Overview of Hypertension

Written by Achiever Foods Nutrition Unit

Do you remember the first time your blood pressure was checked? Many do not understand the importance of the readings on the blood pressure machine. Today, we are bringing you a great piece on hypertension.

🔵Definition of Hypertension

Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure in the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The blood pressure is usually determined by the heart’s capacity to pump blood and the health of the blood vessels. Based on standard medical guidelines across the world, if the blood pressure in the arteries exceeds 130/80 mmHg, the condition is referred as hypertension.

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Hypertension is also called the “silent killer”because it does not cause any noticeable symptoms, thus, it can go unnoticed for years in individuals. It has a gradual onset.

Hypertension is usually diagnosed in the doctor’s office with a simple blood pressure measurement using a blood pressure cuff.

🔵Blood Pressure Ranges and What They Mean
The average normal blood pressure ranges from 100-120 for the upper value ( systolic blood pressure ) and 80-100 for the lower value ( diastolic blood pressure).

Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)

Elevated: 120-129/less than 80

Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above

Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120

If your blood pressure is above the normal range, visit the nearest health facility and talk to a doctor or to your doctor.
Regular blood pressure checks help to detect any abnormalities in time. (Ref: Egan B.M. , Zhao Y., Axon R.N.
US trends in prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension, 1988-2008).

🔵Causes/Risk factors of Hypertension

• Old age
• Family history of high blood pressure
• Genetics
• Overweight or obesity
• Lack of physical activity

• Stress
• Sleep apnea
• Smoking
• Too much salt in the diet
• Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)

• Chronic kidney disease
• Adrenal and thyroid disorders

🔵 Common Signs and Symptoms

Hypertension does not usually cause any noticeable symptoms, but symptoms are recurrent, making it easy to assume there is nothing that needs to be checked.

Usually, people experience;
• Headaches
• Dizziness
• Shortness of breath
• Palpitations
• Nosebleeds
• Hypertensive Emergency ( dangerous event)
• Nausea
• blurry vision
• Anxiety

🔵Complications of Hypertension
Complications such as
heart disease,
and kidney failure
These can occur if long-term hypertension is not adequately treated.

(Ref: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure#.Wc5WfMiGPDc )

🔵Things to Note
It is important to note that blood pressure does change throughout the day, depending on the activities an individual engages in.
Blood pressure changes over time, as well. Systolic blood pressure tends to rise as you get older.
Diastolic blood pressure may decrease as you get older.

🔵The Bottom Line

You owe it to yourself to have the best life here on earth. Eat healthy, rest when you are supposed to, check your blood pressure regularly and think more about good things, be joyful and live a healthy life. With this you minimize the risk of developing complications and you can live healthy all the years you have been given by God. Your blood pressure is functioning well in Jesus name.

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