What is high blood pressure
Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body., The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
As a general guide:
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80)
Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.
Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.
How your blood pressure and circulatory system work
In order to survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood that your circulatory system carries throughout the body.
When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries. This pressure — blood pressure — is the result of two forces:
The first force (systolic pressure) occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force (diastolic pressure) is created as the heart rests between heart beats)
Risks of high blood pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes., Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
Things that can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure
It’s not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but there are things that can increase your risk.
You might be more at risk if you: are overweight, eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, do not do enough exercise, drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks), Smoke, do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep.
Are over 65, have a relative with high blood, pressure, are of black African or black Caribbean descent, live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.
If you have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower your risk of these health conditions.
There are 5 symptoms of hypertension:
Symptoms of high blood pressure
Blurry or double vision., Lightheadedness, /fainting, fatigue.
Headache, heart palpitations, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, nausea and/or vomiting.
Is hypertension genetic?
A: A family history of hypertension “likely” plays a role in a person developing the condition. Family environmental factors may also play a part. For example, if a person lives in a household with an older relative with hypertension, they may be more likely to share lifestyle habits that increase their risk of hypertension.,
Is high blood pressure considered heart disease?
A: Hypertension is not a type of heart disease. However, the condition may increase a person’s risk for developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. The term “hypertensive heart disease” refers to heart conditions resulting from hypertension
Further Risk factors
A number of factors increase the risk of hypertension.
Age: Hypertension is more common in people who are more than 65 years of age Trusted Source. Blood pressure can increase steadily with age as the arteries stiffen and narrow due to plaque buildup.
Ethnicity: Some ethnic groups are more prone to hypertension than others. African Americans have a higher risk of Trusted Source than other ethnic groups, for example.
Weight: Having obesity is a primary risk factor for hypertension.
Alcohol and tobacco use: Regularly consuming large quantities of alcohol or tobacco can increase blood pressure.
Sex: males have a higher risk of developing hypertension than females. However, this is only until after females reach menopause.
Existing health conditions: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and high cholesterol levels can lead to hypertension, especially as people age.
Symptoms in females
Hormonal factors mean that the risk of high blood pressure may be different in males and females.
Factors that can increase the risk Trusted Source of high blood pressure in females include:
Pregnancy, menopause , using birth control pills, During pregnancy, high blood pressure can indicate preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that can affect both the person and their fetus., headaches, vision changes, abdominal pain
All people should follow the guidelines for screening and attend all health checks, especially during pregnancy.
Symptoms of hyperattention even in babies
Newborns and very young babies can sometimes have high blood pressure due to an underlying health condition, such as kidney or heart disease., Any symptoms may be non-specific or not noticeable, or hypertension may occur alongside symptoms of other conditions., An infant with high blood pressure may also experience:, Seizures, irritability, lethargy, feeding problems, rapid breathing, other symptoms will depend on the condition causing the high blood pressure.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Lifestyle changes can help you control and prevent high blood pressure, even if you’re taking blood pressure medication. Here’s what you can do
Eat healthy foods. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Try the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods. Get plenty of potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat less saturated fat and trans-fat.
Decrease the salt in your diet. Aim to limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is ideal for most adults.
While you can reduce the amount of salt you eat by putting down the salt shaker, you generally should also pay attention to the amount of salt that’s in the processed foods you eat, such as canned soups or frozen dinners
Maintain a healthy weight. Keeping a healthy weight, or losing weight if you’re overweight or obese, can help you control your high blood pressure and lower your risk of related health problems. In general, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 mm Hg with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight you lose
Increase physical activity. Regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, manage stress, keep your weight under control and reduce your risk of many health conditions. If you have high blood pressure, consistent moderate- to high-intensity workouts can lower your top blood pressure reading by about 11 mm Hg and the bottom number by about 5 mm Hg.Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
For example, try brisk walking for about 30 minutes most days of the week. Or try interval training, in which you alternate short bursts of intense activity with short recovery periods of lighter activity. Aim to do muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week.
Even if you’re healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women, and up to two drinks a day for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor
Don’t smoke. Tobacco can injure blood vessel walls and speed up the process of buildup of plaque in the arteries. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit.
Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation, deep breathing or mindfulness. Getting regular physical activity and plenty of sleep can help, too.
For your further information check with WHO website, email to [email protected], send only text messages to Dr Azadeh on 002207774469.
Dr H. Azadeh MD, Senior Lecturer at the University of The Gambia, Clinical Director at the Medicare Health Services.