Defined as a sustained elevation of blood pressure. There are two blood pressure measurements which are the systolic and the diastolic blood pressure and blood pressure is written as systolic BP/diastolic BP.
There are two types of hypertension
- Essential or primary hypertension. This makes up the majority of hypertension about 95 – 98%
- Secondary hypertension. Not very common. Makes up to 2 – 5%.
Causes of primary hypertension are numerous including:
Hereditary, Age, Obesity, Physical inactivity, salt intake, excessive alcohol consumption, Stress, low vegetable/fruit intake, etc.
Causes of secondary hypertension include the followings:
Diabetes mellitus, Polycystic Kidney diseases, Cushing syndrome, renal artery stenosis, drugs, etc.
Complications (problems that can result from untreated hypertension):
- Heart attack
- Heart Failure
- Abnormal heart activity (Arrhythmias).
- Confusion/ Encephalopathy
- Chronic Kidney diseases
- Kidney Failure.
Treatment for hypertension:
- Non-Drug treatment including weight reduction, regular exercise, reduced salt intake, stop cigarette smoking, consumption of vegetables and fresh fruits.
- Drug treatment. There are many groups of drugs that can be used to treat hypertension. The aim is to maintain blood pressure within the normal range, improve the quality of life to avoid complications.