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Hypertension

Overview

Hypertension is a common condition and is also known as high blood pressure. It occurs when the pressure of blood is too high while pushing towards the walls of the blood vessels. Hypertension may cause other complications, including heart attack, heart failure, aneurysm, and other heart diseases. 

Hypertension commonly occurs in adults, especially in men; the normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg while people with hypertension may experience a blood pressure of 121/81 mm Hg. 

There are two types of hypertension –essential or secondary. The fundamental or primary hypertension is when the underlying causes of hypertension cannot be identified. The other type is secondary hypertension, and it is where some health conditions cause hypertension.  

Symptoms

Some patients who have hypertension haven’t experienced some symptoms aside from having high blood pressure. 

These are the symptoms that you should look for after if your blood pressure is extremely high:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blood in the urine
  • Vision problems
  • Pounding in neck, ears, or chest 
  • Fatigue

If you are suffering from the following symptoms, you must consult your doctor. It can lead to severe complications such as stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, and eye problems if symptoms are ignored. 

Diagnosis

Hypertension can be diagnosed using tools and through laboratory tests. Here are methods:

Blood pressure test:

Using blood pressure cuffs is the traditional way of determining blood pressure. The pressure cuff is a rubber attached around the arm and is inflated when the air pump is being pumped. The cuff identifies the vibration in the arterial wall, which helps determine your blood pressure. There are four categories of blood pressure measurement:

  • Normal: it is when the systolic pressure is less than 120 mm Hg and the diastolic pressure is less than 80 mm Hg; this is when you consider your blood pressure as normal
  • Prehypertension: if the systolic and diastolic pressures are between 120 and 139 mm Hg and 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1: stage 1 hypertension is when the systolic pressure falls between 140 and 159 mm Hg and the  diastolic pressure between  90 and 99 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2: the systolic pressure is 160 mm Hg or higher or the diastolic pressure is 100 mm Hg or higher.

Laboratory Tests

Some patients should undergo laboratory tests to determine if they have secondary hypertension brought about by underlying medical conditions.

  • Blood test

This includes electrolyte levels, blood glucose, thyroid function tests, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine levels. By testing the patient’s blood samples, the underlying medical conditions that cause hypertension may be identified. 

  • Urine Tests 

A urine test can identify the other contributing causes of hypertension, including kidney failure, diabetes, or illegal drug usage. 

Treatment

Your lifestyle may contribute to treating your hypertension. These are the recommended lifestyles for you in order to control your blood pressure. 

  • Maintaining a healthy body and weight
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Limit the alcohol intake
  • Regular physical exercise

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