If you've been told you have high blood pressure you should be thankful for a timely diagnosis. For many people their high blood pressure goes undiagnosed years, and this can be a very dangerous situation.
Essential or primary hypertension It's thought that more than 9 in 10 people with high blood pressure have 'primary hypertension,' which means that there's no single clear cause of it.
However, it is known that certain factors in your lifestyle can contribute to developing the conditions, including:
Your family history
Being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
Being overweight or obese
Having an unhealthy diet
Drinking alcohol - especially if you binge drink
Lack of exercise
Secondary hypertension Around 1 in 20 people with high blood pressure have 'secondary hypertension'. This means it's linked to another cause, for example:
Kidney conditions such as kidney infection or kidney disease
Narrowing of the arteries
Medications Several classes of drugs are used to treat hypertension. Diuretics Diuretics help the kidneys get rid of excess salt and water. They are the mainstays of anti-hypertensive therapy and are often the first type of drug selected for most people with hypertension. They are also especially helpful for treating patients with heart failure, patients with isolated systolic hypertension, the elderly, and African-Americans. (African-Americans are more likely to be salt-sensitive, so they respond well to these drugs.) They also work well for patients with diabetes. Diuretics are often used in combination with other antihypertensive drugs. There is strong evidence that diuretics work just as well as newer drugs in lowering blood pressure and are more effective in preventing heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Diuretic Types and Brands. The three main types of diuretics include: Thiazide diuretics. These include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Hygroton), indapamide (Lozol), hyd...
Blood is carried from the heart to all the body's tissues and organs in pipes, called arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of those pipes. The unit for measuring blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). In most people, hypertension , or high blood pressure , is defined as either: a systolic pressure consistently at 140 or higher or a diastolic pressure consistently at 90 or higher. In some groups, such as those with diabetes or kidney disease , a high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 or higher or a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 80 or higher. Each time the heart beats (about 60 to 70 times a minute at rest) it pumps blood out into the blood vessels. When the heart is pumping the blood, it is called systolic pressure. When the heart is relaxing in between beats, your blood pressure falls; this is the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic). If the...
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