WHAT IS IT?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition in which the force of blood flowing through the arteries is too high. Blood pressure is measured in two values: systolic pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts to pump blood, and diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest between beats.
It is considered that a person has hypertension if their systolic blood pressure is equal to or greater than 140 mmHg and/or their diastolic blood pressure is equal to or greater than 90 mmHg. This can be caused by various factors, such as age, obesity, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, and genetic predisposition.
Hypertension can be dangerous as it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious complications. Therefore, it is important for people with hypertension to regularly monitor their blood pressure and follow their doctor’s recommendations to keep it under control. This may include changes in diet and lifestyle as well as medications to lower blood pressure.
There are several risk factors for hypertension, which are conditions or habits that can increase the likelihood of developing this disease. Some of the most common risk factors include:
- Age: It is more common in people over 65 years old.
- Obesity: People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing hypertension.
- Physical inactivity: Lack of regular physical activity can increase the risk of hypertension.
- Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of hypertension.
- Tobacco: Smoking can increase blood pressure and damage arteries, increasing the risk of hypertension.
- Family history: If a close family member has hypertension, there is a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to hypertension.
- Chronic diseases: It is more common in people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea.
It is important to note that many of these risk factors are modifiable and can be addressed through lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular physical activity, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption. Regular follow-up with a doctor is also important to monitor blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications.
In many cases, hypertension does not present obvious symptoms and a person may not realize they have it until a blood pressure measurement is taken. That is why hypertension is often called the “silent killer”. However, in more severe cases or in people with very high blood pressure, the following symptoms may appear:
- Persistent headache.
- Dizziness and feeling of imbalance.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Blurred vision.
- Shortness of breath.
In very severe cases, hypertension can cause symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty speaking or understanding, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, seizures, and loss of consciousness. These symptoms require immediate medical attention and may be a sign of a medical emergency, such as a stroke.
It is important to note that the presence of these symptoms does not always mean that a person has hypertension, as they can also be caused by other medical conditions. If these symptoms are experienced, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
COMPLICATIONS OF UNCONTROLLED HYPERTENSION
Uncontrolled hypertension can cause a series of serious complications in the body. Below are some of the most common complications associated with uncontrolled hypertension:
- Heart disease: Uncontrolled hypertension can cause heart diseases such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, and enlarged heart.
- Stroke: Uncontrolled hypertension increases the risk of a stroke, which can cause disability, language problems, and even death.
- Kidney problems: Uncontrolled hypertension can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure and, in severe cases, the need for dialysis or kidney transplant.
- Vision loss: Uncontrolled hypertension can damage blood vessels in the eyes and cause vision loss.
- Dementia: Uncontrolled hypertension can increase the risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- Sexual problems: Uncontrolled hypertension can affect sexual function in both men and women.
- Bone problems: Uncontrolled hypertension can increase the loss of calcium in bones, which can lead to osteoporosis.
It is important to note that these complications can be prevented or controlled with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment for hypertension. Therefore, it is essential to undergo regular medical checkups and follow the doctor’s recommendations to control blood pressure.
HOW TO REDUCE HYPERTENSION
Hypertension can be reduced and controlled in several ways. Below are some of the most effective ways to reduce it:
- Lifestyle changes: A healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates can help reduce hypertension. It is also recommended to reduce sodium intake, limit alcohol consumption, and avoid tobacco.
- Regular physical activity: Regular exercise can reduce hypertension as it helps to strengthen the heart and blood vessels. At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is recommended.
- Stress management: Stress can increase blood pressure. Therefore, it is important to learn relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to reduce stress.
- Medications: There are a variety of medications available to treat hypertension. These include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), among others. It is important to take these medications as recommended by the doctor.
- Regular blood pressure monitoring: It is essential to regularly monitor blood pressure to ensure that it is within normal levels and adjust treatment if necessary.
At AQB, we offer high-quality home care and hospital care services. With qualified and highly trained personnel, we provide comprehensive and professional care, helping our clients improve their quality of life to reduce hypertension. We strive to ensure personalized and trustworthy care, so that our patients and their families feel safe and cared for at all times. With AQB, you can be sure that your loved one is in good hands. Contact us.