What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is a very common condition in India leading to numerous hospitalizations and complications. There are nearly 125 million people with diagnosed hypertension, and the number is expected to go up to 213 million by 2025. Like other lifestyle disorders, this also leads to a huge burden on the affected person and the socio-economic status of the nation. High blood pressure is the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

Hypertension is yet another disorder that is result of bad life style and is closely linked to Coronary heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. the onset may be very silent during which period damage to the blood vessels and heart, eyes may occur. When uncontrolled it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, retinal hemorrhage.

It can be easily detected by checking ones BP. Once diagnosed, it should be treated properly under the guidance of a good physician.


Most people with high blood pressure are asymptomatic even when their readings are high. Headaces, nausea, vomiting, nose-bleeds, giddiness are some of the mild symptoms. If not detected and treated, it may lead to fatal complications like Cerebrovascular strokes, CAD, (heart attack)

You'll likely have your blood pressure taken as part of a routine doctor's appointment.Even children should get their blood pressure recorded when they visit their doctor on a yearly basis. Above 18 years, BP should be checked in both arms every 2 years.


There are two types of high blood pressure.

Primary (essential) hypertension There's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure and tends to develop gradually over many years.

Secondary hypertensionUsually due to other causes like:

  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain defects in blood vessels you're born with (congenital)
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
  • Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
  • Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
Risk factors

High blood pressure has many risk factors, including:

  • Age - The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
  • Race - High blood pressure is particularly common among Indians.
  • Family history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not being physically active
  • Using tobacco
  • Too much salt (sodium) in your diet
  • Too little potassium in your diet
  • Too little vitamin D in your diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress
  • Certain chronic conditions
  • Sometimes pregnancy contributes to high blood pressure, as well.

Although high blood pressure is most common in adults, children may be at risk, too.


The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to.

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys
  • Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Trouble with memory or understanding

If you think you may have high blood pressure, make an appointment with your family doctor or health care provider to have your blood pressure checked.

Tests and diagnosis

To measure your blood pressure, your doctor or a specialist will usually place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge.

A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), has two numbers. The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure).

Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:

  • Normal blood pressure - Your blood pressure is normal if it's below 120/80 mm Hg. However, some doctors recommend 115/75 mm Hg as a better goal. Once blood pressure rises above 115/75 mm Hg, the risk of cardiovascular disease begins to increase.
  • Prehypertension - Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Prehypertension tends to get worse over time.
  • Stage 1 hypertension - Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension - More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.

An important way to check if your blood pressure treatment is working, or to diagnose worsening high blood pressure, is to monitor your blood pressure at home.

Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend you eat a healthy diet with less salt, exercise regularly, quit smoking and maintain a healthy weight. But sometimes lifestyle changes aren't

Blood pressure treatment goals*

*Although 120/80 mm Hg or lower is the ideal blood pressure goal, Consult your doctor as to what your goals should be. Follow medical advice properly.

Do your regular laboratory testing

Lifestyle changes to treat high blood pressure

No matter what medications your doctor prescribes to treat your high blood pressure, you'll need to make lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure.

Your doctor may recommend several lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating a healthier diet with less salt -1tsf/day
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Eat healthy foods. Try the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. Get plenty of potassium, which can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat less saturated fat and total fat.
  • Decrease the salt in your diet. A lower sodium level — 1,500 milligrams (mg) a day — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are African-American or who have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
  • Otherwise healthy people can aim for 2,300 mg a day or less. While you can reduce the amount of salt you eat by putting down the saltshaker, you should also pay attention to the amount of salt that's in the processed foods you eat, such as canned soups or frozen dinners.
  • Maintain a healthy weight - If you're overweight, losing even 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) can lower your blood pressure.
  • Increase physical activity - Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
  • Limit alcohol
  • Don't smoke
  • Manage stress
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home
  • Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing
  • Supplements
  • Fiber, such as blond psyllium and wheat bran
  • Minerals, such as calcium and potassium
  • Supplements that increase nitric oxide or widen blood vessels (vasodilators), such as cocoa, Coenzyme Q10 or garlic
  • Probiotics, found in fermented dairy products such as cultured yogurt, buttermilk, acidophilus milk, cultured sour cream and cheese.

High blood pressure isn't a problem that you can treat and then ignore. It's a condition you need to manage for the rest of your life. To keep your blood pressure under control:

  • Take your medications properly
  • Schedule regular doctor visits
  • Adopt healthy habits
  • Manage stress
  • Do your routine tests as advised by your doctor- viz CBC, Lipid Profile, KFT, Urine R/E, MAU, ECG, Fundus etc
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Components CBC, Lipid Profile, KFT, Urine R/E, MAU, ECG etc.

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