Hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure): causes and prevention
Hypertension, a state of abnormally high blood pressure, is a serious medical condition which seemingly has no symptoms, but the risk factors are high. In the National Family Health Survey – 4, conducted by the Govt of India, 22.2 percent of the Indian population reported incidences of high blood pressure. The high blood pressure causes are quite a few in numbers.
Primary Hypertension, also known as Essential Hypertension is caused by:
- Genes: Gene Mutations or Genetic Abnormalities inherited from the parents, either active or passive in previous generations can be a major cause.
- Physical Changes: Many body organs directly affect the blood flow and may cause abrupt changes in the blood pressure, for example, changes in the kidney function may cause the blood pressure to increase
- Environment: Unhealthy lifestyle, polluted environment can thicken the blood increasing the blood pressure in the arteries. Being overweight can increase the risk.
Secondary Hypertension scales up fast and can quickly become more severe than primary hypertension. Some leading causes are:
- Kidney diseases
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A potentially serious sleep disorder which causes breathe to repeatedly stop and start during sleep.
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Thyroid Problems
- Side effect of medications
- Usage of illegal drugs
- Alcohol abuse or chronic use
- Adrenal gland problems
- Certain tumors also block the regular function of the body.
Since there are no symptoms (some symptoms like nose bleed may occur in few cases but majority don’t feel anything until it’s too late), best way is to check your blood pressure with your routine medical check-up. If your family has a history of any such case, it is advised to get your blood pressure checked up at least twice a year.
Following some ways of general healthy lifestyle, you can avoid falling victim to the hands of hypertension:
- Develop a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a proper BMI
- Manage your stress