Hypertension is called a silent killer. It’s a medical diagnosis of high blood pressure, which is made if the systolic number (this is a measurement of the pressure your blood puts on the walls of your blood vessels when your heart contracts and pushes blood through your body) or the diastolic number (this is a measurement of the pressure your blood puts on the walls of your blood vessels when your heart relaxes and refills with blood) stays higher than normal most of the time.
An optimal blood pressure level is reading under 120/80 mmHg. For most people, blood pressure above 140/90 is considered hypertension. If you have diabetes or kidney disease, your blood pressure should be below 130/80.
In this condition, the heart has to pump harder to move blood through the body, adding to the workload of the heart and blood vessels. It increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, kidney disease, vision loss, bone loss, and it also damages the blood vessels.
Individuals in the early stages of high blood pressure generally have no symptoms or warning signals. Contrary to popular belief, headaches or nosebleeds are not usually symptoms of the early stages of high blood pressure. The only reliable way to know if you have or are developing high blood pressure is to have it checked.
An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension. In most cases, the causes of high blood pressure are unknown.
Smoking tobacco, race, being overweight, excessive sodium intake, lack of exercise, stress, alcohol, aging, and genetics are factors and habits that contribute to high blood pressure. Chronic diseases can also increase your risk of high blood pressure, such as kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
To prevent this condition it’s important to have a healthier lifestyle including:
– Physical activity.
– Healthy diet.
– Not smoking.
– Limiting alcohol intake.
Going to the doctor once a year is also a preventive method for this condition.
- Hypertension. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://uhs.umich.edu/hypertension#What%20is%20hypertension
- Reading the new blood pressure guidelines. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/reading-the-new-blood-pressure-guidelines