Hypertension in simple words is a condition in which the blood flows with more force through the blood vessels, than the normal healthy pressure. When the blood pressure (B.P.) is above normal, it causes more damage to the blood vessels over a period of time.
Why high blood pressure considered a serious disease?
It puts increased pressure on the heart to pump the blood throughout the body which causes more stress on the heart and blood vessels leading to increased risk of heart attack and strokes.
Hypertension is often labeled as a ‘silent killer’ as there are no directly related signs or symptoms for this disease. There are two types of Hypertension:
- Essential hypertension is one of the most common hypertension among the general population. It is diagnosed after the doctor has noticed that your blood pressure is high consecutively for three or more visits.
- Secondary hypertension is a less common and generally associated with several conditions such as kidney disorders, sleep apnea, thyroid disease, alcohol, high salt intake etc.
The effects of Hypertension:
- Damaged and narrowed arteries
- Coronary artery disease
- Enlarged heart
- Heart attack
- Transient ischemic attack
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Kidney failure
- Fluid build-up under retina
- Eye blood vessel damage
- Nerve damage
- Sexual Dysfunction
Signs & symptoms of Hypertension:
- Blurred vision
- Chest Pain
- Nausea Vomiting
- Shortness of Breath
“We have observed that every 8th person who took Indus Health Plus’s Preventive Health Checkup in the year 2018 is suffering from Hypertension. While those from urban areas blamed work pressure and job insecurity for rising levels of stress and eventually hypertension, people from semi-rural and rural area blamed the increasing cost and in-house expenditure. If not treated on time, hypertension can lead to heart problems, renal and multiple organ failure. A timely and routine check-up can reduce the risk of hypertension.”
Uncommon types of Hypertension:
1. Malignant Hypertension: When there is sudden rise in the blood pressure, leading to a medical emergency- it is a malignant hypertension
2. Gestational Hypertension: It is a type of high blood pressure that might occur during pregnancy
3. Isolated systolic: When the systolic pressure is high above the normal limits, it leads to Isolated systolic. It is seen more commonly above the age of 65 years due to loss of elasticity of the arteries
4. White Coat Hypertension: This occurs only when the patient enters the clinical setting. Outside the doctors’ office the blood pressure goes back to normal. It is believed that the patient become stressed/anxious in the doctor’s clinic or office. The doctors usually prescribe anti-anxiety drugs or ask them to relax for sometime to lower the anxiety in such patients
5. Resistant Hypertension: When after taking three different anti-hypertensive medication the blood pressure is persistently high and leads to this type
Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the most common home remedies:
✓ Maintain a healthy weight
✓ Eat a balanced diet
✓ Exercise regularly
✓ Stop/limit alcohol intake
✓ Limit the salt intake
✓ Monitor your B.P. regularly
✓ Adopt stress management activities
(Writer is Amol Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)