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What is Hypertension? Edit

Hypertension is having a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg. This means the systolic reading (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body) is over 140 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or the diastolic reading (as the heart relaxes and refills with blood) is over 90 mmHg. While this threshold has been set to define hypertension, it is for clinical convenience and because achieving targets below this level brings benefits for patients. But rather than being marked by a particular cut-off point, the medical expert committees on the condition actually see high blood pressure as having a continuous relationship to cardiovascular health. They believe that, to a point (down to levels of 115-110 mmHg systolic, and 75-70 mmHg diastolic) the lower the blood pressure the better.

Inside-a-blood-vessel

How does Hypertension Affect the Circulatory System? Edit

Hypertension can affect the circulatory system because of the uncontrollably high blood pressure. The high blood pressure can cause coronary artery disease. This affects the blood supply to the heart muscle and does not allow blood to flow smoothly and freely.

Signs and Symptoms Edit

Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.

A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren't specific and usually don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

Nose bleed

Diagnosis ([1]) Edit

In order to diagnose high blood pressure (hypertension), one can get their blood pressure measured by a health care provider at a pharmacy, or a blood pressure device can be purchased for their home. Having at-home blood pressure readings are more accurate and helpful when diagnosing and monitoring hypertension because the readings show what is happening in the patient’s daily life and the real world. However, before making any assumptions about the readings, it should be brought in to the doctor’s office and have it compared to the office readings for accuracy.

            Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) and is written systolic over diastolic; for example, 120/80 mm Hg, or “120 over 80.” Most recent guidelines show that a normal blood pressure is than 120/80 mm Hg.

            Blood pressure may increase and decrease depending on a variation of different scenarios:

            - age - activity

            - heart condition - medication on takes

            - emotions

Treatment Edit

There are several different approaches to treat hypertension and to prevent it from occurring. In order to prevent hypertension from occurring, it is important to adapt a healthy lifestyle. It is recommended to exercise regularly, eat healthy and balanced meals and to avoid tobacco.

Lifestyle changes to treat high blood pressure include:

  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet, including the DASH diet (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products, less saturated and total fat)
  • Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet to less than 1,500 milligrams a day if you have high blood pressure; healthy adults should try to limit their sodium intake to no more 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).
  • Getting regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day, several days a week)
  • Limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one drink a day for women

For those with high blood pressure, the treatment that is recommend is drug therapy, some drugs to treat high pressure include:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Alpha-blockers
  • Alpha-agonists
  • Renin inhibitors
  • Combination medications

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