Hypertension is commonly used to describe high blood pressure and similar conditions in patients. Several people suffer from blood pressure related problems. Both the extremes like low blood pressure and high blood pressure can lead to severe health complications. High blood pressure can lead to major heart problems too and is usually considered to be the more severe of the two.

Usually if a person’s blood pressure reading is higher than 140/90 mm Hg it is considered to be too high. Normal blood pressure is when a person’s blood pressure reading is lower than 120/80 mm Hg.

Some common causes of high blood pressure

There are several factors that affect a person’s blood pressure. Sometimes lifestyle and stress can be attributed to high blood pressure and related problems.

Other common causes of high blood pressure may include but not be limited to:

  • Excess salt or water content in the body
  • Medical conditions or worsening state of the liver, kidney, nervous system or blood vessels
  • Hormonal changes in the body
  • High fat content, excess weight
  • Extreme stress and anxiety
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Excess salt in the usual diet
  • If there is a family history of blood pressure, especially from the father’s side
  • Diabetes and blood sugar related problems
  • Excessive smoking on a day to day basis

Sometimes patients may suffer from secondary hypertension wherein the high blood pressure is a result of other medical conditions or medicines in the body like chronic kidney disease, pregnancy, medicines like birth control pills, diet pills, migraine medications, narrowing of the artery that carries blood to the kidney.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

There are no set symptoms of high blood pressure. Most patients find out that they have a blood pressure related problem when they get a routine check-up done.

However, if you suffer from sudden severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, changes in your vision, nosebleeds etc. then it may be a sign of high blood pressure, although it could also point to other conditions too.

What you should do if you suffer from high blood pressure?

  • High blood pressure is a common problem that can be controlled with regular medication and slight changes in lifestyle.
  • The first few changes begin by adopting a healthier diet. Most doctors advise patients to consume healthy meals that are heart healthy, potassium and fiber rich. It is also advisable to drink plenty of water when you suffer from high blood pressure.
  • It is important to exercise daily when you suffer from high blood pressure. At least a minimum of 30 minutes per day is required.
  • Try to avoid excess alcohol and stop smoking while on medication.
  • Limit your sodium intake to less than 1500 mg a day.
  • Avoid stressful situations and avoid exerting yourself physically.
  • Maintain a good height-weight (BMI) ratio.

When you begin your medication it is important to patiently follow all your doctors’ recommendations. High blood pressure takes years to regularize and in some cases patients may need to continue with small doses of medication throughout their life.