High blood pressure is a serious medical condition also known as hypertension. High blood pressure is described as abnormally elevated values of pressure at which blood pushes against the arterial walls. This is a very sneaky disease, often referred to as “the silent killer”, since it may develop over many years without any obvious symptoms. Once the symptoms show up, the disease has typically progressed to the more severe level, endangering the cardio-vascular system. It is estimated that approximately 26% of adult people all over the world, suffer from hypertension. The only way to know if the patient suffers from high blood pressure is to get regular blood pressure measurements.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
As already mentioned, symptoms of high blood pressure typically do not manifest until the disease already progresses to the more severe level. However, most of the people will not experience any of the symptoms even when their blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
The common symptoms of high blood pressure include dull headaches, dizzy spells and nose bleeding. Other symptoms include general confusion, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. When the symptoms occur, patient is typically in the life-threatening stage and requires immediate medical attention.
Causes of high blood pressure
High blood pressure can be classified as primary and secondary hypertension. The classification is based on the cause of the condition. In most of the cases, there is no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This is known as primary or essential hypertension, since it affects around 90–95% of hypertensive patients. A lot of lifestyle factors can contribute to primary hypertension, including sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, visceral obesity, obesity, alcohol intake, etc.
Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition. In these patients, hypertension develops suddenly and typically manifests more severely. The blood pressure measurements for the secondary hypertension are usually much higher than for the primary. In most of the cases, causal problems are kidney dysfunction, tumors of the adrenal gland, congenital defects in blood vessels, certain medications and illegal drugs abuse.
Prevention of high blood pressure
Hypertension is a preventable disease, and some simple lifestyle changes can drastically increase one’s chances for health. These lifestyle changes include weight reduction, regular aerobic exercise, reduced dietary sugar and sodium intake, diet rich in fruits and low-fat dairy products, an increase of dietary potassium, discontinuing tobacco use and alcohol consumption, stress reduction, relaxation therapy, reduction of environmental stress (high sound levels and over-illumination), and an increase in the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in the daily diet.