According to statistics, one out of every three Indian adults suffers from a condition called ‘hypertension’ which is known as ‘high BP(blood pressure)’ in layman’s terms.
While people generally use the term very casually to describe the level of stress they have faced or face, trivialising the condition altogether, what they don’t realise is that it is these common chronic diseases that cause a lot of harm. After living with a chronic disease for a while, people tend to take it lightly, skipping their medication, going overboard on their diet, not taking physical activity seriously and end up worsening their condition. What we are looking at in this blog is to create an awareness about the seriousness of hypertension and its effects on your body. Let’s begin with getting to the basics hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
The amount of blood that your heart pumps and the resistance your arteries create for blood flow determines blood pressure. The more the resistance of increased blood flow from your arteries the higher your blood pressure will shoot up.
120/80 mmHg is the normal BP reading in which 120 is the systolic reading and 80 is the diastolic reading. The systolic reading refers to the pressure of the blood pumped by the heart whereas the diastolic reading refers to the pressure of the heart relaxing and refilling with blood. A blood pressure reading higher than 130 over 80 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) is considered as high. If the pressure is above 180/120 it is considered severe and would require immediate medical attention.
You can live with hypertension for years without any symptoms but the condition of your blood vessels and heart are can already be deteriorating and can be detected through regular check-ups.
Causes of Hypertension :
For most cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unidentifiable and is known as primary (essential) hypertension which develops gradually over a span of years.
In others, high blood pressure is caused due to an underlying condition and it is known as secondary hypertension. It tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than it does for people with primary hypertension.
The conditions that could lead to secondary hypertension include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumours
- Thyroid problems
- Certain defects you’re born with (congenital) in blood vessels
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
While most of the above mentioned underlying conditions are known of, kidneys disorders causing hypertension and hypertension causing kidney disorders is a very uncommon phenomenon- you don’t usually hear about it. What happens in this condition is that the nephrons in the kidneys are supplied with a dense network of arteries through which high levels of blood flow. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. The damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue reducing their ability to work properly which means they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body and the increased fluid, in turn, can also become a cause for hypertension.
Symptoms of Hypertension :
Nearly one-third of people are unaware of the fact that they suffer from hypertension because most of the times it stays in you without symptoms. It is only through regular checkups that you’d understand you have the condition, yet it is maintained that high blood pressure can cause sweating, anxiety, sleeping problems. Other symptoms occur when condition grows severe, they could include,
- A severe headache
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
Risk Factors of Hypertension :
- Family history
- Physical inactivity
- Uncontrolled sodium consumption
Potential Complications of Hypertension :
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Cognitive disability including trouble with memory
What are the potential treatments?
- Lifestyle adjustments
- Regular physical exercise
- Stress reduction
We at sunshine have an integrated team of Experienced Doctors who’d treat you for not just your condition and symptoms but help you cope with the effects of after-treatment pain and medication. Our Physiotherapists will be able to guide you in terms of the lifestyle changes you need in your life and the way you should take the course of exercises to lead a healthy life.
We aim at walking you through your journey of coping with chronic conditions like hypertension.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.