High Blood Pressure

Pressure applied by the blood on the wall of the vessels especially on the walls of arteries is called Blood Pressure. Normal blood pressure ranges in between 120/80 mm Hg. Blood pressure above the normal range is known as High Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is also known as Hypertension (HTN).

Typical example of High Blood Pressure

Types of HTN

For the sake of making it easy to understand, we can classify the HTN in 2 types on the basis of underlying cause. Types are as:

  • Primary Hypertension (essential), hypertension occurs on its own, without any underlying condition.
  • Secondary Hypertension, caused by an underlying health condition.

Risk factors of HTN

There are so many common risk factors that can be lead to HTN in children including being overweight, eating a poor diet and lack of exercise.

In adults there are so many risk factors, some important and common risk factors are as:

  • Age, increasing age is the most common risk factor that can cause HTN. above 65, women are more likely to develop HTN. Below 65, HTN is more common in men.
  • Race, African peoples are more likely to have HTN then whites. In fact, serious complications of HTN like heart diseases, chronic kidney diseases and failure, strokes are more common in African peoples.
  • Overweight.
  • Physically inactive.
  • Use of Tobacco.
  • Increased intake of salt (sodium).
  • Decreased intake of Potassium.
  • Increased intake of Alcohol.
  • Stress.
  • Pregnancy.
Risk factors of HTN

Symptoms of HTN

Most of the peoples with HTN have no sign and symptoms for many years even in their entire life, sometimes HTN reach to dangerously high levels without having any sign and symptoms.

Some of the peoples experience these symptoms with HTN but these symptoms are not specific to HTN and usually occur when HTN reaches severe or life threatening stage. These are:

  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nosebleeds.

Causes of HTN

  1. Primary HTN (Essential), there is no particular identified cause of this HTN. This type of HTN develops with the increasing age of any individual.
  2. Secondary HTN, the causes underlying this HTN are as:
  • Obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Adrenal gland tumors.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Certain defects of blood vessels you’re born with (congenital).
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.
Causes of Secondary HTN

Diagnosis

Blood pressure is measured by an instrument having a inflatable cuff tied on Patient’s arm near elbow, and measure blood pressure by pressure-measuring gauge. The instrument used to measure blood pressure is called Sphygmomanometer.

According to the blood pressure, there are four stages which are:

  • Normal B.P, 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Elevated B.P, upper limit ranging from 120-129 mm Hg and lower limit below 80 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1 HTN, upper limit ranging from 130-139 mm Hg while lower limit ranging from 80-89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 HTN, severe HTN in which upper limit is 140 or higher while lower limit is 90 or higher. 

You have to visit your physician immediately if you have stage 1 or stage 2 HTN. 

Treatment