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High Blood Pressure - Range, Symptoms, Reasons ,Treatment, Diet And Home Remedies

Last Updated: Nov 01, 2021

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What is High Blood Presure?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is the amount of pressure exerted by the blood flow against the walls of the artery. So if a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure that means that the walls in his circulatory system (arteries) are constantly receiving too much of pressure. The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood throughout our body all the time as long as we are alive.

Blood which is depleted of oxygen is pumped towards the heart, where it is replenished of its oxygen contents. The re-oxygenated blood is then pumped by the heart all over the body to supply vital nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and cells that controls our metabolic activities. This pumping of the blood creates- blood pressure.

What are the stages of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure or hypertension is categories into four different stages:

  • Stage:1 - Pre-hypertension: In which blood pressure ranges between 120/80-139/89.
  • Stage:2 - Mild hypertension: In which the blood pressure range of 140/90-159/99.
  • Stage:3 - Moderate hypertension: In which the blood pressure range of 160/110-179/109.
  • Stage:4 - Severe Hypertension: In which blood pressure is 180/110 or even higher.

Once it is determined as pre-hypertension, different preventive measures and DASH diet approach can help its further progress but in many cases, it is observed that pre-hypertension has resulted in moderate or severe hypertension.

What are the early symptoms of high blood pressure?

In high blood pressure, a person experiences fluctuation in both ranges of blood pressure and mainly in systolic blood pressure. Signs of this condition can only be noticed when blood pressure starts elevating.

Many researchers claiming that blood spots in eyes are related to high blood pressure and a person suffering from diabetes like disorders. Yes, it is true because untreated high blood pressure along with other diseases like kidney or heart problems may affect the eyesight and cause eye disease.

In high blood pressure, blood vessels of retina present at the back of the eye are damaged where images are getting focused for vision. This condition is known as hypertensive retinopathy.

Dizziness, headaches, difficulty in breathing, flushes, chest pain, changes in vision, bleeding from the nose, are some of the indicators for high blood pressure. These symptoms may vary from person to person and it is advised that measuring blood pressure through the digital machine or Sphygmomanometer for detection of elevated high blood pressure.

What is the major cause of High Blood Pressure?

It is difficult to determine the basic or main cause behind this condition but there are few causes like:

  • Risk factors:
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • No or less physical activity
    • High intake of salt and alcohol
    • Stress
    • Genetics
    • A medical condition like sleep apnea
    • Chronic kidney disease
  • Physical changes:
    • Some genetic abnormalities
    • Consumption of illegal substances
    • Adrenal tumors
    • Other kidney problems
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How do we measure BP?

The blood pressure is measured with the help of Sphygmomanometer also known as a blood pressure meter and a stethoscope.

  • Systolic pressure : The systolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart contracts, which happens when the left ventricle of the heart pumps the blood out into our arteries.
  • Diastolic pressure : The diastolic pressure is the blood pressure between the heartbeats, when the heart is resting and dilating.When normal blood pressure is measured the figure appears first with a larger number followed by a smaller number and are measured in ‘mmHg’

While our normal blood pressure is anywhere between 90-119 mmHg for systolic and 60-79 mmHg for diastolic, anyone who has a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher for a sustained period of time is considered suffering from hypertension related problems.

What are the risk factors for developing high blood pressure?

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Temperature
  • Ethnic background
  • Obesity/overweight
  • Aspects of gender
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol intake
  • High salt intake
  • Eating high fat diet
  • Mental stress
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Pregnancy (Gestational hypertension)

What are the complications of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure means a condition where blood arteries or vessels are experiencing more pressure on its walls. If this condition left untreated then it may lead to further life-threatening conditions. Due to uncontrolled high blood pressure complications like:

  • A heart attack or stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels of kidneys
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Trouble in understanding or memorizing
  • Dementia can occur.

These conditions are damaging the blood vessels of the body and putting a person at high risk of mentioned serious health problems.

What is the best treatment for high blood pressure?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition that should be treated or controlled to avoid future health issues. To control or keep blood pressure in normal range, some ways are suggested like:

  • Reducing the extra weight and maintaining healthy BMI
  • Performing exercise in any form regularly
  • Eating healthy diet with control in salt, sugar and fat intakes
  • Limiting or stopping consumption of alcohol, cigarette smoking and illegal drugs
  • Reducing caffeinated drinks
  • Increasing intake of drinks that increased metabolism
  • Monitoring blood pressure at frequencies

What are the medications for high blood pressure?

On the basis of stages of hypertension, treatment is decided by doctors. Like, in primary hypertension or pre-hypertension, lifestyle and dietary changes are mostly recommended and in some cases, low doses of medications are prescribed. There are wide varieties of medications that are useful in the treatment of high blood pressure.

Beta-blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin II receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, Alpha-2 agonists are categories of medications for high blood pressure. These agents are working at different locations of the body and help in lowering the elevated blood pressures. For example, beta-blockers are slowing the beating of the heart resulting in reduced blood-pumping action and decreased blood pressure.

Best exercise for people having high bp:

One of the causes of high blood pressure is obesity that resulted from no or less physical activity and stress. To overcome both high blood pressure and obesity, people should perform a minimum of 30-45 minutes of any form of physical activity.

Activities that are rising the heart and breathing rates such as basketball or tennis like sports, climbing stairs, walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming and dancing are highly recommended for high blood pressure patients.

How to lower blood pressure naturally and quickly?

In nature, there are some ingredients available that are helping in decreasing elevated blood pressures. Basil, cinnamon, cardamom, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, hawthorn, celery seed, French lavender, cat’s claw are the name of some herbs and products which are useful in dealing with high blood pressure.

Basil with its eugenol content helps in hypertension as it inhibits the production of certain substances that are tightening the blood vessels. Nitric oxide content of garlic and omega-3 fatty acid of flaxseed are working towards relaxing and dilating blood vessels.

High blood pressure diet:

Individuals with High circulatory strain ought to pursue DASH diet as it represents Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Under this approach, it is advised to eat whole fruit fits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods. The restrictions are levied on the intake of foods with high saturated fats, cholesterol.

Trans fats as well as on foods with a high quantity of sugar, salts and red meat. Whole grains, nuts, seafood are also suggested as it delivered essential nutrients for the body. For lunch and dinners, mainly vegetable dishes and for snacks whole fruits or dried fruits are recommended.

What are the foods to avoid for High Blood Pressure?

Food items that we eat affect our Blood Pressure in different ways. However, there are some food habits we can follow in order to lower your Blood Pressure which is as follows:

  • Intake of food in which fat, salt, and calories content are low.
  • Consumption of chicken, skinless turkey, and lean meat.
  • Skimmed milk, yoghurt, and greek yoghurt should be preferred.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be taken.
  • Other food items such as plain rice, pasta, potato bread, etc.

Can drinking lots of water lower Blood Pressure?

Water has a proven role in the regulation of Blood Pressure. Plain water has a physiological effect on our body which is responsible for increasing Blood Pressure significantly. However, adding some minerals such as calcium and magnesium to the water shows a different effect. The Blood Pressure gets decreased on the consumption of water-rich in these two nutrients.

Do bananas lower Blood Pressure?

There are several food items that play a key role in lowering down Blood Pressure. Bananas are one of them. Being rich in potassium, it declines the risk of heart-related issues such as High Blood Pressure and stroke by maintaining electrolyte balance in the body. It is low in sodium content, thereby lowering the chances of any increase in Blood Pressure as well as any disturbance in water balance.

What is the home remedy for high blood pressure?

There are some home remedies suggested for high blood pressure which are:

  • Consumption of good sources of potassium such as bananas, melons, oranges, spinach and zucchini, supplements like garlic and flaxseeds.
  • Exercising or walking like physical activity for at least 30 minutes
  • Different relaxation techniques helping in decreasing stress of daily activities have proven records of lowering blood pressure
  • People with high blood pressure should strictly follow the medication
  • Proper diet schedule to avoid further risks.
Summary: High Blood Pressure, referred to as hypertension, is a common health condition of today’s life. It is basically a condition in which arterial walls experience more pressure of moving blood than normal. An ideal measurement for Blood Pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm of Hg. It can be controlled and managed by some modifications in diet as some of the lifestyle changes. Physical activities and exercises play an important role.

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Written ByDr. Pranjit Mushahary MBBS,MD(medicine),MD - Internal MedicineGeneral Physician

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