Treatment for Hypertension & High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is considered to be a silent disease that causes greater damages to the body. It affects the major vital organs of the body namely the Heart, Brain and kidney. High blood pressure or hypertension is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough, whereby the heart has to work more, that it may eventually cause health problems. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure higher than 130-140 /85-90 mmHg.

It’s like an epidemic, commonly striking at a younger age, across the globe. Fluctuations in the blood pressure usually do not give immediate symptoms thereby this condition is neglected. As a remedy, the easiest measure is opted i.e just popping a pill, which many people abruptly stop taking, at their own whims and fancies.

Majorly Blood pressure being an outcome of an unhealthy lifestyle, the disease can be reversed by making a few changes. Basic areas of precautionary measure are reducing weight if you are overweight, tight control on salt and salty food, working diligently on reducing stress levels, avoiding tobacco and alcohol and doing regular physical exercises. Medicine is the last measure to be used for controlling blood pressure, unfortunately, is been used as first, carelessly!

A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached the ceiling.

American Heart Association (AHA), has defined the following ranges of blood pressure (in mmHg):

• Normal blood pressure is below 120 systolic and below 80 diastolic
• Prehypertension is 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
• Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension) is 140-159 systolic or 90-99 diastolic
• Stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension) is 160 or higher systolic or 100 or higher diastolic
• Hypertensive crisis (a medical emergency) is when blood pressure is above 180 systolic or above 110 diastolic.

Acute stress, intense exercise and other factors can briefly elevate blood pressure even in people whose blood pressure is normal. Diagnosis of hypertension requires several readings at an interval of few days showing high blood pressure over time.

Having high blood pressure for a short amount of time is a normal physiological response to many situations. However, a systolic reading of 140 mmHg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 90 mmHg or higher could be a sign of a hypertensive crisis that warrants immediate medical attention.

JNC 7 recommendations to lower BP and decrease cardiovascular disease risk include the following, with greater results achieved when 2 or more lifestyle modifications are combined  :

• Weight loss (range of approximate systolic BP reduction [SBP], 5-20 mm Hg per 10 kg)
• Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 oz (30 mL) of ethanol per day for men or 0.5 oz (15 mL) of ethanol per day for women and people of lighter weight (range of approximate SBP reduction, 2-4 mm Hg)
• Reduce sodium intake to no more than 100 mmol/day (2.4 g sodium or 6 g sodium chloride; the range of approximate SBP reduction, 2-8 mm Hg) [5]
• Maintain adequate intake of dietary potassium (approximately 90 mmol/day)
• Maintain adequate intake of dietary calcium and magnesium for general health
• Stop smoking and reduce intake of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol for overall cardiovascular health
• Engage in aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes daily for most days (range of approximate SBP reduction, 4-9 mm Hg)

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