High blood pressure is a medical condition that causes undue pressure on the arteries. As blood flow is blocked, the blood pressure in the arteries is raised. While high blood pressure may not be life-threatening, it can cause all kinds of other problems and complications. For example, people with hypertension are more likely to get heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.
There are many different ways that hypertension can manifest itself. Generally, it is caused by having a high blood pressure. Systolic hypertension is when your blood pressure is elevated at a rate of 100 or more points during the first three minutes of walking, with a normal blood pressure. Diastolic hypertension is when the systolic blood pressure is lowered at a rate less than 80 but higher than the normal blood pressure.
If you have hypertension, it’s important to alter your lifestyle to include changes in your diet and way of life. Among these dietary changes are avoiding foods high in salt and fatty foods. You’ll also need to eat less red meat and replace butter, cheese and ice cream with skim milk, yogurt and other dairy products. To lose weight, you’ll also need to eat fewer calories and reduce your intake of salt, spicy foods, fried foods and other foods high in sodium.
Many people who are diagnosed with hypertension don’t take the problem seriously. They think that taking action to control their hypertension symptoms will cure them. However, if you ignore hypertension symptoms and do nothing to lower blood pressure through diet and exercise, you can have devastating health consequences. People with high blood pressure who acted quickly to treat their condition have experienced some of the most dramatic improvements in their health.
In addition to following a healthier lifestyle by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, and avoiding foods high in salt and fatty foods, there are several prescription medications that can be taken to help lower blood pressure. Some of these medications include beta-blockers, diuretics and blockers for medication-induced asthma. While you’re taking medications to lower blood pressure, you should avoid alcohol, caffeine and any other drugs that make you drowsy.
Some common over-the-counter medications used to treat hypertension include calcium channel blockers and diuretics. Calcium channel blockers lower blood pressure by blocking the opening of a potassium channel in the heart. Diuretics work by keeping the fluid from building up in the body, which is caused by too much sodium in the system. You may find that you need to use one of these drugs to lower your hypertension if you have kidney disease. Certain types of calcium channel blockers have been shown to improve the symptoms of preeclampsia, or deep vein thrombosis.
Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes as part of your treatment for high blood pressure. This includes eliminating tobacco use, including secondhand smoking. You should also make an effort to get 30 minutes of physical activity daily, including mild exercise (such as brisk walking) and consistent aerobic exercise. The recommended amount of exercise for patients with normal blood pressure is approximately three times a week.
If you smoke, quitting will help your hypertension as well as preventing further health complications. Smoking constricts the arteries, making them less able to transport oxygen-rich blood to the lungs and to the rest of the body. Smoking reduces the amount of healthy blood cells circulating in the body. In addition, smoking puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease, stroke and other circulatory problems.
If you are taking medications to lower your blood pressure, be sure to inform your doctor about any herbal supplements that you are taking. Many herbs are now being used to treat hypertension. Herbs such as hawthorn, garlic and fenugreek have been shown to reduce high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. For some patients, however, these herbs may cause side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, headaches and vomiting. Before starting on any herb treatment program, check with your health care provider first.
Of course, it’s not just your heart and lungs that can become affected by high blood pressure. Other parts of your body can also be adversely affected. Increased stress, improper diet and lack of exercise can all increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. If you want to lower your hypertension symptoms, the best way to do so is to incorporate a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise into your daily life.
Unfortunately, for many people, even moderate levels of blood pressure can be deadly. Some of the more common causes of portal hypertension include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis and abnormal heart rhythm. In order to avoid the serious side effects of hypertension, it is very important that you make sure you take your medication faithfully and eat a healthy diet. If you don’t, you could end up with a heart disease or other serious illness later in life.