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The symptoms and causes of high blood pressure

High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is the permanent elevation of blood pressure over 16/9.5 (the normal blood pressure being 14/9). This is a common disorder, which increases with age and it normally has a hereditary component. As blood pressure varies continuously during the day, a doctor needs to monitor a patient for at least a month before diagnosing hypertension.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Generally, high blood pressure does not present symptoms that could alert the patient and it is frequently discovered during routine medical examinations. However, sometimes there are signs that can lead a patient to suspect high blood pressure. The most common of them are dizziness, headaches in the morning on the back of the head, fatigue, visual disturbances, muscle cramps, nosebleeds, frequent urination and breathing difficulties that may result in left ventricular failure. In time, increased blood pressure may alter the walls of the blood vessels, which may accelerate the process of atherosclerosis. Other organs that may suffer include the heart, retina, central nervous system and the kidneys.

Causes and risk factors of high blood pressure

In some cases, high blood pressure does not have a specific cause. However, there are certain risk factors as well as some medical conditions that can result in hypertension. Among the medical causes, the most common are renal diseases (diabetic glomerulopathy, nephritis, polycystic kidneys, renal tuberculosis, etc.) and diseases of the adrenal glands, such as Conn’s syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome. Lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure include alcoholism, smoking, a diet that is too salty, the use of oral contraceptives, obesity, certain drugs and emotional shocks.

The treatment aims to normalise blood pressure in order to prevent complications that occur over time. Therefore, in most cases, the treatment must be followed for life. In order to manage high blood pressure, lifestyle choices are significant. A proper lifestyle and diet contributes to maintaining blood pressure into constant parameters. If blood pressure is controlled through diet and exercise, all professional activity can continue without any disruption.

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