What is Hypertension?

WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?

Hypertension is a long term medical condition commonly known as high blood pressure. The condition is characterized by persistently elevated blood pressure in the arteries. It is a condition that has become a deadly silent killer over the years affecting over 86 million Americans according to the American Heart Association. This is because the condition can be asymptomatic for a very long time before its complications manifest.

HOW IS BLOOD PRESSURE TAKEN?

Blood pressure readings can be taken either manually using a mercury sphygmomanometer or automatically using a blood pressure machine.  A cuff is placed around your arm and is inflated either with a pump or an automatic BP machine until the circulation is cut off. The cuff is then deflated slowly while the doctor obtains readings.

Several people check their blood pressure at home. You too can, it’s simple. You can purchase blood pressure kits then check your BP at your convenience. It enables you to monitor your high blood pressure and can help determine which medications work for you.

WHAT DO YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS MEAN?

Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers:

Systolic blood pressure usually the numerator (top number): -This is the reading recorded when your heart contracts to pump blood.

Diastolic blood pressure usually the denominator (bottom number): – This is the reading recorded when your heart relaxes and fills with blood.

The normal blood pressure according to the American Heart Association is blood pressure below 120/80.  Blood pressure between 120/80 and 129/80 is considered elevated while blood pressure of 130/80 or above is considered high.

Blood pressure between 130-139mmHg are in Stage 1 hypertension while hypertension stage 2 is 140 or higher, or 90 mm Hg or higher.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

High blood pressure has been labeled the silent killer disease as it may not have any symptoms. This can lead to multiple complications. However, here are a few nonspecific symptoms one can have; headaches, Dizziness, Shortness of breath, palpitations, and the blurring of vision.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

The causes of hypertension are multifactorial meaning that several factors contribute to the development of the condition. These factors include:

· High salt intake.

· Family history of high blood pressure: individuals with both parents being hypertensive are twice as likely to develop the condition as the general population.

· Smoking

· Stress

· Lack of exercise

· Kidney Disease.

DO SUPPLEMENTS LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE?

Yes, scientific research into the role of natural supplements in lowering high blood pressure have shown remarkable results. These supplements include; garlic, beet extracts, and hibiscus extracts and many others. You will need to consult with your physician before you can make changes to antihypertensive regimen. Herbs alone will not help you reduce High Blood Pressure. You will need to make lifestyle changes like eating better and exercise to control and reverse High Blood Pressure.