What does high blood pressure mean?

82 views 4:55 am 0 Comments June 6, 2023
What does high blood pressure mean

High blood pressure is also called hypertension. Also, it means that your blood pushes too hard against your artery walls. This makes your heart work harder to pump blood. It also raises your chance of getting serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease and dementia. In this article, we will explore the meaning of high blood pressure, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, prevention, and management strategies.

Your blood pressure is measured with two numbers: the top number and the bottom number. The top number is the pressure when your heart beats. Therefore, the bottom number is the pressure when your heart rests between beats. Both numbers are measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association use four categories for blood pressure:

  • Normal: Your blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Elevated: Your top number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg and your bottom number is below 80 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: Your top number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg or your bottom number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: Your top number is 140 mm Hg or higher or your bottom number is 90 mm Hg or higher.

If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg, you need to get medical help right away.

What causes high blood pressure?

Hence, no one knows the exact cause of high blood pressure. But some things can make you more likely to get it. Some of these things are:

  • Age: Your chance of high blood pressure goes up as you get older.
  • Family history: High blood pressure can run in families.
  • Ethnicity: People of African or Caribbean origin are more likely to get high blood pressure than other groups.
  • Weight: Being overweight or obese can make your heart and blood vessels work harder.
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much salt, not moving enough and being stressed can all make your blood pressure go up.

Some health problems and medicines can also cause or make high blood pressure worse. These include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Birth control pills
  • Steroids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Decongestants

How do you know if you have high blood pressure?

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check it. A health professional can check your blood pressure for you. You can also check it yourself at home with a device called a home blood pressure monitor.

You may need to check it more often if you are under 40 and have a high risk of high blood pressure. For example, if someone in your family has it or if you are overweight.

One high reading does not mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change during the day because of what you do, how you feel and other factors. To be sure that you have high blood pressure, you may need to check it several times over a period of time. Or you may need to use a device that records your blood pressure all day and night.

How do you treat high blood pressure?

The treatment for high blood pressure depends on how high it is, how healthy you are and how likely you are to get complications. So, the main goals of treatment are to lower your blood pressure to a safe level and protect your organs from damage.

So, the first step in treating high blood pressure is to change some things in your life that can help lower it naturally. These include:

  • Eating healthy food that has less salt, fat and cholesterol and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese.
  • Quitting smoking if you smoke.
  • Drinking less alcohol. No more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
  • Moving more for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

Conclusion

High blood pressure is a common but serious condition that can harm your health in many ways. It is important to check your blood pressure regularly and take steps to lower it if it is too high. By making some lifestyle changes and taking medicines if needed, you can control your blood pressure and reduce your risk of complications. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your blood pressure and stay healthy.

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