Hypertension

Blood pressure measurement is listed with two numbers with normal being less than 120/80, with 120 being the systolic blood pressure (top number) when the heart is pushing blood through the arterial system; and 80 being the diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) when the arteries are at rest and the heart is refilling.  Therefore, HIGH blood pressure, also known as HYPERTENSION, has two basic types and one critical type.   The first two basic types are Essential (primary) hypertension and Secondary hypertension and it’s when the blood pressure is consistently elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mm Hg.  The last and critical type is called Malignant Hyperstension and that requires immediate critical care hospitalization as it also involves heart attacks, kidney failure, both or a major problem with the aorta.   High blood pressure is called "the silent killer" because it often causes no symptoms for many years, even decades, until it finally damages certain critical organs. 
95% of the population have essential hypertension and usually presents with no specific cause.  However, secondary hypertension makes up the last 5% of population and has core abnormalities somewhere in the body, such as in the heart, kidney, adrenal gland, or aortic artery.

Essential hypertension may run in some families and occurs more often in the African American population.  Being of Meditarean origin and eating foods in high fats and high salts places all of the rest of the non Africian American population just as high of a risk as those already with genetic predisposition.  High salt intake, obesity, lack of regular exercise, excessive alcohol or coffee intake, and smoking may all adversely affect the outlook for the health of an individual with hypertension. High blood pressure does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase blood pressure.

Some people with early hypertension may experience symptoms like severe headeache, nausea unrelated to foods, dizziness, shortness of breath and blurred vision. The presence of symptoms can be a good thing in that they can prompt people to consult a doctor for treatment as high blood pressure is “a silent killer” as stated above.  Often, however, a person's first contact with a physician may be after significant damage to the end-organs has occurred because people tend to continuely ignore these early signs of hypertension.  Therefore, in many cases, a person visits or is brought to the doctor or an emergency room with a heart atack, stroke, kidney disease/failure, or impaired vision.

Poorly controlled OR sustained elevation of the blood pressure increases the risk of developing thickening of the heart muscle AND heart disease , kidney disease, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), eye damage, and strokes (brain damage). Basically every aspect of bodily function is eventually affected.  These complications of hypertension are often referred to as end-organ damage because damage to these organs is the end result of chronic (long duration) high blood pressure. For that reason, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so efforts can be made to normalize the blood pressure and prevent complications.

Lifestyle adjustments is vastly important by diet and exercise and are usually the first non-medically approach to treatment.  In addition to proper diet and excerise are several classes of anti-hypertensive medications that are available for the medical doctor to give to the patient in attempt to control and lower blood pressure all in the hopes to prevent the end-organ complications of blood pressure.  These medication including ACE Inhibitors, ARB Drugs, beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, peripheral vasodilators, and, of course, ASPIRIN 81mg DAILY.  The goal of therapy for hypertension is to bring the blood pressure down to 140/85 in the general population and to even lower levels in diabetics, African Americans, and people with certain chronic kidney diseases. 


 

TIPS

·        STOP SMOKING!  STOP SMOKING!  STOP SMOKING!

·        Eliminate SALT from the diet as it retains bodily volume therefore increase the work on the heart and kidneys therefore increasing blood pressure.

·        Eliminate COMPLEX SATURATED FATS from diet

·        Regular exsercise  as tolerated

·        Blood Pressure checks daily; at least once or twice

·        Of Course, taking measures to lower the blood pressure and cholesterol levels by taking medications on time daily and frequent doctor office visits. Screening, diagnosing, treating, and controlling hypertension early in its course can significantly reduce the risk of developing strokes, heart attacks, or kidney failure.