High blood pressure
High blood pressure also known as hypertension is a condition where the force of the blood against the artery walls is at an increased pace. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the arteries. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems including heart attack and stroke.
Most people with high blood pressure have almost no signs, even when blood pressure readings reach higher levels. However there are a few minor symptoms which include headaches, dizziness, occasional nosebleeds, nausea, blurred or double vision, disagreeable sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart, breathlessness and shortness of breath.
- Obesity/overweight is a major risk factor; with the increase in body weight, more blood is needed to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissue.
- Lack of physical activity and having a sedentary lifestyle raises the risk of hypertension
- Smoking causes the blood vessels to narrow down resulting in higher blood pressure
- Alcohol increases the risk of high blood pressure not only among excessive drinkers but with regular drinkers too
- Higher amounts of salt intake is yet another important cause
High blood pressure can be caused due to certain defects in blood vessels (congenital), kidney problems, adrenal gland tumors; side effects of certain medications say birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and Illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.
Treatment of blood pressure depends solely on the health condition of the individual. The category of medication the doctor prescribes depends on the stage of high blood pressure and whether the individual has other medical problems.