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Blood pressure level above 140/90 mm Hg is considered as ‘high’,and that chronic condition is known as hypertension. The higher number presents systolicand the bottom number is diastolic pressure.

This illness is also called “the silent killer”, for it mayremain undiagnosed and untreated for a long time, compromising your health. Peoplewith hypertension are at risk of having heart disease and other medicalproblems.

Most of the cases of high blood pressure, about 90-95%, donot have a diagnosed medical cause and those cases are called primary or essentialhypertension. Other cases, when the illness has a certain identified reason forhigh blood pressure are referred to as secondary hypertension. Possible causesare problems with kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.

Malignant hypertension is a severe condition when the bloodpressure rises above 210/120 mm Hg, and when untreated malignant hypertensionis life threatening.

Hypertension may be unnoticed, without any apparentsymptoms, but the most common symptoms are chronic headaches that last fordays, tiredness, dizziness, double vision, nausea, shortness of breath, heart problems,face redness, nosebleed, need to urinate often at night and ringing in the ears.

Hypertension is the risk factor for serious heart problems, such as heart attacks,heart failure or arterial aneurysm; it could leads to strokes and cause kidneyfailure. High blood pressure isproven to shorten your life.

Secondaryhypertension may be caused by kidney dysfunctions or by hormone disorders. Hypertension with the “Buffalohump”, purple marks on the stomach and diabetesmay be the signs of Cushing's syndrome. Excess production of thethyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), growth hormone, or aldosteron are thepossible causes of secondary hypertension. Kidney abnormalities, heartdefects, some medications (contraceptive pills, cold remedies, OTC(over the counter) pain medications and cocaine and amphetamines may also causesecondary hypertension.

If you don’t’ have symptoms of hypertension, you don’t need to visityour doctor to check the blood pressure. Next time you see your doctor you’dprobably have the blood pressure checked, as a routine check at doctor's.

The therapy for this condition includes changes in your lifestyle and foodhabits. Doctors recommend unsalted food, more exercise and less stress. If thisalone doesn’t work then the doctor would recommend some medications to controlyour blood pressure. The group of medications used to treat hypertension are thiazidediuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers or renin inhibitors.Sometimes, the doctor would prescribe angiotensin II receptor blockers, alphablockers or vasodilaltators. Combination of these drugs is a possible solutionfor the treatment of hypertension.

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