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Hypertension: The silent killer

What is hypertension?

We hear the word hypertension or high blood pressure regularly now-a-days. We it is not that casual as we might take it, it’s a serious disease that can, over a period of time, damage the blood vessel walls and increase a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke and other conditions.

Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the blood vessel walls. Now, if you have high blood pressure condition, it would simply mean that this force is higher than it should be, and could lead to health complications down the line.

A normal blood pressure reading of a healthy adult is less than 120/80 mm Hg. When blood pressure is high, the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully, which in turn puts increased pressure on the delicate tissues in the arteries and damages the blood vessels.

What causes High Blood Pressure?

Most of the time, doctors cannot point to a specific cause of hypertension, and this is known as essential hypertension. Though, there can be several factors and conditions which may play a role:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Old-age
  • Genetics
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • Sleep apnea

Treatment & medication

The goal of treatment in Hypertension is to guide patients to keep their blood pressure in check, within the normal range i.e. below 140/90 mmHg. For patients who have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, doctors recommend that they keep their blood pressure under 130/80 mmHg. A conscious  effort  towards changing your lifestyle which  includes changes in diet and physical activity can help achieve the goal. There are medications which can be recommended for treating high blood pressure. You can always visit a medical expert at Capitol to guide you on the best line of action for you.