Having high blood pressure is a fairly common condition, and the pressure may result in severe health problems like heart disease. Blood pressure is calculated by taking into account the amount of blood being pumped through your arteries as well as the resistance the blood may encounter as it moves through them.
If the lumen (diameter) of the arteries is narrower, the resistance will be higher, and therefore the blood pressure would be higher. This condition is medically known as hypertension.
Blood pressure has two metrics: systolic and diastolic pressure. The former refers to the pressure in the arteries during heart beats, while the latter refers to the pressure in the arteries between beats. Each of these has a normal range, with major deviations in either being cause for concern. You may suffer from high blood pressure without knowing it, increasing your risk of major health problems later on in life.
If you have been suffering from high blood pressure for extended periods of time, we recommend you schedule a check-up with a physician as soon as possible. You can schedule a doctor’s appointment in your local area using oladoc.com.
High blood pressure does not always have noticeable symptoms, and may take years of persistence before it becomes severe enough for symptoms to arise. The potential symptoms include bouts of dizziness, nosebleeds, headaches, slight hemorrhaging in the eyes and shortness of breath.
Because of the absence of noticeable symptoms, it is important that one gets regular blood pressure measurements, which is why general physician appointments normally include a blood pressure reading.
Types of Hypertension
There are two types of hypertension: primary, also known as essential hypertension, and secondary. Primary hypertension is the one that afflicts most people, developing over time. Secondary hypertension has a quick onset and can usually become more severe than primary hypertension.
There are certain factors that may increase the risk of developing either of these kinds of hypertension. Those that increase the risk of developing primary hypertension include:
- Genetics: Inherited genes or mutations might make you prone to developing the condition.
- Race: Individuals with African ancestry have a higher probability of developing the condition.
- Low physical fitness
- High blood sodium levels
- Low blood potassium levels
- Alcohol consumption: Having more than one drink a day might put you at greater risk.
- Stress: High stress levels can temporarily increase blood pressure.
The following factors have been found to be associated with a greater risk of suffering from secondary hypertension:
- Kidney Disease
- Adrenal gland issues
- Endocrine tumors
- Thyroid hormone imbalances
- Consumption of alcohol, cocaine and amphetamines
- Congenital heart defects
- Sleep Apnea
- Certain medications like birth control pills, decongestants, pain-relief drugs and cold remedies
Primary hypertension is usually initially treated by adopting lifestyle changes, but medications may be prescribed if this does not provide relief. Treatment for secondary hypertension is normally directed at the underlying cause, rather than the hypertension itself. If this direct treatment is not effective, medications for the hypertension may be prescribed.
- Beta-blockers, which reduce the amount of pumped blood
- Diuretics, which increase salt uptake, resulting in excess fluid moving into the urine
- ACE inhibitors, which reduce levels of a chemical that causes constriction of vessels
- Calcium channel blockers, which reduce calcium intake in muscle cells, reducing the force of heartbeats
If you are considering any of these medications or others that might be used to treat hypertension, we recommend consulting a professional before self-prescribing them. Here are some General Physician in Karachi if you require a consultation in that city.