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What you need to know about essential hypertension?
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Team Gabit
2 months ago | 5 mins

What you need to know about essential hypertension?


Not knowing the reason behind a disease can be both confusing and scary. One such case is of essential hypertension, read further to know the causes, symptoms and treatments of the same.

As a disease, essential hypertension is really complex not just because we can’t narrow down on a cause for it but also because it brings various health complications with itself. Blood pressure checkups are the only accurate way to detect it and treatments range from lifestyle changes to prescribed medications. 

What is essential hypertension?

As the heart pumps blood for the body, there is a certain amount of pressure exerted against the artery walls by the force of blood. Anything beyond the normal blood pressure which is 120/80 mmHg, is called high blood pressure or hypertension. Essential or primary hypertension is when there is no secondary or medical cause leading to high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension is when you can point at a certain cause like thyroid problem that is leading to it. 

Why should I be concerned about essential hypertension?

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms

You should be concerned of essential hypertension symptoms because it is responsible for various other problems like - 

  1. Damage of blood vessels, nerves, heart muscle and organs 
  2. Heart failure 
  3. Heart attack 
  4. Kidney disease
  5. Stroke
  6. Vision loss or eye damage
  7. Dementia
  8. Atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries
  9. Brain aneurysm 

What causes hypertension?

Though essential hypertension doesn’t have a single cause and is multifactorial, here are some risk patterns that can support the development of this disease - 

  1. Obesity 
  2. Genetics 
  3. Age over 65
  4. High-sodium intake
  5. Chronic stress
  6. Unhealthy diet 
  7. Lack of physical activity 
  8. Smoking, tobacco and high-alcohol intake 
  9. Individuals of black non-hispanic descent
  10. High caffeine intake 
  11. Poor sleep patterns or sleep issues such as insomnia 
  12. Renin plays a role in managing blood pressure, individuals with high or low levels of renin are at risk of essential hypertension. 

What are the symptoms of essential hypertension?

Essential hypertension doesn’t have evident and noticeable symptoms and is usually detected with medical tests. However, at a later stage you may begin to see essential hypertension symptoms like - 

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms
  1. Nosebleeds
  2. Headaches or dizziness
  3. Blood in the urine or hematuria
  4. Blurry vision
  5. Shortness of breath 
  6. Fatigue 
  7. Mental fog or confusion
  8. Chest pain

Diagnosing essential hypertension

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms

Essential hypertension is diagnosed with a blood pressure reading. You must ensure that you regularly get your blood pressure checked because any conditions left untreated in the body cause further problems. Most people end up buying machines at home that have an accurate mechanism for testing as well. 

A blood pressure reading has two values - systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure measures the force of blood against the artery walls when heart pumps blood for the body while diastolic pressure measures the force of blood when the heart is at rest between beats. 

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms

If your blood pressure is elevated during a reading, your doctor would want to take multiple readings across the day and would ask you to do so at regular intervals. If the readings show heightened values regularly, your doctor would check your medical history and lay out any medical conditions that are leading to it. However, in essential hypertension, your doctor wouldn’t find any underlying medical reasons behind. 

There might be other tests like cholesterol test, ECG, echocardiogram, urine tests, blood tests, heart and kidney tests that your health care specialist would prescribe you to get. 

Treating essential hypertension

There is no cure for essential hypertension but there are ways that you can control and treat it. Essential hypertension treatment involves both medications and lifestyle changes that you’re responsible for. 

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms

Lifestyle changes:

  1. Exercising - Regular exercising for at least 30 minutes per session with about 150 minutes per week helps to lower blood pressure levels. 
  2. Quit smoking and tobacco - Both these addictions promote high blood pressure so it is best to just quit them. 
  3. Limit alcohol - If you’re a daily or frequent alcohol drinker, limit it to prevent your blood pressure levels from hiking. 
    know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms
     
  4. Reduce stress - Essential hypertension treatment also includes treatment of stress by meditation, journalling, confiding in a loved one, therapies or just doing what gives you true happiness. 
  5. Nutritious diet - Eat whole and heart-healthy foods instead of processed and packaged products and limit your sodium intake. 
  6. Maintain weight - Obesity is a catalyst for various health problems including essential hypertension. Find your best ways to diet and workout to maintain your weight. 

Medication: 

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms
  1. Diuretics 
  2. Beta blockers
  3. Calcium channel blockers 
  4. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  5. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  6. Renin inhibitors

Conclusion

know and learn about essential hypertension symptoms

Without any cause and evident symptoms, essential hypertension is tough to navigate and understand. The only way to detect it is to ensure regular blood pressure check ups according to your health, age and medical history. If you have any other chronic conditions, you must be extra careful. Essential hypertension treatment encompasses both lifestyle improvements and regular dosage of medicines. With a healthy diet, weight maintenance and regular exercise, win over any essential hypertension symptoms at the earliest! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is essential hypertension?

Essential hypertension is a condition that involves high blood pressure without a specific medical cause. The normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg and anything beyond it is considered high blood pressure or hypertension. 

How is essential hypertension treated?

Essential hypertension is treated by lifestyle changes like a nutritious diet, quitting smoking and tobacco, limiting alcohol, maintaining weight, exercising regularly and reducing stress levels. Medications for essential hypertension treatment include beta blockers, diuretics, renin inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). 

What are the symptoms of essential hypertension?

Essential hypertension symptoms include nosebleeds, headaches, confusion or mental fog, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine or hematuria, shortness of breath, chest pain and blurry vision. 

What is the difference between primary and secondary hypertension?

Primary or essential hypertension, meaning when the heightened blood pressure doesn’t have an identifiable cause and has no underlying medical conditions causing it. Secondary hypertension on the other hand is when high blood pressure is caused by a medical reason like kidney disease, thyroid problem, sleep apnea or adrenal disease. 

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