Hypertension is one of the most common lifestyle diseases today, with every third person we meet, having suffered from it. And experts say that even kids can be victims of high blood pressure. The fact is that in 90% patients there is no known cause for hypertension and this makes it even more important to be alert. Most are not even aware that they have hypertension, which makes the scenario rather grim.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure, exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg — a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but can cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. High BP can lead to heart disease and stroke leading causes of death.
Factors that are responsible
Late eating, excessive time spent on smart phones by youngsters who seem to be living in a virtual world instead of physically walking around and getting to know people personally, sedentary lifestyles etc contribute majorly to the rise in hypertension. Several factors beyond your control increase the risk for high BP. These include your age, sex, race or ethnicity.
Causes for hypertension
In a majority of the patients there is no known cause for the high blood pressure. The basic reason for high blood pressure is atherosclerosis. There are multiple factors responsible which lead to atherosclerosis resulting in hypertension which include stress, sedentary lifestyle, faulty food habits, lack of exercise etc. A small group of patients with high blood pressure have what is called secondary hypertension, in which the high blood pressure is the result of another condition or illness, such as kidney diseases, disorders of the thyroid, pituitary or adrenal glands, pregnancy, obesity and sleep disorders and adverse effects of medicines.
People should follow an active lifestyle which will help in weight loss. Even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping to prevent high blood pressure. Regular physical exercise is crucial, as people who are physically active have a lower risk of suffering from blood pressure than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
You can work to reduce your risk for hypertension by following a healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight, not smoking, and being physically active.
In today’s scenario, where everyone is working towards achieving a target to climb up the corporate ladder, strict lifestyle modifications can go a long way in reducing the menacing effects of hypertension.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to
Heart attack or stroke
High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure.
Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally.
Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss.
This syndrome is a cluster of disorders of your body’s metabolism, including increased waist circumference, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good,’ cholesterol, high blood pressure and high insulin levels. If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have other components of metabolic syndrome. The more components you have, the greater your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
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