Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition characterized by elevated pressure in the arteries. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and typically recorded as two numbers: systolic pressure (the pressure when the heart beats) over diastolic pressure (the pressure when the heart rests between beats). Normal blood pressure is considered to be around 120/80 mmHg.

Hypertension is often referred to as a “silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms but can cause serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health issues if left untreated. Risk factors for hypertension include genetics, age, obesity, lack of physical activity, excessive salt intake, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, and certain chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease.

Treatment for hypertension usually involves lifestyle modifications and medications. Lifestyle changes may include adopting a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in saturated fat and sodium, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding tobacco use, and managing stress. Medications such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers may also be prescribed to lower blood pressure.

Regular monitoring of blood pressure and adherence to treatment plans are crucial in managing hypertension effectively and reducing the risk of complications. It’s important for individuals with hypertension to work closely with their healthcare providers to develop a comprehensive plan tailored to their specific needs and risk factors.

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