Hypertension:The causes, stages, complications and prevention

Hypertension which is also known as “High Blood Pressure” is the degree of measurement of the force or “pressure” of the blood against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. Hypertension readings are usually given as two numbers such as 120/80 or 120 over 80.


The numbers should be written as follows: 120/80 mmHg. The first/top number is called the systolic blood pressure: (a measurement of the pressure inside your arteries when your heart beats) and the bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure: (which indicates the pressure between beats, when your heart is resting). the first example above: 120/80 is considered normal blood pressure while 140/90 mmHg is a indication of hypertension. But if your blood pressure is “120/80 or higher, but below 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension.” People with pre-hypertension, are more prone to developing high blood pressure.


The Stages of Hypertension:   

  • Pre-hypertension: This stage indicates a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 or a diastolic pressure between 80 and 89. Adults who enter this pre-stage are at high risk for developing hypertension.
  • Hypertension Stage 1: A systolic blood pressure that is between 140 and 159 or your diastolic pressure is between 90 and 99, which is considered to be in hypertension stage 1.
  • Hypertension Stage 2 :A systolic pressure of 160 or higher or a diastolic pressure that is 100 or higher, is hypertension stage 2.

The Causes of Hypertension:

There are many factors that may lead to hypertension, such as being very over weight, smoking, unhealthy diet,  being over stressed, Drinking heavily, also African Americans seem to be at a higher risk. But factors other than lifestyle may cause high blood pressure, like genetics, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Cushing syndrome. And aside from medical conditions, medications may induce a secondary cause of hypertension, examples are: birth control pills, diet and cold medications, etc.  There are complications if untreated since there are no symptoms much of the time; people can develop chronic heart disease, stroke and severe kidney problems if not treated. If you have nosebleeds, extreme headaches, vertigo, and blurred vision you might have what is known as malignant hypertension which can be fatal.

Some preventions as mentioned before are eating a well rounded diet and getting plenty of exercise can reduce your chances of suffering from hypertension, also by limiting the amount of salt intake and drinking in moderation can also go along way help reduce your risk. Also by avoiding stress whenever possible and maintaining a healthy body weight.


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