Last Updated: 24th July, 2022
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): High blood pressure (HBP), also known as Hypertension (HTN or HT) is a long-term medical condition whereby the blood pressure in the arteries is abnormally high. Conventionally, high blood pressure doesn’t exhibit symptoms. A medical condition in which the intensity of the blood is extremely strong against the walls of the artery. Hypertension is typically characterized as blood pressure beyond 140/90, and when the pressure is well above 180/120, it is regarded as extreme.
It can trigger health problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, over time, if untreated. Low blood pressure can be improved by maintaining a nutritious diet with less salt, maintaining a healthy weight and obtaining medication. The risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, loss of vision and cardiac arrest is increased by uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension (HTN or HT). High BP is veritably the principal cause of stroke and heart failure.
High blood pressure (HBP) can be managed by implementing some lifestyle changes or by certain medicines or with a combination of both. The fundamental problem that gets highlighted quite often is that most of the people getting treated for high BP stop taking their medicines or stop following the recommended lifestyle changes in between because their BP levels are in control and they “feel” fine.
Adeptly, your BP levels are sound because the medicines and the lifestyle changes are working. Discontinuing them may again put your blood pressure levels off the edge. Hence, you must keep receiving the medicines and following the lifestyle interventions religiously.
Fact 1. Young People Can Develop High BP Too
As per a research conducted in 2018, one in five young Indian adults has high BP, which is equivalent to 80 million people. This number is more than the entire population of the United Kingdom. The lifestyle of young people today is mostly sedentary. The lack of physical activity, increased stress levels, unchecked intake of unhealthy food is some lifestyle problems that are accelerating the risk of developing high BP. Anyone aged 18 should get their BP checked once every 2 years. Seek your doctor to check your BP levels every year if you’re 40 or older or if you’re 18 to 39 with an elevated risk of high blood pressure.
Fact 2: Blood Pressure Doesn’t Display Any Symptoms
High blood pressure majorly doesn’t cause any symptoms and is hence identified as a silent killer. The lack of any symptoms makes people believe they’re fit and as a result, they don’t check their blood pressure levels as frequently as they are demanded. You must keep track of your blood pressure levels as that is the sole way to comprehend if you experience it.
Fact 3. If You Have High BP And Are Experiencing Headaches And Nosebleeds, Check Immediately.
Some people believe that headache and nosebleeds are typical symptoms of high blood pressure (HBP). But contrarily, exhibiting these symptoms is a sign that you demand immediate medical attention as these two symptoms occur in case of a medical emergency when a person’s blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher. This is known as hypertensive crisis. Such a situation demands urgent medical care.
Fact 4. High BP Can Impact Brain Functioning
High blood pressure reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, reducing cognitive functioning and increasing the risk of dementia. Prolonged high blood pressure may even block the blood vessels, causing stroke. Dementia may also occur due to a stroke.
Fact 5. Women Can Develop High Blood Pressure (HBP) Too
People often argue women don’t have the risk of developing high BP, but the fact is until 65 years of age, men are more likely to develop hypertension, whereas after 65, women are more likely to get high blood pressure. Birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause put a woman at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Fact 6. High BP Doesn’t Affect Only The Aggressive And Tense People
When anyone around us loses their temper, we often promptly reply asking them to lower their temper or they may develop high blood pressure (HBP). Though prolonged stress increases the risk of high BP, this condition can affect even the calm and composed ones. The leading risk factors of hypertension include:
- Family History: High BP typically runs in families. If your parents or siblings suffered it, you would experience it too.
- Increasing Age: With an increase in age, our heart loses its efficiency, thereby causing an increase in blood pressure.
- Being Obese or Overweight: Being obese or overweight forces your heart work harder to pump blood around your body, increasing the stress on your blood vessels and causing high BP over time.
- Unhealthy Diet: Consuming high salt, processed foods increases the intake of salt or sodium, which increases the risk of hypertension. Make sure to include moderate amounts of potassium-rich food like bananas, dates, avocados in your diet as this mineral helps regulate the amount of sodium present in your body. Potassium may not be recommended for people with kidney problems.
- Excessive Alcohol Intake: Excessive alcohol intake has been seen to increase a person’s blood pressure level. Women should take only 1 drink a day while men should stick to not more than 2 drinks a day. A drink is one 12 ounce of beer (355 ml), 4 ounces of wine (118 ml), 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits (44 ml).
- Smoking: It can damage your lungs, heart and blood vessels. Nicotine increases your blood pressure and absorbing the carbon monoxide emitted while smoking tobacco reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood.
High blood pressure (HBP) may silently sneak into your life and increase your risk of fatal diseases like heart attack and stroke. Screening for high blood pressure from time to time can help in detecting it before it becomes extremely late. If detected early, hypertension can be managed without any medicines.