High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a severe health issue. Over 220 million people in India have hypertension or high blood pressure. Where we understand that swift action is required to control this problem, it is also important for every individual to follow a health-conscious routine.
Several reasons can become a cause of high blood pressure. These include smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, consuming too much salt, stress, old age, and genetics. Today, we will take a detailed review of the symptoms and causes of high blood pressure to help you understand the issue in more detail.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Before moving to discussing the causes of high blood pressure, we want you to know what qualifies as high blood pressure. In simple terms, blood pressure means when the blood is pumping too vigorously through the vessels and exerting pressure. You might have noticed the blood pressure apparatus is set on your arm, and it enforces pressure on the arms.
The pressure created by the hand-operated or mechanical pump exerts a force on the vessels. The doctors or nurses use the stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the veins. The pumping sounds are heard on the gauge. The first sound they hear is systolic pressure (lower end), and the last is diastolic pressure (upper end). So, based on the sounds, the doctors decode the BP ranges.
What is Normal Blood Pressure Then?
Any blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg is diagnosed as high blood pressure. However, for individuals over 80 years of age, the normal BP range changes to 150/90 mmHg.
Normal blood pressure is said to be between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure readings between 121/81 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg indicate the individual is at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Manifestation of High Blood Pressure Happens Gradually
High blood pressure won’t happen overnight. From normal blood pressure, gradual elevations will happen. Regularly checking your blood pressure will help you keep track of these elevations and take the right action.
|Blood Pressure Level||Blood Pressure (Systolic/Diabolic) (mmHg)|
|Elevated||120-129/less than 80 mmHg|
|Stage 1 High Blood Pressure||130-139/80-89 mmHg|
|Stage 2 High Blood Pressure||140+/90+ mmHg|
|Hypertension||Higher than 180 and higher than 120|
While you need to consult a doctor at the Elevated and High Blood Pressure stage, it is necessary to visit the emergency room in case of Hypertension.
What are the Causes of High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure develops over time, and several causes can be attributed to this condition. For some, it can be unhealthy lifestyle choices, and for others, it can be smoking, drinking, being in an accident, obesity, and even pregnancy.
So, if you ask does diabetes causes high blood pressure, it can. Here’s an overview of each reason and how each of these conditions causes high blood pressure.
- Smoking: With every cigarette you smoke, the risk of high blood pressure increases. This happens over time as you continue to smoke. Smoking damages the blood vessel walls and develops atherosclerosis. Due to this, fat starts to settle on the blood vessels, which makes the arteries narrower. As a result, the heart has to work harder, increasing the blood pressure.
- Obesity: Being obese is gradually becoming one of the most dreadful lifestyle conditions. In this case, being overweight exerts an undue pressure on the kidneys. This happens because of the increase in visceral and retroperitoneal fat. So, excessive increased intrarenal pressure can lead to hypertension.
- Lack of Physical Activity: A lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of weight increase. As weight increases, the same cycle of events starts discussed in the obesity point. Hence, a lack of physical activity also leads to high blood pressure.
- Too Much Salt Consumption: When we consume too much salt, it leads to sodium being pulled back into the bloodstream. The higher amount of water in the blood vessels becomes a cause of higher high blood pressure. Hence, it’s always suggested by the medical community to limit your salt intake. However, too low salt intake can also lead to issues. So, consult a nutritionist or a dietician to know the right amount of salt intake.
- Alcohol: Too much alcohol has a similar effect on the body as too much smoking. Alcohol consumption weakens the blood vessels, making them narrower. As a result, it becomes difficult for blood to be pumped, leading to higher blood pressure.
- Stress: When in stress, the fight or flight hormone adrenaline is released. Adrenaline increases the heartbeat, which makes the heart pump blood faster. The additional blood is pumped to help the body deal with the situation. As a result, the blood pressure increases. However, once the stress stage is over, blood pressure normalizes.
- Chronic Kidney Disease: Kidney diseases inhibit the kidney’s ability to clean the blood and stop removing waste and extra fluid from the blood. The presence of excessive fluids and waste in the bloodstream can build up and raise blood pressure. This is one of the reasons patients with kidney disease are asked to be more careful about maintaining their blood pressure than others.
- Sleep Apnea: In sleep apnea, enough oxygen does not reach the brain. When the oxygen levels drop during sleep apnea, it increases the blood pressure. This happens because the brain sends the signal to the heart to pump more blood. However, the issue at hand is different, and this causes an unnecessary strain on the heart.
- Medication: Some forms of medicines are also a cause of high blood pressure. Contraceptive pills and steroids are the most common ones of all. Other than these, some cough and cold medicines or herbal remedy condiments (especially the ones with licorice) can also increase blood pressure. Antidepressants have also been known to cause high blood pressure.
All these and many other conditions can become a cause of high blood pressure. While salt is a condiment for food, there are certain kinds of foods that can cause high blood pressure. Mostly, fast or junk food increases blood pressure because of the presence of fats.
In addition to this, canned food, deli meats, cured meats, and food with saturated or trans fat can also lead to high blood pressure.
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
It’s not easy to diagnose whether someone has high blood pressure from their face or health conditions. While those with regular exposure to such an environment can guess, to be sure, you need to use the apparatus.
However, here are a few notable things that do happen to someone with high blood pressure. Keep a note of the following symptoms and check the individual’s blood pressure.
- Headache (mild to severe)
- Dizziness and nausea
- Vomiting (2-3 times)
- Breathing issues
- Anxiety and confusion
- Buzzing sound in the ears.
- Blurred vision or issues with the vision
Check for these symptoms, and you will get an idea about the condition. However, to be sure, you must check your blood pressure by visiting a local doctor or through the BP apparatus.
Treatment Options for High Blood Pressure
Lifestyle is one of the best ways to combat high blood pressure. Given the different causes of high blood pressure, making some lifestyle changes like quitting tobacco and alcohol will help. Plus, limiting fast food consumption and being physically more active than before will help in controlling the blood pressure to normal levels.
Living with a high blood pressure or hypertension condition is not good for your health. Not maintaining the requisite blood pressure can lead to several health complications and cardiovascular issues. However, we can manage and treat even the most severe cases with the right approach.
At Santokh Hospital, we have helped hundreds of patients with hypertension and high blood pressure to achieve normal BP ranges. Our collective efforts, which combine medication, changes in diet, and lifestyle, help patients lead healthy lives. Schedule your appointment with Santokh Hospital today and get a grip on your high blood pressure issue with an expert’s help.