We cannot take responsibility for your health care decisions. Our intent is only to offer health information to help you with your search for better health.