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Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels increases. Individuals who suffer from hypertension for a long period are susceptible to develop conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Hypertension affects a large proportion of the Indian community. Nearly 25 – 30% of urban Indian population and 10 – 12 % of rural Indian population have hypertension.

Signs and symptoms

Initially, there may be no symptoms associated with high blood pressure. However, if there is a progressive increase in your blood pressure you may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Dull or severe headache
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Dizziness
  4. Frequent nosebleeds
  5. Vision problems
  6. Difficulty in breathing
  7. Palpitations
  8. Profuse sweating
  9. Chest pain

How to know whether I have hypertension?

If you experience any of the symptoms associated with hypertension, consult your doctor. Your healthcare provider would first check your blood pressure by using a device known as a sphygmomanometer.

How to measure blood pressure?

Firstly, an arm cuff is tied around your upper arm and inflated with a pump till the blood flow is completely restricted. Now the doctor would deflate the cuff and would place the stethoscope on your arm to listen for the flow of the blood rushing through the arteries. The pressure at which the first rushing sound of blood is obtained is the systolic blood pressure, whereas the pressure at which the sound of rushing blood fades is the diastolic pressure.

Interpret your test results

A normal blood pressure in adults is 120/80mmHg, where 120mmHg indicates the systolic pressure and 80mmHg denotes the diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure stages

Category Systolic (mm Hg) Diastolic (mm Hg)
Normal <120 <80
Prehypertension 120-139 80-89
Hypertension stage 1 140-159 90-99
Hypertension stage 2 160 or > 160 100 or > 100
Hypertensive crisis > 180 > 110

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is done using a small digital blood pressure machine which is attached to a belt around your waist and connected to a cuff around your upper arm. This device helps in monitoring your blood pressure for up to 24 hours. ABPM is useful when there is excessive variability in the BP throughout the day and when your nocturnal BP needs to be recorded.

The other tests that may help include:

  • Urine test to check for kidney or liver disease
  • Blood tests for levels of potassium, sodium, and cholesterol
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram

Management of Hypertension

Lifestyle measures

  • Weight management – Being overweight puts excessive strain on your heart and increases blood pressure. Losing weight by proper nutrition and exercise can reduce your BP.
  • Healthy diet – A diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables and low-fat dairy products helps in reducing blood pressure levels.
  • Decrease salt intake – Salt in blood increases blood pressure. Therefore, minimizing salt intake would help to reduce your blood pressure your blood pressure.
  • Keep moving – Exercising on a regular basis has been known to cause long term reduction of blood pressure
  • Limit alcohol consumption – Excessive consumption of alcohol can raise your blood pressure and can also reduce the effectiveness of medications.
  • Eliminate stress – Avoid doing activities that trigger stress. Practice yoga, meditation and deep breathing to alleviate stress.
  • Quit smoking – Nicotine, a by-product of cigarette smoke increases blood pressure.

Medical management

Your doctor would prescribe you medications based on the cause and severity of hypertension. The drugs prescribed for hypertension reduce blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels walls and inhibiting the actions of the chemicals that constrict blood vessels.

Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

References

  1. Home remedies.https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-home-remedies#1. Accessed on 26-09-2017
  2. Hypertension medication. – http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/241381-medication#2.  Accessed on 26-09-2017
  3. Treatment. – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/treatment/con-20019580. Accessed on 26-09-2017


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