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Hypertension - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Updated on July 16, 2011

What is Hypertension

Hypertension refers to High Blood Pressure in the arteries. Sometimes, in case of hypertension, blood pressure is so much elevated that it might also cause serious damage to the organs. Blood pressure keeps on changing with change in body temperature, diet change, change in body posture, etc. Hypertension is a very common condition, especially in middle-aged and elderly people.

Types of Hypertension

Hypertension is of two types: Essential Hypertension and Secondary Hypertension

  1. Essential Hypertension – In this type of hypertension, the cause of high blood pressure is not known. It is more common and accounts for about 95% of cases.
  2. Secondary Hypertension – In this type of hypertension, the cause of high blood pressure is known.

The normal blood pressure in adults is 120/80 mm Hg. The higher number, i.e. 120 is called as ‘systolic’ blood pressure and the lower number, i.e. 80 is called as ‘diastolic’ blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Range

Level
Systolic
Diastolic
Normal
111 - 120
71 - 80
Prehypertension
120 - 139
80 - 89
Hypertension
140 and above
90 and above
Smoking is a major cause for Hypertension
Smoking is a major cause for Hypertension

Causes of Hypertension

The exact causes of hypertension are still not very clear, but there are several factors that might be responsible of this condition. These include:

  • Depression or Stress – If you get stressed out easily then you increase your chances of getting high blood pressure. Being in depression is quite harmful.
  • Obesity – If you are overweight, you get tired easily in whatever you do. This will increase the chances of hypertension.
  • Smoking and Drinking – Smokers and drinkers are at a great risk of getting high blood pressure.
  • High intake of salt – Avoid taking excess amount of salt in your food as this will pose you at a high risk of developing hypertension.
  • No Exercise – If you are not doing any physical activity in your daily routine then your chances of getting high blood pressure gets increase. Doing any sort of physical activity is very important.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is another cause for hypertension, especially in women.
  • Family history of hypertension – If you have any family history of hypertension, then there are chances that you might develop this condition in near future.

Symptoms of Hypertension

The symptoms of hypertension are the following:

  • Nausea and Headache
  • Vision related problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain

If anyone faces any of the above symptoms, then immediately see a doctor; as you might be suffering from hypertension. Timely diagnosis and treatment of hypertension is very important, because if untreated, it might lead to severe problems such as stroke, renal failure, and ischemic heart disease in the long run.

What is the Treatment of Hypertension

Hypertension can be treated by the following methods:

  • Oral Medications – There are various medicines available for treating hypertension. These include the following classes of drugs: ACE inhibitors, alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and peripheral vasodilators. These medications may be used alone or in combination with other drug.
  • Lifestyle Modifications – For the patient of hypertension, it is very important to follow a healthy lifestyle. You need to take proper and healthy diet and at proper intervals of time. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Reduce the daily intake of salt. Avoid food containing high amount of salt, like pickles.
  • Quit Smoking and Drinking – Smokers are having very high chances of getting hypertension. So, if you smoke on a daily basis, try to quit it gradually otherwise you become hypertensive. It is also very important to limit your alcohol consumption. It is even better to quit drinking.
  • Lose Weight – If you are overweight, try and reduce it by doing exercises, keeping a check on your diet, and eating low calorie diet. Avoid eating junk food totally. Brisk walking daily for an hour is also very effective.
  • Meditation and Yoga – Try practicing meditation and yoga; but it is very important to do them correctly. So, first learn them from some trained person and then do by yourself. It acts as a stress buster and will make you relax.

Hypertension cannot be completely cured, but it can be controlled. Controlling your hypertension totally depends on you. You can always seek the advice of your doctor, but at the end it is you who can control it completely. People who can manage their high blood pressure with proper treatment are at very low-risk of developing any serious complications further in life.

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    • anujagarwal profile image
      Author

      Anuj Agarwal 6 years ago from Noida

      Thanks Ruby.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Congratulations on the Contest. Very helpful information.

    • anujagarwal profile image
      Author

      Anuj Agarwal 6 years ago from Noida

      Thanks for the appreciation ripple.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Congratulations for winning! You wrote this in such a way that it is easy to read and learn about hypertension! :D

    • anujagarwal profile image
      Author

      Anuj Agarwal 6 years ago from Noida

      Thank you very much Soni.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations Anuj, you are fast becoming an excellent writer. I hope you win more buddy.

    • anujagarwal profile image
      Author

      Anuj Agarwal 6 years ago from Noida

      @BlisssfulWriter - It reminds us to have a checkup and modify our eating habits to remain healthy.

      @Steph - Thanks for appreciation.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Good explanations - I really like the chart you included on hypertension. Best, Steph

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      It's always good to learn more about our health.

    • anujagarwal profile image
      Author

      Anuj Agarwal 6 years ago from Noida

      Wow! Thanks Simone.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Congrats, anujagarwal! This Hub won Day 23's Daily Drawing Prize in the So You Think You Can Write Online contest!

    • anujagarwal profile image
      Author

      Anuj Agarwal 6 years ago from Noida

      Absolutely right and good point micadeolu, sleeping habits are equally important for a healthy lifestyle.

    • micadeolu profile image

      Michael Adewale Olubode 6 years ago from Celestial Church of Christ, +2347067550237.

      yes...good lifestyle that includes good sleeping habits too.