What are the common symptoms of hypertension?
Hypertension is a severe medical condition that crucially increases the risk of heart and other problems. Approximately 1.28 billion people across the globe are dealing with the issue of hypertension. It is a significant cause of premature deaths worldwide. One of the global targets of the World Health Organization is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 33 percent by 2025.
According to WHO, an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30 to 79 years across the globe are dealing with hypertension. 46% of adults are unaware that they have this problem.
An estimated 21% of adults with hypertension are diagnosed and treated, and approximately one in five adults with hypertension have it under control.
What do you mean by hypertension?
Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart problems or strokes. Blood pressure is the measurement of the strength of blood pushing blood vessel walls. When you deal with hypertension, it means that the pressure against the blood vessel walls in your body is consistently very high. It is also referred to as a silent killer because you may not know its symptoms, but the damage is still occurring in your body.
The blood pressure reading has two numbers. The upper number is systolic blood pressure which measures the force on the blood vessel wall when your heart beats. On the other hand, the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure which measures the stress on your blood vessels when your heart is relaxing.
It is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, and even heart failure. Almost half of the adults in the USA deal with the problem of high blood pressure, but many may not know they have.
Does hypertension have different stages?
Yes, hypertension is diagnosed in four stages. Under the new guidelines, all blood pressure ranges over 120/80 mm Hg are considered elevated.
Stage one of hypertension
It is the primary or initial stage of hypertension and is referred to as the normal stage. The systolic of a person will be less than 130 mm Hg, and their diastolic will be less than 80 mm Hg. At this point, you do not require any treatment because the blood pressure is normal. It is vital to monitor blood pressure to ensure it is normal.
Stage two of hypertension
This stage is known as prehypertension. At this stage, your systolic can range between 130 to 139 mm Hg, and diastolic can vary between 80 to 89 mm Hg. Its name says it is the stage before someone crosses into hypertension. If you are in this stage of hypertension, you may be at risk of developing high blood pressure but still have the chance to avoid it.
People in the second stage of hypertension risk experiencing heart problems or strokes. Doctors do not recommend any medication at this stage, as it has not been proven to help against heart diseases and strokes. People should try lifestyle changes or natural treatments to avoid hypertension.
Stage three of hypertension
It is also referred to as 'stage 1' of hypertension. At this stage, systolic range between 140 to 159 mm Hg and diastolic range between 90 to 99 mm Hg. People at this stage are in danger of developing several health issues due to moderate hypertension.
Doctors may recommend medications to reduce their blood pressure and risk of heart disease and strokes. They can also advise you on some lifestyles to make your recovery fast.
Stage four of hypertension
It is also known as ' stage 2' of hypertension. At this stage, systolic ranges at 160 mm Hg or higher and diastolic ranges at 100 mm Hg or higher. At this stage, a person's hypertension is classified as severe. Doctors at this stage most likely recommend you two-drug therapy to bring the blood pressure down.
People at this stage are at high risk for coronary heart problems, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
How do I know I have hypertension?
Hypertension usually does not cause any symptoms. The only to know that you have high blood pressure is to have your health care professional measure it. Most people with hypertension or high blood pressure are unaware of their problem because it has no warning signs or symptoms. So, it is essential to get your blood pressure regularly checked. But some common symptoms include early morning headaches, nose bleeding, vision changes, irregular heartbeat, or buzzing in the ear.
The severe hypertension stage can cause nausea, fatigue, vomiting, confusion, chest pain, muscle spasms, or anxiety.
What are the leading causes of hypertension?
You can more likely have high blood pressure or hypertension if you have:
- Older than 55
- Are of African descent
- Have a past family history of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes.
- Eat high-sodium foods
- Do not get enough exercise
- Smoke or use tobacco
- You drink more than one drink a day in females and more than two drinks a day in males.
How can I diagnose and test my hypertension?
Since hypertension does not have any symptoms, your healthcare professional will need to check your blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. They usually check your blood pressure at every annual checkup or appointment.
If a person has a high blood pressure reading at two regular appointments or more, they may diagnose your high blood pressure.
Your healthcare provider can also recommend several tests to check the cause of high blood pressure and assess any organ damage from high blood pressure. These tests can include:
- Lipid profile for various kinds of cholesterol level
- Blood tests, including measurement of electrolyte, creatinine levels, or blood urea nitrogen
- Urine tests for electrolytes and hormones
- Ultrasound of the kidney, CT scan of the abdomen, or both
- Painless eye examination
- X-ray of the chest to estimate the size of the heart, but it is less specific
How can I treat my hypertension?
Your healthcare provider can recommend several lifestyle changes to control and manage your hypertension naturally. They can recommend lifestyle changes, including eating a heart-healthy diet with less salt, regular exercises or other physical activities, maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight, or limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.
A severe stage of hypertension requires proper medication along with lifestyle changes. Medications your doctor prescribes for hypertension depend on your blood pressure measurement and overall health. Two or more drug often works better than one.
Medications used to treat hypertension include Diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers, or calcium channel blockers.