Hypertension, symptoms, risks, management.

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Hypertension is a condition where the force of blood against the arteries is high that is blood pressure from 140/90mm/Hg and above. It’s also known as high blood pressure. A blood pressure reading of 180/120mm/Hg and above is considered a hypertensive emergence thus medical intervention is needed. It is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and how fast the blood moves in the arteries. Untreated hypertension poses a threat to one health as it can lead to stroke or a heart attack. Blood pressure can be categorized as:

  • Normal blood pressure which is anything between 120/80mm/Hg or lower.
  • High/ elevated blood pressure – the systolic reading is 120-129mm/Hg while the diastolic reading is less than 80mm/Hg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension- systolic reading is between 130-139mm/Hg while the diastolic reading is 80-89mm/Hg
  • Stage 2 hypertension- the systolic reading is from140 and above while the diastolic reading is from 90 and above

Types of Hypertension

  1. Essential hypertension which is also known as primary hypertension. There is no known cause but it develops gradually with time.
  2. Secondary hypertension develops due to underlying conditions like:
  • Problems associated with the thyroid.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Congenital heart defects.
  • Some medications e.g. birth control pills.
  • Use of illegal drugs.


Some people may have high blood pressure for a long period of time with no symptoms while others may experience:

  • Headaches.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nose bleeding.
  • Dizziness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Blurry vision.

Risk factors

  • Family history.
  • Age.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Stress.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Taking too much alcohol.
  • Some chronic conditions e.g. diabetes.
  • Use of tobacco products.
  • Taking foods with high amounts of sodium.

Complications of hypertension

  • Heart attack due to thickening and hardening of arteries.
  • Kidney problems when blood vessels in the kidney become weak.
  • Eye problems can lead to loss of vision when blood vessels in the eye are damaged.
  • Memory loss.
  • Dementia where blood flow to the brain is limited due to blocked arteries.
  • A metabolic syndrome where the body is not able to break down glucose can lead to the development of diabetes.
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Mnagement of hypertension

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