Hypertension affects about half of US adults. This condition is also known as high blood pressure, and it develops when blood flows through arteries at a higher force than usual. Hypertension can lead to stroke, dementia, heart attack, and kidney failure. Fortunately, it’s preventable and manageable. Read on to gain more insights.
Causes of Hypertension
There are two forms of high blood pressure. Primary hypertension develops slowly over time, and it has no known cause. On the other hand, secondary hypertension occurs as a result of underlying conditions like:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Renovascular diseases
- Sleep apnea
- Thyroid problems
Common Symptoms of Hypertension
Unfortunately, most people with hypertension don’t show any symptoms. A few people might experience headaches, shortness of breath, vision changes, and nose bleeding. High blood pressure can also cause irregular heart rhythm. Hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, chest pain, muscle tremors, and confusion in extreme cases.
Factors that Increase the Risk of Hypertension
While anyone can get hypertension, various factors increase the risk. People above 64 years of age are more likely to develop high blood pressure since arteries tend to get stiffer with age. Also, the more you weigh, the more oxygen and nutrients your blood requires to transport to the tissues. The amount of blood flowing through your arteries will increase, which can cause hypertension. You are at a higher risk if you have a family member with hypertension. High stress levels, too much salt, and little potassium in your diet can also lead to high blood pressure.
How to Prevent and Manage Hypertension
You can minimize the risk of getting hypertension by making some simple lifestyle changes. Consider yoga, meditation, or nature walks rather than turning to alcohol or recreational drugs to manage stress. Ensure that you take a balanced diet daily and match your calorie level with your body size, level of activity, and sex. Keep your salt intake under five grams daily, work out regularly, and eat more fruits and vegetables. If you already have hypertension see a doctor to assess the condition, treat underlying issues, and recommend the right medicine. Monitor your weight and get regular pressure checks.
The best way to know whether you have normal blood pressure is by having it checked. If you detect the signs of hypertension early enough, adjusting your lifestyle and taking the proper medication can control it.