High blood pressure, high blood pressure or hypertension is a very common disease. High blood pressure is particularly common in our western world, as many people lead an unhealthy lifestyle. High blood pressure attacks the heart and, without treatment, can lead to long-term death.
What is high blood pressure?
According to electronicsencyclopedia, pressure created when the heart pumps blood into the arteries. Blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes against the walls of the arteries and flows through the veins. What makes high blood pressure meaningful is that it can cause no symptoms initially, but serious complications over the long term.
Many people have high blood pressure without even knowing it. In western countries the frequency is 50 percent. However, only 5 percent of these are treated successfully. After all, awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure has increased significantly. If the blood pressure is permanently elevated, the heart has to work or perform more. This then leads to permanent damage to the blood vessels. The blood vessels become narrower and the systolic blood pressure rises as the heart has to pump against the ever increasing resistance.
In the long run, this leads to complications such as: heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, angina pectoris or eye damage. In order not to suffer from one of the mentioned effects, prevention, combined with therapy, is very important. Hypertension poses a high risk of becoming seriously ill or even dying from it. Medical checkups are essential.
There are many reasons for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. However, the cause cannot usually be specifically clarified. Genetic predisposition plays a role in most cases. About 10 percent of the time, high blood pressure is caused by other diseases. This is called secondary hypertension. In this case, blood pressure will usually return to normal once the cause is treated.
These include: chronic kidney disease, pregnancy, taking the pill, alcohol, thyroid dysfunction, tumors or the like on the adrenal gland.
Causes that cannot be changed:
Age: The older you get, the more likely you are to develop high blood pressure. This is largely due to hardening of the arteries.
Origin: Africans often have higher blood pressure than Europeans. High blood pressure develops at a young age and the complications are stronger as a result.
Social Status: High blood pressure is also more common among the less educated and lower social groups.
Inheritance: Genetically determined high blood pressure.
Gender: In general, men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure. However, this is mostly due to an unhealthy lifestyle for men.
Causes that need to be changed:
Overweight : Obesity is closely related to high blood pressure. Your doctor can help you calculate your body’s BMI and help you achieve it.
Sodium (salt) sensitivity: Some people have high sensitivity to sodium (salt) and their blood pressure increases when they consume salt. Reducing your sodium intake can help lower blood pressure. Fast food and canned foods or drugs such as pain relievers contain a particularly high proportion of sodium.
Alcohol: Drinking more than one to two alcoholic beverages a day can raise blood pressure.
Pill: Some women develop high blood pressure from taking the pill.
Drugs: Certain drugs, such as amphetamines, diet pills, and some medications used for colds and allergies, as well as smoking, can increase blood pressure.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
In the beginning, high blood pressure often does not cause clear symptoms. If the hypertension persists for a long time, it can lead to nervousness and fatigue. Migraine-like headaches are typical, which occur mainly in the morning after getting up and tend to be felt in the back of the head.
Constantly high blood pressure can also cause problems falling asleep and staying asleep. Those affected then often feel “worn out” and exhausted the next day. It mainly affects people who have had high blood pressure for a long time or who also suffer from sleep apnea. Externally, hypertension is noticeable through a slightly reddened face.
Sometimes there are visible red veins or white spots appear in the nail bed. Sometimes high blood pressure also manifests itself as shortness of breath, dizziness and nosebleeds. There may also be visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, and nausea. A rapid increase in blood pressure – for example during stress – leads to acute symptoms such as headaches, impaired consciousness and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
In rare cases, it can also lead to a circulatory collapse. Due to the large number of possible high blood pressure symptoms, the typical signs are often incorrectly attributed to other causes such as menopausal symptoms or the flu ]. An early clarification is therefore all the more important.
Often times, high blood pressure starts with a sudden, severe headache. These can be accompanied by a changed perception. Many patients initially complain of dizziness or chest pain. If you experience shortness of breath after little exertion or if you feel nausea and severe headache, you should urgently consult a doctor.
Various complications can arise with high blood pressure. Short-term high blood pressure leads to inner restlessness and can lead to a heart attack in the case of previous diseases of the heart or blood vessels. A chronically elevated heart rate damages the blood vessels and the heart, thereby increasing the risk of heart and kidney failure, stroke and heart attack.
In particular, the vessel walls and the heart muscle are excessively stressed by high blood pressure. It comes to vessel blockages, aneurysms and permanent damage to the heart valves that increase the risk for heart rhythm disorders and heart failure increase. The increased load on the vessels also causes a further rise in blood pressure and, as a result, greater complications.
Permanently high blood pressure also damages the retina and the optic nerve, which can lead to poor eyesight and, in rare cases, blindness. An increased pulse rarely leads to a blood pressure derailment with chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, visual disturbances, seizures and life-threatening organ damage to the heart, kidneys and brain.
Long-term high blood pressure therefore lowers the general life expectancy and increases the risk of the most serious illnesses and symptoms. However, if high blood pressure is treated early, the complications can usually be reduced to a minimum.
When should you go to the doctor?
High blood pressure is often not immediately noticeable, but this disorder can be very dangerous. Many negative consequences of hypertension are not acute, but only become recognizable as long-term damage.
Symptoms of high blood pressure include headache, dizziness, nosebleeds and ringing in the ears. Anyone who notices these symptoms should see a doctor promptly so that possible hypertension can be diagnosed and treated. High blood pressure should by no means be played down or dismissed as harmless. The possible consequences such as heart attack, kidney infarction or a stroke are life-threatening.
Anyone who belongs to a risk group should have their blood pressure checked regularly. This can also be done in the pharmacy or with a blood pressure monitor at home. The risk groups include in particular people who are very overweight, people who suffer from diabetes or other metabolic diseases, and patients with known cardiovascular diseases. People aged 50 and over are also advised to have their blood pressure checked regularly as a precaution.
From a reading of 140 to 90 mm Hg, an otherwise healthy adult should consult a doctor. Lower values apply to diabetics and other risk groups.
In the event of an acute rise in blood pressure, especially if people are affected who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke, an emergency doctor must be called immediately.
Treatment & Therapy
Many people can significantly lower their high blood pressure by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and getting enough exercise. However, additional medication is often required to control blood pressure. Medical treatment is definitely advisable.
The most important measures are to start with reducing weight and getting enough exercise. Try to eat low-salt and low-fat foods and prefer healthy food. Refrain from consuming alcohol and cigarettes. Treat yourself to regular relaxation.
You should also check your blood pressure regularly. There are special devices for the home. It is important that the real values can be measured unadulterated. Keep a log of your blood pressure.
Many people can do without antihypertensive medication because of the change in their lifestyle. Put your resolutions into practice too !. Your body will thank you with life.
↳ More information: Home remedies for high blood pressure
Outlook & forecast
In the case of high blood pressure, the prognosis depends on the type of high blood pressure. It therefore plays a role whether there is primary or secondary hypertension and how long the steadily increased blood pressure has existed.
In principle, the prognosis is very good if the diagnosis is early and appropriate countermeasures are taken, since in this case usually no vessels or organs have been damaged. If it is secondary hypertension, the prognosis is very good here too if the offending disease is successfully treated.
The patient can also significantly influence the outlook and prognosis. An improvement in lifestyle is important here: the prognosis can improve with every measure that helps to keep the blood pressure constant in the normal range. These include reducing weight if you are overweight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.
If these measures do not help, the prognosis can also be influenced by appropriate medication. On the other hand, high blood pressure, which has not been recognized for a long time, can already have led to consequential damage to blood vessels or organs. In this case, the prognosis depends on the progression of the disease. The likelihood of irreversible damage to blood vessels and organs increases the longer a high blood pressure is not recognized and treated.
You can do that yourself
In principle, every treatment for high blood pressure must be accompanied by a specialist. In parallel, there are other measures that make life with the disease easier. One of them is avoiding stress. Taking a walk can help relieve stress. Alcohol and cigarettes favor high blood pressure, so those affected should avoid them.
Autogenic training, yoga and relaxation exercises can be performed at home at any time. The circulation calms down and blood pressure is automatically lowered. Changing your food intake can also help. Herbs spice very intensely and salt can often be dispensed with. Those who often eat ready-made meals should refrain from eating them every now and then and instead eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
People who are overweight often suffer from high blood pressure. In addition to regular exercise, you should make sure that you reduce your weight. Switching to a low-salt and low-fat diet will help. Regular checks of the pressure are necessary. If indicated, the specialist will prescribe a device that is precise and yet easy to use. Also pharmacies offer cost to the blood pressure measurement.