Hypertension Essay, Research Paper

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. A normal blood pressure is 120/80. A blood pressure reading higher or equal to 140/90 is considered abnormally high. Elevated blood pressure means your heart is working harder than normal, putting both your heart and arteries under great strain. High blood pressure is serious business. On average, people with uncontrolled hypertension are:Seven times more likely to have a stroke. Six times more likely to develop congestive heart failure. Three times more likely to have a heart attack.Different types of hypertensionFrom my research, I didn’t find any other types of hypertension.What are some causes?In 90% of cases, the cause of hypertension is unknown. This is called “essential hypertension”. The other 10% of cases is called “secondary hypertension”. Secondary hypertension is caused by kidney disease, severe narrowing of the aorta, tumors in the adrenal gland, or hardening of the arteries. There are many factors associated with high blood pressure, including smoking, age, race, a high-salt diet, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, use of birth control pills, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.what age is at risk?If you are a man from 35 to 50, you are in a high-risk zone for hypertension, this is especially true if hypertension also runs in your family. It is less likely for women to have high-blood pressure, but the risk increases after menopause.SymptomsThere are usually no symptoms for hypertension. This is why it is often called the “silent killer”. Actually, you could have hypertension for years and not know about because you feel fine. But symptoms do show up if the case is severe. Some of these symptoms are:Headache Nosebleeds Drowsiness Confusion Dizziness Irregular heartbeat Numbness and tingling in hands and feet Coughing up blood Shortness of breathHealth HazardsHypertension accelerates hardening of the arteries, which may contribute to a stroke or heart attack. This can also lead to brain hemorrhage, kidney failure, heart failure, or blindness. TreatmentsThe best way to treat hypertension is to just change your lifestyle (see Preventive Measures), but many times, patients need other medications and therapies. No more than 2 percent of hypertensive patients can be treated surgically. There are basically four groups of drugs a physician would prescribe a hypertension patient:DiureticsThis is usually the first choice a doctor would prescribe. It helps by increasing the rate you body eliminates urine and salt. However, this can also increase your cholesterol level, make you urinate more frequently, and may cause a loss of potassium.Beta-Adrenergic BlockersThese drugs are usually prescribed if a diuretic does not help bring your blood pressure down, and sometimes are used in combination with diuretics. Beta-adrenergic blockers work by blocking the effects of adrenaline in your body. This means that it will cause your heart to beat slower, with less force against your blood vessels. Common side effects are lethargy and fatigue. Some of these may also decrease the level of “good” cholesterol.Calcium Channel BlockersThese drugs block the calcium from going to your cells, which decreases the chance for your arteries to become narrow.Other DrugsFor severe high blood pressure, Hydralazine and diazoxide may be used. For and emergency situation, when high blood pressure threatens someone’s life, nitroprusside may be used. Other options for therapy include reserpine, rauwolfia, alkaloids, and guanethidine. Preventive MeasuresThere are many thing you can do to prevent high blood pressure. These things include:Have your blood pressure checked regularly Watching your weight Being moderate in drinking alcohol Eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt, and high in fiber Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables Not smoking Exercising regularly Reducing stress and practicing relaxation techniques

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