With a rapid change in lifestyles, work pressures, a fast paced life or even personal habits, hypertension has come across as a medical issue of significant magnitude and serious concern.
The condition is vastly prevalent in both, developing and developed countries. In United States, 67 million people are afflicted by hypertension, which is nearly one in every three adults, and only half of these people (47%) have the condition under control. Some other medical disorders which are equally risky are also attributed to the condition. Around 7 in 10 people who have their first heart attack are afflicted by hypertension. And the same stands true for stroke as well. Around 8 in 10 people who suffer from their first stroke have high blood pressure. Moreover, hypertension is very often linked with kidney ailments, and if one is suffering from a kidney disease, his chances of contracting hypertension are higher.
What is hypertension?
When our heart beats, it pumps blood through the entire body by means of arteries, and blood pressure is defined as the force of blood on the vessel walls. Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure.
When one’s blood pressure is higher, the heart is required to pump harder, and the condition is called hypertension. This is a condition that has many effects on our body. It could cause damage to organs and many illnesses as well, such as kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke or aneurysm, which is swelling of arteries or cardiac chambers.
Normal levels of blood pressure should be below 120/80, wherein 120 is the peak blood pressure in arteries and 80 is the minimum blood pressure in arteries. When blood pressure reaches the limit of 140/90, the condition is known as hypertension.
If one suffers from high blood pressure due to unknown causes, it is known as essential blood pressure. But hypertension may be caused due to secondary causes, such as kidney disorders or tumors, and the same is known as secondary hypertension.
The condition is more prevalent in adults and seniors, but even those younger, teens and children could be at risk. About two million teens and children in United States are afflicted by hypertension.
What causes hypertension?
There are some factors which are known to enhance the risk of occurrence of hypertension. These include smoking, being obese or overweight, not getting regular exercise in everyday life, or even high levels of salt intake.
Similarly, insufficient consumption of calcium, magnesium or potassium from our diets, a deficiency of Vitamin D or higher alcohol consumption increase the chances of prevalence of hypertension. Stress makes one more vulnerable to hypertension, and even genetics, or a prior family history of hypertension makes one more likely to contract the condition. Kidney ailments, some thyroid problems or tumors also make one more vulnerable to hypertension.
How can one find out if he has hypertension?
Some symptoms of hypertension include severe headaches, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, nausea, problems with breathing, or blood in the urine. However, it very often happens that a person suffering from hypertension does not have any of these symptoms. This is common, and one in three people who are afflicted by hypertension do exhibit any of the symptoms of hypertension. So one must try and make sure that he goes for periodic blood screening tests, even if no symptoms of high blood pressure are prevalent.