What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure or also known as hypertension or HBP for some, is a medical condition where pressure in the arteries are elevated. It is usually called a "silent disease" as it shows no symptoms even for years. However, even though it can go undetected, it can still damage your tissues and your other organs. 

People with high blood pressure have their heart work harder than it should normally be. It intensely pumps blood to your distant tissues and organs, giving it a lot of pressure. Now if the pressure isn't controlled, it strains your heart will become enlarged that it makes its arteries less flexible, hardened, and scarred. When this happens, your heart will not be able to pump and transport blood to its arteries, which may eventually lead to heart attack and stroke

High blood pressure is caused by a number of factors that includes the following:

  • Genes/Your family's medical history
  • Your lifestyle
  • Underlying disease
  • Overweight/Obesity
  • Too much alcohol
  • Too much salt
  • Inactivity/Less activity

High blood pressure also leads to other diseases such as kidney disease, some forms of dementia, and eye damage.

Signs and Symptoms of HBP

High blood pressure doesn't usually have signs or symptoms. Therefore, the only way to know is to have it checked through regular blood pressure check up. However, one high blood pressure result doesn't necessarily mean that you have hypertension. Remember that there are a lot of things that can greatly affect your blood pressure during the day. That is why it takes a lot of blood pressure check ups to see if it's consistently high. There are some people, though, that complains severe headache. But still, it is advisable to have a regular check up to confirm if you have the said condition.

When It Is Considered High?

Average blood pressure should not be exceeding 130/80 mm Hg. It is considered high when your blood pressure stays on 140/90 mm Hg. The target blood pressure should be less than 140/90, but for people with diabetes or organ damage, it should be less than 130/80. 

The following shows normal up to high ranges of blood pressure, and of when it is considered as hypertension:

 

Blood Pressure

Systolic

(mm Hg)

Diastolic

(mm Hg)

NORMAL RANGE:    
Optimal 120 or less 80 or less
Normal 130 and less 80 and less
High Normal 130 – 139 80 – 89
     
HYPERTENSION:    
Mild (Stage 1) 140 – 159 90 – 99
Moderate (Stage 2) 160 – 179 100 – 109
Severe (Stage 3) 180 and higher 110 and higher

 

Above 180/110 mm Hg is very dangerous and needs immediate medical attention; and it could be life threatening if your blood pressure reached 200/120 mm Hg.

High Blood Pressure Treatments

There are various medicines for high blood pressure. The four main types are: ACE Inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers, Thiazide diuretics, and Angiotensin receptor blockers. These medications are known to lower down your blood pressure in various ways. There are people, though, that may have hypertension that is linked to other diseases such as diabetes. In this case, treatment for diabetes may greatly help in lowering down your blood pressure back to its normal range. 

In many instances, high blood pressure can be controlled with lifestyle change such as having a healthy diet, a regular exercise, and taking some health supplements to provide enough vitamins and minerals that the body needs.