Hypertension is the persistent increase in systolic blood pressure over 140 mmHg and /or diastolic blood pressure over 90 mm Hg. In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about hypertension.
In over 95% of cases, there is no cause for increases in blood pressure, with hypertension being called essential. In the remaining cases it is secondary to cardiac, endocrinological, or renal diseases. It can be treated and implicitly the patient will heal.
Excessive salt intake, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress are among the well-known causes of high blood pressure. But there are also less known causes of the onset of this condition affecting millions of adults around the world.
According to a new study published in the Journal Of Hypertension, bisphenol A, present in plastic packaging, can contaminate foods and beverages from these containers, causing cardiac disease and hypertension to occur. Specialists recommend the use of bottles and containers without bisphenol A – glass, porcelain, steel etc.
Excess sugar is harmful to both weight and blood pressure. Experts say sugar is actually more harmful than salt in terms of heart health. The fault is mainly attributed to fructose, which is usually found in processed foods and beverages.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends women not to exceed a daily consumption of six teaspoons of sugar (100 calories) and men should not exceed 9 teaspoons of sugar (150 calories).
For example, a non-alcoholic acidic beverage can contain over 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Sleep apnea – breathing disruption during sleep – is characterized by a disorder at the level of respiratory muscles.
It is a serious, life-threatening disease, and its incidence is relatively high. Effects include hypertension, and the National Sleep Foundation in the US says lifestyle changes – such as maintaining normal weight, surgery, and respiratory care – can be of great help.
A five-year study, conducted by the University of Chicago, showed for the first time a direct relationship between loneliness and hypertension among people over 50 years of age.
Hot baths and sauna
American Heart Association recommends avoiding these, especially when this disease has already been diagnosed.
Hot baths and saunas cause dilation of blood vessels, as well as pacey walks do, for example. American Hear Association says that if the doctor has recommended avoiding moderate physical activity, then the hot baths and sauna should be dropped, too.
Certain medications may increase blood pressure, according to a study by Archives of Internal Medicine.
These include acetaminophen (paracetamol) given daily, ibuprofen, naproxen, certain antidepressants, certain dietary supplements such as ginseng, sweet wood, etc., decongestants, inhalants, etc.
Physicians say it is best for patients to ask their doctor about the possible side effects of medicine.
Specifically, hypothyroidism is one that causes hypertension, according to a study published in 2007 in Journal Of Hypertension.
Variations in hormone secretion would help to increase the level of calcium in the body, which is associated with high blood pressure.
Hypertension: Symptoms and Diagnosis
Most common hypertension is asymptomatic. Occasionally headache may occur, sore throat, or ringing in the ears, nasal bleeding, nausea and vomiting (in the event of a complication called hypertensive encephalopathy).
Diagnosis is done by monitoring increased tensions during at least 2-3 visits at 2-3 weeks interval or from first consultation if the values are severely elevated.
Measuring tensions is done by medical staff, by the patient at home or automatically, over a 24-hour period, via ABPM devices.
It is recommended for patients with a history of high blood pressure hypertension in patients with so-called ‘white dressing hypertension’ to highlight nighttime tensions (non-dipper patients) or to check the effectiveness of anti-hypertensive therapy.
Newly diagnosed patients should perform a blood analysis, in which blood and urine samples, chest radiography, electrocardiogram and echocardiography are required. Self-monitoring of blood pressure by the patient is recommended using an electronic device. The electronic device to measure tension is preferred.
An essential role in preventing and subsequently treating high blood pressure is its salt intake. In many countries, the daily consumption of salt is 2-3 times higher (10-12g/day) than is allowed (4-6g/day).
Patients with hypertension should have a low-fat diet (about 2-3g/day).
Everything you need to know about hypertension
- Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to acute increases in blood pressure and haemorrhagic stroke.
- Hypertension is not curable. Treatment will be life-long and the blood pressure level will remain normal only during therapy.
- Some anti-hypertensive drugs have a longer duration of action and increased retention, so their effect may persist 24 or even 48 hours after discontinuation of therapy, leading to a false impression that the patient has healed.
- Good hydration is required for the anti-hypertensive medications given to be eliminated and have no serious side effects (especially to kidneys).
- In summer, blood pressure decreases due to lack of proper hydration due to the loss of water through sweat.
- During winter, tensions increase more due to the consumption of salty preserved foods or cold (vasoconstriction).
- It is not recommended to replace the salt in foods with potassium salt because it can lead to serious cardiac disorders through increased potassium intake.