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  • Writer's pictureWen hui Yong

UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF HYPERTENSION: CAUSES, COMPLICATIONS AND PREVENTION TECHNIQUES

WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?

Hypertension also known as high blood pressure occur when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high (130/80 mmHg or greater). It is common, however it can be dangerous if not treated. High blood pressure is commonly described as a "silent killer" by healthcare practitioners since it seldom cause any symptoms. Therefore, you are unaware of the problem even the harm is still taking place within your body. If you have high blood pressure, the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is continually excessive. The heart must work harder to pump blood. Higher blood pressure levels increase your risk of developing additional health issues such as heart disease, heart attack and stroke.


Blood Pressure Category
Blood Pressure Category

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF HYPERTENSION?


Modifiable risk factors

  • Unhealthy diet

  • excessive salt consumption, diet high in saturated fat and trans fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Physically inactive 

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Tobacco use

  • Stress


Non-modifiable risk factors

  • Older age 

  • Family history

  • Certain chronic diseases (eg: diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea)


COMPLICATIONS OF HYPERTENSION

High blood pressure causes excessive pressure on artery walls, which can damage blood vessels and organs. The higher the blood pressure and the longer it remains uncontrolled, the greater the damage. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause consequences such as:


  • Chest pain (angina)


  • Heart attack

o   A heart attack happens when the heart's blood supply is cut off, causing heart muscle cells to die due to a lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is restricted, the more damage the heart sustains.


  • Heart failure

o   When you have hypertension, your heart works harder to pump blood. The tension thickens the walls of the heart's pumping chambers. This disease is known as left ventricular hypertrophy. The heart eventually stops functioning because it is unable to pump enough blood to fulfill the body's demands.


  • Kidney disease

o   Hypertension could lead to narrowing or weakening of the blood vessels in the kidneys weak and lead to kidney damage.


  • Eye damage

o   Hypertension could lead to thickening, narrowing the blood vessels in the eyes. This may lead to vision loss.

 

  • Stroke

o   Hypertension can also burst or block arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain lead to stroke.

 

  • Dementia

o   Blood flow to the brain might be limited due to narrowed or clogged arteries. This can lead to vascular dementia. A stroke that stops blood flow to the brain can potentially result in vascular dementia.

 

Complications of hypertension
Complications of Hypertension

HOW TO PREVENT FROM HYPERTENSION

Lifestyle changes could help to control high blood pressure and benefits individuals with hypertension. There are some lifestyle changes can be made to lower and prevent hypertension such as:


  • Eating a healthy diet

o   eat more fruits and vegetables

o   limit salt intake (< 5 grams per day)

o   limit intake of  foods high in saturated and trans fat

 

  •  Be physically active

o    do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity.

o   do strength building exercises 2 or more days each week


  • Limit alcohol intake

o   Women ≤1 drink per day

o   men ≤2 drink for per day


  • Maintain a healthy weight


  • Stop smoking


  • Manage stress

 

Summary

In summary, hypertension presents a formidable challenge to global health, with its silent progression and potential for severe complications. By prioritizing preventive measures such as healthy lifestyle choices and proactive management strategies, we can confront this silent adversary and pave the way for healthier futures.


@IGLOW SDN BHD

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