High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
The World Health Organisation has estimated that high blood pressure causes one in every 8 deaths world wide making hypertension the third leading killer in the world. Every individual has blood pressure which is necessary to move blood through arteries and provide oxygen to the tissues of the body.
Hypertension is elevated blood pressure. WHO defines hypertension is a condition in which systolic pressure exceeds 160 mm Hg and diastolic pressure exceeds 95 mm Hg. With diastolic pressures of 100 or more therapy should be initiated with drugs as well as diet. High blood pressure is not a disease but only a symptom indicating that some underlying disease is progressing.
Pathogenesis Of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension impairs the pumping function of heart and if untreated damages heart, brain and kidneys. A stroke occurs more often in patients with high blood pressure.
Cardiovascular diseases, renal diseases like glomerulonephritis, polycystic renal disease, pyelonephritis, tumors of the brain or adrenal glands, hyperthyroidism or diseases of ovaries and pituitary may cause hypertension.
When the cause of blood pressure is unknown, it is called as essential blood pressure.
Mild blood pressure: Diastolic pressure is 90 to 104 mm Hg. Treatment is based on weight loss, sodium restriction and behavioural techniques.
Moderate blood pressure: Diastolic pressure is 105 to 119 mm Hg with moderate blood pressure or hypertension. Nutritional therapy is supported by drugs such as beta blockers.
Severe blood pressure: Diastolic pressure is 120 to 130 mm Hg and above. Apart from giving treatment for moderate hypertension peripheral vasodilators are given. Diet therapy resolves around potassium replacement and nutritional support for weight management and sodium modification.
Many persons with hypertension have no symptoms.
- Impaired vision,
- Failing memory,
- Shortness of breath,
- pain over the heart and
- Gastrointestinal disturbance,
- Unexplained tiredness are some of the symptoms.
Low calorie, low fat, low sodium with normal protein intake is prescribed.
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