Hypertension is a disease in which the blood flowing through arteries has increased pressure. When blood pressure is measured, two values are taken which are systolic (higher number) and the diastolic (lower number). If either of these numbers are increased beyond their normal ranges, hypertension is diagnosed. It’s important however to not make the diagnosis based on one reading. Multiple readings need to be taken in order to rule out transient increases in blood pressure (due to anxiety from being in a doctor's office).
The pressure at which blood flows in arteries is important because a pressure that is too low will lead to inadequate delivery of nutrients to the body and in the case of hypertension, the increased pressure actually is high enough to damage the arteries and various organs. An alarming feature of hypertension is that it has no symptoms. That's why many people who have it, don’t even know.
The only time symptoms can be present is when the blood pressure rises extremely high or when organ damage occurs. Some of the structures that can be damaged by high blood pressure are the kidneys, heart, brain, and eyes. In fact, high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes word wide.
Treatment of Hypertension
Treatment may initially involve eating a low salt diet supplemented with fruits and vegetables, and exercise. Later, medication can be added to help further lower blood pressure.
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