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High Blood Pressure-Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Updated on September 4, 2012

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is also known as "hypertension" or "systolic blood pressure".

High blood pressure is a kind of disease which weakens the human body slowly that’s why it is called a “Silent Killer”.

The normal blood pressure of a healthy person should be approximately120/80 mm/Hg . If the blood pressure is above 140/90, it is called high blood pressure. The hypertension or high blood pressure can be controlled with a positive attitude, disciplined life style, fat free foods, regular exercise and abstinence from smoking and drinking. If the blood pressure is above 140/90 or below 160/100, take medicines for some time and make positive changes in your lifestyle as mentioned above. Monitor your blood pressure for changes. If you have your blood pressure controlled after positive changes in your lifestyle, maintain it and live a healthy and happy life forever. But if the blood pressure is not controlled even after your positive changes in your lifestyle, you should consult a good doctor and you will have to take medicines regularly according to your doctor’s prescription.

Check your blood pressure regularly
Check your blood pressure regularly

Causes of high blood pressure

There are various factors which cause high blood pressure. Some of these cannot be controlled while some of the causes can be controlled. The various factors which cause high blood pressure in people are:
Age: As you grow old, you have more chances to get high blood pressure. Normally, people aged above 40 years have the problem of high blood pressure.
Heredity: It is observed that the problem of high blood pressure is sometimes genetically transferred to the next generation.
Obesity: Obesity is bad as it leads to many diseases. Obese people are more prone to high blood pressure. So try not to get obesity at all.
Overuse of alcohol: If you take more than two drinks of alcohol daily, you may get high blood pressure.
No Physical Activity: Some people do a little physical activity or no physical activity at all, they are more likely to fall prey to high blood pressure. Little or no physical exercise will definitely make you ill with high blood pressure.

What can be the effects of high blood pressure?
If the blood pressure is not controlled, eyes, kidneys, heart and brain are highly affected. If the blood pressure is not controlled for a long time, there may be kidney failure or loss of eyesight.

High blood pressure symptoms

You can experience one or more of the following if you have a high blood pressure:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath

If the high blood pressure is chronic, you can experience:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
  • Kidney failure
  • Eye damage with progressive vision loss
  • Peripheral arterial disease causing leg pain with walking (Claudicating)

It is also possible that high blood pressure may remain unrecognized for many days, months or years without any symptoms. But in that case the high blood pressure can damage your heart, blood vessels and other organs. So it is advised that you should have your blood pressure check up every month or twice a month.

How to lower high blood pressure? or High blood pressure treatment

  • Reduce unwanted fat from your body. It directly affects your blood pressure. If you reduce your weight by 10 kilograms, the higher side of blood pressure (Systolic) can be reduced by 20 mm/Hg.
  • Prefer fruits and vegetables to meat or fatty foods. Reduce the intake of cold drinks and junk foods. It can reduce your Systolic by 14 mm/Hg
  • Take 6 grams less salt in your meals and you can reduce your Systolic by 8 mm/Hg.
  • If you walk regularly with long and fast steps for half an hour or you do aerobics or workout, you can reduce your Systolic by 9 mm/Hg.

An important note: World heart day is celebrated on September 29 each year

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