American cardiologists have dubbed arterial hypertension (AH) “the silent and mysterious killer.”
Arterial hypertension is a persistent increase in blood pressure (systolic blood pressure which is greater than 140 mm/Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure greater than 90mm/Hg) in individuals. In men, hypertension is more often recorded before the age of 50, in women after 50 years.
In many patients with hypertension, it can be almost asymptomatic for a long time without altering the state of health.
When you go to the hospital and you check your blood pressure, the doctor tells you two numbers, the first number is your systolic blood pressure. This is the blood exerted from your arteries and the second number is your diastolic blood pressure which is exerted within your arteries and heartbeats.
The below figures are the normal estimated blood pressures:
- Optimum systolic blood pressure is less than 120mm/Hg, diastolic blood pressure less than 80mm/Hg.
- Normal systolic blood pressure is less than 130mm/Hg and diastolic less than 85mm/Hg.
- High normal systolic blood pressure is less than 130mm/Hg – 139mm/Hg, diastolic pressure 85mm/Hg – 89mm/Hg.
High Blood pressure is grouped into three degrees:
- 1st degree hypertension, systolic pressure is 140-159mm/Hg; diastolic pressure 90-99mm/Hg.
- 2nd degree hypertension, systolic pressure is 160-179mm/Hg, diastolic pressure 100-109mm/Hg.
- 3rd-degree hypertension, systolic pressure is greater than 180mm/Hg, diastolic pressure is greater than 110mm/Hg.
Isolated systolic hypertension is increased systolic blood pressure at normal or decreased diastolic BP.
White coat hypertension – induced by stress of physical examination.
Masked hypertension – false finding of normal blood pressure during the examination.
Identifying people with risk factors for hypertension are grouped into exogenous and endogenous.
Exogenous can be long and frequent psycho-emotional surge; cranial trauma and concussions; migrated in the past kidney disease, smoking; alcohol abuse; high salt intake; over-nutrition, especially for those prone to obesity; lack of exercise; different industrial RF’s.
Endogenous can be genetic predisposition, personality traits that appear in childhood and adolescence, psycho-emotional liability with pronounced sympathoadrenal responses to small stimuli, vegetative dystonia, pregnancy, menopause and menopause in women, reduced gonadal function in men, the endocrine system, and person’s age.
- Occupational headaches.
- Dizziness and vertigo.
- Dimmed vision.
- Dyspnea-shortness of breath.
- Oedema or swelling of lower extremities.
- Increased heart beating.
- Cardialgia –heartburn, pain or uneasiness in the stomach or lower end of the esophagus.
- Angina pectoris.
How can I prevent high blood pressure?
You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle.
- Eating a healthy diet. To help manage your blood pressure, you should limit the amount of sodium (salt) that you eat and increase the amount of potassium in your diet. It is also important to eat foods that are lower in fat, as well as plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Getting regular exercise. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure. You should try to get moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 2 and a half hours per week, or vigorous intensity aerobic exercise for 1 hour and 1 5 minutes per week. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is an exercise in which your heart beats harder and you use more oxygen than usual.
- Being at a healthy weight. Being overweight or having obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control high blood pressure and reduce your risk for other health problems.
- Limiting alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women only one.
- No smoking. Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, talk to your health care provider for help in finding the best way for you to quit.
- Managing stress. Learning how to relax and manage stress can improve your emotional and physical health and lower high blood pressure. Stress management techniques include exercising, listening to music, focusing on something calm or peaceful, and meditating.
- Limiting high intake of salt. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults, especially for those with high blood pressure. Even cutting back by 1,000 mg a day can improve blood pressure and heart health.