Hypertension | High Blood Pressure


Definition: A medical condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated.

Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of arteries as it moves through your body. It is considered dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body and it contributes to hardening of the arteries or arteriosclerosis and the development of heart failure.

How is Blood pressure measured and What does the reading mean ?

Blood pressure is measured using a meter called sphygmomanometer which consists of a stethoscope, arm cuff, dial, pump, and valve.

The first number, systolic blood pressure, measures the maximum pressure exerted as the heart contracts, while the lower number indicates diastolic pressure, a measurement taken between beats, when the heart is at rest.

Normal range: (Systolic)120/(Diastolic)80.

Causes of hypertension/High blood pressure:

     Being overweight
     Lack of physical activity
     Too much salt in the diet
     Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
     Older age
     Family history of high blood pressure
     Chronic kidney disease
     Adrenal and thyroid disorders

Symptoms of an elevated Blood pressure/Hypertension: There may be no warning signs for high blood pressure. For this reason, high blood pressure is often referred to as "the silent killer".

If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as heart failure, stroke or kidney failure.

One may experience symptoms caused due to complications that High Blood Pressure (hypertension) causes:

     Severe headache
     Fatigue or confusion
     Vision problems
     Chest pain
     Difficulty breathing
     Irregular heartbeat
     Blood in the urine

Who's at high risk ?

     People with family history of high blood pressure.
     People who smoke.
     Women who are pregnant.
     Women who take birth control pills.
     People over the age of 35.
     People who are overweight or obese.
     People who are not active.
     People who drink alcohol excessively.
     People who eat too many fatty foods or foods with too much salt.


Hypertension is a serious condition that can damage the heart and blood vessels, and can eventually lead to several other conditions:

     Heart failure
     Heart attack
     Kidney failure
     Vision problems


Hypertension is treated by drugs and/or by adopting a healthier, active lifestyle. A diet low in salt but high in fruits and vegetables is recommended and exercises, especially aerobics, are included as a part of a healthy routine. Since stress also plays a huge role, patients are encouraged to involve in stress reducing activities like listening to relaxing music and meditation etc.