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The following factors all play a role in essential hypertension and correcting them as far as possible, plays a very important role in the lifestyle treatment of high blood pressure. The exact cause of most (90-95%) cases of high blood pressure remains unclear. It is probably caused by a mixture of lifestyle and dietary factors in people who have a genetic tendency.

If blood pressure levels remain elevated despite lifestyle changes, medication may be needed and discussed with your doctor. There is pretty unanimous agreement amongst doctors that drugs should be used if blood pressure is severely elevated e.g. 160/100 at age 20, 160/110 at age 50. This is probably the most important, as smoking is such a powerful vascular risk factor and greatly increases the risks associated with high blood pressure. Often the symptoms are of complications of the long term effects of hypertension e.g. angina, strokes and heart failure.

But many people — even medical professionals — have trouble recognizing symptoms outside the classic warning signs. So they don’t attribute double vision, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting to a stroke, especially if the symptoms are only temporary. Approximately 1 in 3, nearly 70 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many extreme fatigue people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30’s or early 40’s, and it occurs more frequently as people age.

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The reasons that treating high blood pressure does not lead to as great a reduction of heart attacks and stroke, are not well understood. This includes specific medical conditions which lead to hypertension as a result of the underlying illness/condition and include the following. Secondary causes account for only about 5% of cases of hypertension, but they are worth considering as they may be cured by treating the underlying cause. A secondary cause may be more likely in a young person with very high blood pressure. There is some evidence suggesting that a high dietary potassium intake will reduce the risk of hypertension.

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However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure. Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day.

  • It’s important to find out what’s causing your low blood pressure so that it can be treated.
  • Low blood pressure might seem desirable, and for some people, it causes no problems.
  • In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.
  • The causes of low blood pressure can range from dehydration to serious medical disorders.

This means that you’re at risk for developing high blood pressure . A very high proportion of people with hypertension are not even detected (35%). Of those who are detected, only half are taking medication and 80% of those may still have blood pressures over 140/90. They are generally not used as a first line treatment, but they have a useful role in certain patients (e.g. angina) and where other medications are not tolerated. There are a number of suitable and effective medications for safely lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of complications.

The vast majority of people with hypertension have no symptoms at all and in fact would have no idea at all that their blood pressure was raised, unless it was measured. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer”.

We can prevent 600,000 strokes a year and keep 600,000 people from disability. When you spot the five classic warning signs or other sudden stroke symptoms, dial ASAP. And if you’ve experienced these symptoms yourself, talk to your health care team to help keep you from becoming a preventable statistic.

Fruit tends to have high potassium content and is the best source of dietary potassium. A high salt diet may increase the tendency to hypertension in some people – this is thought to be a factor in approximately 40% of people with hypertension. If you have a parent with high blood pressure, it is important to make lifestyle changes from a young age and have your blood pressure checked regularly every few years. Often it may only start increasing from middle age onwards.

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The aim of medication is to reduce blood pressure with minimal side effects and inconvenience. All medications may take a month or two to exert their full effect, so most doctors will “start low” and “go slow” until the desired blood pressure level is reached. In fact there is good evidence that treating even mild hypertension with medication is beneficial e.g.160/95 at age 50 is effective in reducing complications like stroke.

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