Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is abnormally high blood pressure. This can lead to a whole host of health complications. Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted on the walls of the blood vessels and can be low, normal or high. While this varies naturally throughout the day and depending on levels of activity, consistent readings of high blood pressure could indicate an underlying problem.
What is the main cause of hypertension?
The most common causes of hypertension include:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of physical activity
- High salt or alcohol intake levels
- Insufficient consumption of calcium, potassium or magnesium
- A deficiency in vitamin D
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid conditions or tumors
Some individuals may also be genetically predisposed to hypertension.
What are the warning signs of hypertension?
Due to its lack of external symptoms, high blood pressure has earned itself the name of “the silent killer.” This makes it incredibly difficult to diagnose hypertension on symptoms alone and almost always requires regular blood pressure testing from a doctor. When symptoms do appear in severe cases of high blood pressure, they may include:
- Feeling confused or other neurological symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Abnormal heartbeat
If you experience any of these warning signs of hypertension, seek medical attention immediately.
What are the four stages of hypertension?
Stage One — This first stage of hypertension is referred to as the “normal” stage. A person’s diastolic will be less than 80 mm Hg and their systolic will be at less than 130 mm Hg. At this point, as their blood pressure is normal, a person will not require treatment. It is imperative, however, to monitor the blood pressure regularly to ensure that it stays within a normal range.
Stage Two — This stage is referred to as prehypertension. Diastolic will be between 80 and 89 mm Hg and systolic will be between 130 and 139 mm Hg. Prehypertension is exactly what the name suggests: the stage immediately preceding hypertension. Someone who is at stage two of hypertension is at risk of developing high blood pressure, however they still have a chance to avoid it. At this stage, a person has the potential of experiencing heart disease or a stroke.
Stage Three — Stage three is known as “stage 1” hypertension. Diastolic is between 90 and 99 mm Hg and systolic is between 140 and 159 mm Hg. Due to moderate hypertension, a person at stage 1 is in danger of a variety of health complications. To reduce their blood pressure and risk of heart disease and/or stroke, at this point a person would be expected to try medication and to make diet and lifestyle changes.
Stage Four — Stage four of hypertension is also known as “stage 2” hypertension. Diastolic is at 100 mm Hg or higher and systolic is at 160 mm Hg or higher. A person’s hypertension is classified as severe at this stage. Due to this, to try and bring their blood pressure down they will likely be recommended a two-drug therapy. Individuals at stage 2 hypertension are at high risk of developing coronary heart disease, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. People in this stage will have to have their blood pressure checked regularly and follow a strict regimen that will likely include lifestyle, exercise and dietary changes.
How do you get rid of hypertension?
As hypertension is a chronic condition, it cannot be cured. However, there are ways to effectively manage this condition or even prevent it. These include:
- Eat less salt
- Consume more potassium
- Adopt the dietary approach to stop hypertension, or DASH diet
- Lose weight
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Take part in physical activities
If you or someone you know is suffering from hypertension or believe they are at risk, come to Partnership for Health Senior Care today! Our kind and compassionate in-home professionals are experienced in helping you at home and can help you get on the path to health. For more information on our in-home adult care, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our in-home adult care staff, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today. We serve patients from Atlanta GA, Mableton GA, Austell GA, Smyrna GA, Marietta GA, Sandy Springs GA, Hampton GA, Cobb County GA, East Point GA, and College Park GA.