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High Blood Pressure – Risk Factors and Management

High blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg. It is a common problem affecting 1 billion people worldwide, accounting for 7.1 million deaths per year.

Blood pressure measurement has two measurements; systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the top reading which represents the pressure in the arteries when heart contracts and diastolic reading is the measurement of blood pressure when the heart relaxes and don’t pump blood. High blood pressure puts more pressure on heart and heart has to work harder to push blood against resistance. This makes the heart weaker earlier as compared to that of normotensive person (a person with normal blood pressure). High blood pressure is a “silent killer” as people with hypertension usually do not have any symptoms. It is associated with a number of deadly conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

What are the risk factors for developing high blood pressure?High Blood Pressure – Risk Factors and Management

The exact cause of high blood pressure is not known however there are certain risk factors which increase your risk of getting a high blood pressure. They include

  • Obesity: In research, it was found that obesity accounted for about 26% of cases of hypertension in males and 28% cases in females.
  • Smoking: The main component of the cigarette smoke which cause high blood pressure is called Nicotine.
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Too much salt (sodium ) intake
  • Heavy drinking
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney diseases
  • Hypertension in family members

How can High Blood Pressure be managed naturally?

High blood pressure usually requires a combination of medical therapy and lifestyle modification. The type of medication prescribed varies individually depending upon the severity and other associated problems, they might be having. However, there are certain natural remedies which can b opted by all the patients of high blood pressure to get optimum control and lower the risk of any of its complications. They are listed below:

  • Weight Loss: Research indicates that there is a reduction of 20 mmHg in systolic blood pressure for every 10 kilos of weight you lose.
  • Limiting Alcohol Intake: It is found that a reduction of alcohol intake to 30 ml of ethanol per day for men and 15 ml for women per day can reduce the your systolic blood pressure 2-4 Mm Hg.
  • Limiting Sodium Intake: A decrease in sodium intake to 2.4 grams can produce 2-8 mm Hg reduction in your systolic blood pressure.
  • Stop Smoking potassium
  • Decrease the intake of fats
  • Take a diet rich in potassium

How is High Blood Pressure Managed With Medical Therapy?

Medical Therapy includes drugs that control blood pressure through one of the following means.

  1. By Increasing the diameter of the arterial lumen, (e.g., ACE inhibitors, Vasodilators, Calcium channel blockers)
  2. By Decreasing the strength of heart contraction, (e.g., Beta blockers, Calcium channel blockers)
  3. By decreasing the blood volume (e.g., diuretics)
  4. By blocking the action of hormones that cause water and sodium retention (e.g., Aldosterone antagonists)

To get adequate control of high blood pressure, one should follow both medical and non-medical therapy. Hypertension is a manageable disease and it needs life-long treatment and monitoring. A hypertensive person shouldn’t discontinue or change his medicine without internists consultation and if he develops any new disease or health-related problem, he should consult a doctor as in some diseases, (eg., Diabetes, Renal failure,  hepatitis) some antihypertensive drugs are not used.

Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Come to Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, Flatbush, Fort Greene and Midtown Manhattan) and have your abnormal blood pressure taken care of.

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