Systemic Hypertension is high blood pressure in the systemic arteries - the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the body's tissues (other than the lungs). High systemic (or body) blood pressure is usually caused by the constriction of the small arteries (arterioles). Systemic Hypertension has no obvious symptoms of its own and may not be recognized until complications arise. Both high diastolic and systolic blood pressure are associated with increased risk of strokes, heart attacks (myocardial infarction, involving the death of some heart muscle tissue), atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty plaque on the inner walls of arteries), kidney failure, and cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding from an artery into the brain's tissues).
HOW IS SYSTEMIC HYPERTENSION DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis is based on a pattern of high pressure readings rather than on a single occurrence. Primary Systemic Hypertension cannot be cured, but it can usually be controlled with medications and lifestyle adjustments.
HOW IS SYSTEMIC HYPERTENSION TREATED?
The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure to lower the risk of complications. The doctor will advise some ways that include:
• Eat a heart-healthy diet, including potassium and fiber.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.
• If you smoke, quit.
• Limit how much alcohol you drink to 1 drink a day for women, and 2 a day for men.
• Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat -- aim for less than 1,500 mg per day.
• Reduce stress. Try to avoid things that cause you stress, and try meditation or yoga to de-stress.
• Stay at a healthy body weight.
DID YOU KNOW?
Primary Systemic Hypertension cannot be cured but it can be controlled with medication and lifestyle changes.