What is hypertension?

Hypertension simply means high blood pressure which means the pressure with which blood is pumped from the heart higher than normal. The arteries and veins are the channels through which blood is pumped away from and to the heart. Hypertension has a high prevalence worldwide occurring in one out of every three adults. Hypertension has also been linked to several deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases.

There is a rate that is taken as the normal rate at which the blood flows from the heart. When this pressure is distorted, one is said got be hypertensive. Hypertension could occur unnoticed for a long period. Most times, hypertension is diagnosed from the different complications that result from the increased arterial blood pressure. Any blood pressure reading above 120/80 mm Hg is classified as abnormal.

The arterial pressure of the blood is a combination of the pressure with which the ventricles release blood and the resistance which the heart encounters as it pumps blood.

Although symptoms are not common with hypertension, one may experience certain symptoms, especially when the blood pressure rises to a critical level. The symptoms that one could experience with hypertension include dizziness, headache, nosebleeds and shortness of breath. Some persons will never experience symptoms of hypertension, even when their blood pressure rises to a critical level.

Several factors predispose one to hypertension. One of such factors is genetics. Genes that predispose one to hypertension can be inherited. Thus, persons with relatives or parents that are hypertensive have higher tendencies of becoming hypertensive. However, the genes may not be expressed all the time.

Age is another risk factor for hypertension. As one gets older, the peripheral resistance the heart has to overcome increases. The increase in the peripheral resistance is as a result of the rigidity of the blood vessels which occurs as the body ages.

Race is also a predisposing factor for hypertension. Generally, persons with darker skins are more prone to hypertension than persons with paler skins. Certain lifestyle choices also predispose a person to hypertension. Lifestyle choices that could predispose a person to hypertension include smoking, alcohol consumption and vitamin D efficiency amongst others. Although hypertension is typically associated with older men and women, there is an increased prevalence of the conditions amongst the younger population.

There are several measures for managing hypertension. One is such measures is the implementation of lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, more exercise and adopting a healthier diet plan are essential for managing high blood pressure. These changes lower the rate at which the heart pumps blood.

Apart from lifestyle changes, medications can be used to lower one’s blood pressure. Medications for lowering one’s blood pressure include diuretics, alpha blockers and beta blockers.

Hypertension is a major contributor to deaths worldwide and can be properly managed to prevent its adverse effects.


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