According to data with the United Nations, one in three adults worldwide suffer from raised blood pressure, which is the reason for half of the deaths due to heart stroke and heart diseases.
Having blood bressure has no initial symptoms but can be a cause of many long-term diseases and complications, and hence is called as 'silent killer'. Blood pressure is measured as systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the blood pressure when the heart contracts, it is the moment when maximum force is used for contraction. Diastolic is the blood pressure between the heartbeats, when the heart is resting. Doctors measure both the systolic and diastolic pressure. The American Heart Association has recommended some guidelines to define normal and high blood pressure:
Normal blood pressure is 120/80
Pre-hypertension 120-139/ 80-89
High blood pressure (stage 1) 140-159/90-99
High blood pressure (stage 2) higher than 160/100
Hypertension can be classified as primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. About 90-95% are categorized under the first type, where there are no other underlying medical causes. In the second case, the conditions can effect kidneys, heart or endocrine system. Blood pressure does not remain the same all the time, it lowers when you sleep and is high when you wake up. It also changes at times when you are excited or nervous. If your blood pressure remains above normal most of the times, then you are at risk of hypertension. You need to consult your doctor and follow a treatment plan as suggested by your doctor.
The first step towards blood pressure treatment is changing your lifestyle
such as adopting the DASH (Dietary approach to stop hypertension) plan. This plan focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other foods which are healthy for your heart and contains low cholesterol. It also focuses on avoiding or limiting alcohol and using low-fat diary products. Physical exercises and routine physical activities can also reduce the risk. Managing stress is very important, you also have to quit smoking as it can damage your blood vessels and raise the risk.
The type of medications used for blood pressure treatment are:
Diuretics – they work in the kidney and flush excess water and salt out of the kidney.
Beta blockers – it makes the heart beat slower by reducing the nerve impulse to the heart and blood vessels.
ACE Inhibitor – it prevents the formation of hormones called angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow.
Calcium channel blocker – it helps the blood vessels to relax.
Alpha blockers and alpha beta blockers – helps the blood pressure to go down.
Nervous system inhibitors – it relaxes blood vessels by relaxing nerve impulses.
Vasodilators – they directly open blood vessels by relaxing the muscles in the vessel walls causing the blood pressure to go down.
In blood pressure treatment two or more drugs do better than using only one.