The most interesting thing about hypertension is that it is among the few health affections in the world that can turn deadly, but has no initial symptoms, or that their manifestation is so subtle that the patient does not even notice them. And when he does, it may already be too late.
This is why hypertension is one of the most feared affections because it can gradually develop into other health problems, some that can prove fatal in a moment’s notice. Some of these include stroke, heart failure, heart and kidney disease and even vision loss and coronary arterial disease.
According to the latest data, hypertension affects more than 75 million people in the US alone and it usually manifests in those over the age of 20, so it is not an old man’s disease like some would think.
With all the precautions taken, it is estimated that over the next decade, more than 1.5 billion people will have problems with higher-than-normal blood pressure and will develop potentially fatal outcomes in their mid-40s. It is a situation that cannot be ignored, especially since it seems to degenerate from one year to another.
There are generally 2 types of hypertension:
- Primary high blood pressure also called essential – This is the first most encountered type, affecting circa 90% of all the patients, even more in some cases. The causes leading to this manifestation are primarily genetic, combined with poor lifestyle choices like excessive alcohol consumption, excessive smoking, weight problems and imbalanced eating habits, including a lot of salts.
- Secondary high blood pressure, or not essential – This type of hypertension manifests as the result of several health disorders, including kidney diseases or endocrine affections. However, in some cases, birth control pill usage could trigger the same health problems when used in excess.
Also, if left untreated, this affection could develop into what is known as hypertension crisis. This is when medical intervention is necessary, especially in very severe cases. In those that can be dealt with at home, medication is a must have in order to pull it through.
Hypertension Signs and Symptoms
The problem with hypertension is that it is mainly asymptomatic. This means that it manifests no noticeable symptoms until the situation has worsened enough. But even then the situation is not without hope because there are some symptoms that will become visible when the affection advances. The ones to keep an eye on are:
- Preliminary symptoms of heart failure, characterized by the failure of providing the organ with the necessary amount of blood.
- An aneurysm, which is an artery fail, leading to internal bleeding. It is potentially fatal
- Kidney failure, stroke or heart attack. These are the repercussions of narrowed blood vessels
- Vision problems. Will often occur as a result of blood vessels rupturing in the eyes. In the more severe cases, the affection is called hypertensive retinopathies.
However, there are in some cases preventive symptoms, when the affection starts to take off in a more serious way. In those cases, patients suffering from hypertension could experience regular headaches, with no apparent reason, vascular rupture, appetite loss, orange-colored urine, elevated pulse, mild but constant vision problems, constant yawning, and drowsiness and even difficulties in the thinking process.
Hypertension Treatment and Therapies
The treatment in the case of hypertension is controversial, to say the least. If in the past the methods were pretty rudimentary, in the modern age, the pharmaceutical industry has led to the development of several drugs that can cope with the affection. Among these we mention:
- Beta blockers
- Angiotensin receptor blockers
- Renin inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- Chlorothiazide and others
However, treating a condition is inevitably harder than preventing it. Prevention is always safer, costs less money and it adds up to the wellbeing of the person. This is why, in order to prevent hypertension, some measures are absolutely necessary. The most relevant ones are
- Restrict the salt intake. This is probably one of the most compelling countermeasures in preventing this condition.
- Reduce the alcohol intake. Or eliminate it completely, especially if you are genetically predisposed to the respective health problem.
- Adopt a more balanced meal program. Include vegetables and fruits into your daily menus and try to go for low-fat products.
- Become more physically active. Reduce the fat deposits and engage in regular physical workouts regularly. An active lifestyle could make miracles for those suffering from hypertension.
- Work on reducing and avoiding unnecessary stress.
- Stop smoking.
Maybe these measures will not be enough to keep you out of the harm’s way for good, but they can certainly serve as prevention tools, keeping the problem as far as possible for as long as possible. Also, these are good ways to greatly improve your lifestyle considerably.