Considering the increasing number of hypertension patients worldwide it has become imperative to know “what is hypertension, and how to manage it?” Hypertension is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the world. So what does it mean when someone has hypertension?
In hypertension, the patient consistently keeps suffering from a mean higher blood pressure as compared to the normal range. In other words, it means that the pressure of the blood in the arteries tends to remain higher than what it should be.
When measured by a blood pressure monitor, the optimal normal blood pressure measurement is considered to be 120/80 mmHg, and the normal upper range of blood pressure is believed to be 135/90 mmHg.
When a person shows blood pressure measurements that are higher than the normal upper range, then the person is said to have high blood pressure or hypertension.
High blood pressure can prove to be lethal as it can affect normal heart functioning. It can also cause brain damage and can hamper normal kidney functions. Data suggests shortened life expectancy in patients if proper treatment and management is not applied.
Many factors can contribute to the occurrence of disease. It has been noted that about 90 to 95% of the people who have hypertension suffer from “primary hypertension.” The word primary hypertension implies that the hypertension is of unknown origin.
Still, there are some factors that have been found to be contributing to the occurrence of the disease.
Some of these factors will let you know what is hypertension, how to manage it?
- Obesity: Obesity and weight gain play a major role in the development of hypertension. Obesity may account for 65 to 70 percent of the risk for the onset of hypertension in an individual.
- Sedentary Lifestyles: An inactive lifestyle, devoid of physical activity, has been termed as a leading cause for the development of hypertension in most patients.
- Junk food and high sodium intake: We are naturally adapted for the intake of 2.5g of salt per day, and usually, the same amount of salt has to be excreted from the body. It can develop as a consequence of the body not being able to excrete sodium from its system properly. Most junk foods contain high quantities of sodium, which leads to increase sodium load of the body. Therefore junk food should be avoided.
- Other factors: Diabetes, aging, emotional stress, anxiety and low potassium intake may also contribute to increasing the probability of developing hypertension.
This is how to manage hypertension..
- Non-pharmacological approach: This approach does not involve medication. It mostly pertains to having an active lifestyle. The aim of such an active lifestyle is to promote weight loss in patients by increasing physical activity. It also involves diet control and stress management. Reduced salt, alcohol, and tobacco consumption and increased potassium and fiber intake are prescribed in this approach.
- Pharmacological approach: In this approach, specific drugs are used to control high blood pressure. Most patients find it hard to change their lifestyle. People get used to leading a specific way of life for so many years and prefer drugs instead of making a change in their daily routines. These drugs work by maintaining the blood pressure at normal levels so that injury to the different organs of the body can be avoided.
- A combination of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches: This comprehensive management approach focuses on reducing the overall harmful effects of the disease by applying both lifestyle modifications and pharmacological interventions.
Now that, it has been elaborated what is hypertension, and how to manage it? It is pertinent to understand and act!
Guyton AC, Hall JE. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 11th edition. Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, 2006. Management – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028941/