- Why is hypertension a silent killer? High blood pressure may not cause symptoms in most people in the earlier stages. In fact,t more than 30% of individuals are not aware that they have hypertension. Of this only 50 % are on proper medications. Of all hypertensives, only 40 % are properly controlled. Moderate to very high blood pressure may require treatment on life long basis. Hypertension can be controlled but cannot be cured.
- Why is high blood pressure dangerous? Paralytic strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, cardiac failure, retinal problems and various vascular disorders are more common in hypertensive individuals. Hypertension in pregnancy can affect both the mother and the child if not paid attention to.
- What are the early symptoms of hypertension? There may not be any symptoms in the early stages. In fact, the first presentation can be a brain hemorrhage or heart attack. However, tiredness, palpitations, headache, giddiness, blackouts, swelling at the ankles, leg cramps bleeding from the nose are the symptoms commonly expected.Sunflower Hospital Nagpur
- What are the common causes of hypertension? Hypertension is more common in men than in women. Excess salt, obesity, stress, lack of physical activity and exercise are the usual risk factors. Long-standing diabetes is always associated with high blood pressure. Association of many risk factors in the same individual can increase the incidence of cardiovascular and brain disorders.
- How to prevent high blood pressure? By adopting a very healthy lifestyle from a very early stage in life can prevent hypertension. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Reduce salt, excess fried food and sugar from the diet. Have a brisk walk of at least 30 minutes every day. Yoga, meditation and periodic breaks from a very busy schedule will always help. Reducing weight will always reduce high blood pressure.Sunflower Hospital Nagpur
- Is the treatment of hypertension life long? Yes, it is so. Lifestyle measures like avoiding smoking, chewing tobacco, reducing salt intake and exercising regularly help to bring down blood pressure. The drug therapy for hypertension can be on life long basis in most individuals.
- Can there be side effects of drugs if taken on life long basis? Generally, most individuals tolerate these drugs. The side effects are generally mild. The risk of having uncontrolled high blood pressure is many times more than the minor side effects of anti-hypertension medicines. Drug therapy can be modified as per the individuals’ needs.
- How to measure blood pressure ? Blood pressure needs to be measured very frequently in most hypertensives. Measuring blood pressure at home is preferable that the clinic blood pressure as it eliminates the white coat hypertension phenomenon. Digital blood pressure instruments are generally very reliable if used correctly. Blood pressure should be measured from the right arm in the sitting posture. The ideal blood pressure should be less than 140/90 mm.
- What are the tests done if you have high blood pressure ? Blood glucose estimation for diabetes, kidney function tests, lipid profile, a detailed cardiac examination that includes electrocardiogram and echocardiography are the few tests generally advised.
Author: Dr Jay Deshmukh
M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD
(Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi)
Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur