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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

The heart pumps blood into the arteries with enough force and push the blood to each organ from the head to the feet. Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of blood on the walls of the arteries as the blood circulates through the body.

Pkdclinic.org > High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

The heart pumps blood into the arteries with enough force and push the blood to each organ from the head to the feet. Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of blood on the walls of the arteries as the blood circulates through the body. The more blood the heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a chronic medical condition, in which the blood pressure is elevated. This makes the heart work harder than the normal, so high blood pressure easily cause heart disease or occurs in some other diseases such as Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.

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What is the normal blood pressure?

Blood pressure is monitored by two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart muscle is systolic or diastolic. According to World Health Organization (WHO), normal systolic pressure at rest is within the range of 100-140mmHg, while normal diastolic pressure is within the range of 60-90mmHg. High blood pressure occurs if it is above 140/90 mmHg persistently.

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What are the types of high blood pressure?

Systolic pressure and diastolic pressure are both elevated that is the most common type of high blood pressure. In addition, there are three other types of high blood pressure: isolated systolic high blood pressure, white coat high blood pressure and borderline high blood pressure.

◆ Isolated systolic high blood pressure

Isolated systolic high blood pressure is defined as the systolic blood pressure above 140 mmHg and the diastolic pressure below 90. It usually affects the older person and is an important indicator of health problems.

◆ White coat high blood pressure

White coat high blood pressure is defined as a temporary increase in high blood pressure noted only in the doctor's office. The doctor's white coat or the patient's anxiety causes a brief increase in blood pressure. Therefore, the doctor should avoid the misleading of white coat high blood pressure.

◆ Borderline high blood pressure

Borderline high blood pressure is defined as mildly blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg or lower than that. The person with borderline high blood pressure may have a tendency to develop higher blood pressure as they get older.

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What causes high blood pressure?

For more than 95% of people with high blood pressure, the causes are multifacorial, that is, there are several factors, such as consuming too salt, background, obesity and hereditary, affecting the blood pressure. However, the exact cause is unknown. This kind of high blood pressure is called primary (or essential) hypertension.

In the remaining 5%, their high blood pressure is usually causes by another condition, such as chronic kidney disease, diseases in the arteries supplying the kidneys, chronic alcohol abuse, hormonal disturbances, endocrine tumours, etc. This kind of high blood pressure is called "secondary hypertension".

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What factors increaser the risk of high blood pressure?

According to the researches, the following factors can seriously aggravate hypertension and increase the risk of complications:

◆ Obesity

◆ Smoking

◆ Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2

◆ Alcohol abuse

◆ Lack of exercise

◆ Some medications, such as steroids

◆ A family history of high blood pressure

◆ Obesity

◆ Kidney Diseases such as Polycystic Kidney Disease, Hypertensive Nephropathy

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What are symptoms of high blood pressure?

Most often, high blood pressure has no symptoms and it is termed for "silent killer". In some cases, the person with high blood pressure may develop:

◆ Headache

◆ Dizziness

◆ Nausea, vomiting and fatigue

◆ Chest pain and shortness of breath

◆ Blurred vision

◆ Sleepiness

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How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

The effective and accuracy way to know whether your blood pressure is too high is to check it with a blood pressure monitor. The higher your blood pressure is, the more often you need to check it. You doctor will measure your blood pressure more than once to determine whether you have high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is higher than the normal, your doctor will ask you to measure your blood pressure regularly at the office or you can measure by yourself at home. High-quality, automated arm blood pressure cuffs for home use can be purchased for $40 to $60.

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How is high blood pressure treated?

Blood pressure control is a lifelong challenge. You and your doctor will work together to find the best treatment to lower your high blood pressure. Your treatment may involve a stepwise approach beginning with lifestyle changes and finally taking some medications. However, in some cases, medications may be recommended immediately.

◆ Lifestyle Changes

* Quit smoking and don't use any tobacco products

* Lose weight if you are overweight

* Exercise regularly

* Develop a health diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables

* Lower your intake of sodium, alcohol and caffeine

◆ Medications that help reduce your high blood pressure

There are many types of medicine used to treat high blood pressure. ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-II receptor antagonists, beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, calcium-channel blockers and diuretics all can contribute to reducing high blood pressure. The medications vary depending on your specific condition. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, you'll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. In addition, usually more than one kind of antihypertensive medicine is needed to control your high blood pressure.

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How does traditional Chinese medicine help reduce hypertension?

With the effects of expanding blood vessels, some Chinese herbs help reduce the pressure on the walls of arteries. With fewer side effects, these herbal medicines can control your high blood pressure in a long time. As part of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and moxibustion is able to help control your weight. If your weight stays in the normal level, the risk of hypertension can be reduced to some extent. What's more, you can do some excises such as Tai Chi and Qigong to control your high blood pressure. According to your condition, you can choose the best treatment.

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