High Blood Pressure: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Blood pressure is the pressure which the circulating blood exerts upon the walls of the blood vessels. In a day it is normal for blood pressure to go up and down. However, if it stays up you have high blood pressure, which is also referred to as hypertension. The normal blood pressure is 120/80

High blood pressure can cause serious damage if not given timely medical attention. It is a silent killer, as often the person does not have any symptoms till there is organ damage. It affects the blood vessels, brain, eyes, heart and kidneys and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, blindness and other problems. It is one of the main causes for various heart disease and heart failure.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

  • Smoking
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excess salt in diet
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Aging
  • Family history
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Most of the time there are no symptoms and hypertension may be diagnosed incidentally or when a person goes for screening. However, some have symptoms like headache, blurry vision, nausea, and vomiting, changes in vision, giddiness or nosebleeds.  Remember that dangerously high hypertension called malignant high blood pressure can also cause these symptoms. It is also called hypertensive crisis or hypertensive emergency. Malignant high blood pressure is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Hypertension treatment depends on how high your blood pressure is and whether you have other health problems such as diabetes or a heart disease. Your doctor will also consider how likely you are to develop other diseases, especially heart attack and heart failure.

By making healthy lifestyle changes you can help lower your blood pressure. You may have to take pills if the lifestyle changes do not work. Remember that you will need to keep your high blood pressure in control throughout your life in order to prevent complications. Thus it is advised that you work with your doctor to find the right pill or combination of pills that will cause fewer side effects.

Prevention of High Blood Pressure

In order to prevent high blood pressure you could need to make a complete lifestyle change. This includes:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight or losing extra weight
  • Reducing intake of salt and salty foods
  • Consuming a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Decreasing alcohol consumption
  • Stopping smoking 

If you think you have any symptoms of high blood pressure we suggest that you consult your doctor immediately. Lack of timely action may lead to fatal and life-threatening conditions like heart failure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke or kidney damage.



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