What is the meaning of term hypertension?
Ans: hypertension is the medical term used for high blood pressure (BP). Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by flowing blood on the walls of the blood vessels. It is usually measured by tying a pressure cough over the arm with either a manual or a digital measuring apparatus. A usual BP measurement gives two readings i.e. systolic (the higher value) and diastolic (the lower value).
How does it affect our health?
Ans: both high BP(hypertension) and very low BP (termed as hypotension) can be deleterious to health. BP measurement of 120 systolic and 80 diastolic is usually considered to be normal. Hypertension is usually diagnosed when BP is more than 140 systolic and /or more than 90 diastolic. Hypertension
affects a number of body organs of which Kidneys, heart and brain are prominent. Long standing uncontrolled hypertension can cause significant kidney damage and increase incidence of heart diseases. Sudden rise in BP can be a precipitating factor for stroke or paralysis.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
Hypertension does not usually cause symptoms in initial stages. Very high BP can sometimes cause headaches, blurred vision, nosebleeds, difficult breathing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine, confusion, or pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.
How is hypertension related to kidneys?
Ans: blood pressure regulation in our body is primarily done through kidneys. Heart and nervous system also play some role in BP regulation. Both hypertension and kidney diseases affect each other. Long standing hypertension is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, at the same time majority of kidney failure patients tend to have high blood pressure which is often difficult to control.
What is the best way to treat hypertension?
Ans: hypertension has primarily become a lifestyle disease and is therefore affecting large number of people. According to recent estimates one in five young adults in india is suffering from hypertension. Every year 17 th may is celebrated as world hypertension day to raise awareness about the problem in general public. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the most important measure for both prevention and treatment of hypertension. Low salt diet, daily exercise, cutting down on alcohol and smoking are useful in controlling BP before initiation of medicines. Home BP monitoring is nowadays recommended for proper management of hypertension. Timely evaluation for complications related to long standing hypertension is advisable under the guidance of a qualified physician. In persons with onset of hypertension before the age of 30 years evaluation for identifying cause must be done by a specialist since this can be a sign of serious illness like kidney diseases.