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Hypertension: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Note that the blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of hypertension.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The systolic or the first number that represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The diastolic or second number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.

Signs and Symptoms

Severe high blood pressure causes these symptoms:

  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nosebleed
  • Chest pain
  • Blood spots in the eye
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding n your neck, ears, and chest

Typical signs and symptoms of hypertension include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Facial flushing

For severe conditions, seek immediate help or call your doctor. Health screening is essential, especially for people with a higher risk of strokes and heart disease.

What Causes Hypertension?

For most adults, there is no specific cause of hypertension. However, it has two categories that may help you determine the typical triggers of the condition. The first one is known as primary hypertension. It develop gradually over many years. It is caused by the buildup of plaques in the arteries. 

Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is caused by an underlying condition. It tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. Conditions and medicines that can lead this category are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid problems 
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cough and cold medications
  • Birth control pills
  • Pain relievers
  • Illegal drugs

For some patients, ensure to be watchful of the triggers and risk factors such as:

  • Age. Until about age 64, men are more likely to have high blood pressure. Women are more likely to develop after age 65.
  • Family history. You are more likely to develop high blood pressure if you have a parent or sibling with the condition.
  • Drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol use has been linked with increased blood pressure, particularly in men.
  • Stress. High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. 
  • Obesity or being overweight. Excess weight causes changes in the blood vessels, the kidneys, and other parts of the body. 
  • Too much salt. A lot of salt in the body can cause the body to retain fluid and increases blood pressure.
  • Low potassium levels. A proper balance of potassium is important for good heart health. 
  • Lack of exercise. Blood pressure is higher when you are overweight. Inactive people also tend to have higher heart rates.
  • Tobacco use or vaping. Smoking, chewing tobacco, or vaping immediately raises blood pressure for a short while because they injure blood vessel walls and speed up the process of hardening the arteries. 
  • Certain chronic conditions. High blood pressure can be caused by kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

Treatment and Management of Hypertension

Along with medications, doctors may also recommend changing your lifestyle to control and manage hypertension. These include eating a healthy diet with less salt and proper exercise. Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol also helps maintains healthy BP levels. 

Dealing with cholesterol also reduces your risk of hypertension caused by fats. Using Ezetimibe lowers the level of total cholesterol in your blood and alleviates related signs and symptoms of hypertension. You can take this along with other prescription medications.

Sometimes lifestyle changes are not enough to treat high blood pressure. If they don’t help, your provider may recommend medicine to lower your blood pressure such as water pills, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, and Angiotensin II receptor blockers. 

Recommended Medication for Hypertension

Enalapril Maleate is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used in the treatment of hypertension and some types of chronic heart failure. It works by blocking a substance in the body that causes the blood vessels to tighten. This lowers blood pressure and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.

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