Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the pressure of blood in the body is high enough that it'll eventually damage arteries and the heart. Blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of blood pumped compared with the resistance to flow through the blood vessels. When the heart pumps more blood into arteries that are more narrow, high blood pressure results.
There may be none, and it could be that way for a long time. Even if there are no symptoms, though, damage may still occur. Arteries can weaken and clog, and the heart muscle can thicken, all in response to hypertension with no outward signs until something in the system fails. When symptoms do happen, these could include, headaches, shortness of breath and bleeding from the nose, but there aren’t specific connections, and hypertension may be at critical levels before these signs appear. This is one reason why blood pressure screening is a regular part of doctor’s appointments. The test is simple, quick, and has no risk. Many drug stores and pharmacies offer blood pressure machines for their customers’ use. These can provide useful information, but due to the “one cuff fits all” nature of the machines, they may not be accurate for everyone. The appropriate cuff size is important for proper readings.
Medication can help lower your blood pressure. Diuretics help the body eliminate salt and water, which in turn lowers the blood volume. Beta blockers approach the disorder by causing the heart to beat more slowly and with less force. ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels as do a class of drug called ARBs.
Even if medication helps, most effective hypertension treatment includes lifestyle changes including increased physical activity and a modified diet.
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