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Hypertension or high blood pressure does not have any obvious symptoms, but increases the risk of strokes, heart failure, heart attacks and renal failure. It is a very common ailment, with 20% of the population suffering from it. It usually remains undetected in most people, and only people when undergo a medical checkup they become aware of this ailment..
The normal resting value for blood pressure for a healthy human being is 120 mmHg at peak of the cardiac cycle (systolic pressure) and 80mmHg at the resting phase of the cardiac cycle (diastolic pressure). This is usually abbreviated as 120/80 mmHg . Any reading greater than 140/90 is considered high. The blood pressure varies from person to person and is different at different times of the day.
Some of the cause of hypertension are:
1. Salt intake - high sodium content in food and alcohol increase the blood pressure
2. In 30% of the cases studied, hypertension is hereditary
3. Sleeping problems like sleep apnea can cause hypertension
4. As people become older, the walls of arteries thicken, increasing the blood pressure. Younger people usually have a lower blood pressure.
5. Stress, anger and excitement can cause hypertension for a short time. Talking and shouting also increases the blood pressure. Many times, the blood pressure measured in a hospital or doctors clinic is higher than the usual blood pressure, due to the stress.
6. Environmental conditions like bright lights, crowding and noise can cause hypertension.
Malignant hypertension can cause headaches, blurred vision and organ damage. It is usually treated using medications. In most cases, patients suffer from mild or moderate hypertension. This can be controlled by:
1. Modifying the lifestyle to reduce stress. Talking less is effective.
2. Exercising regularly to lose weight
3. Modifying diet to include fresh fruits and vegetables. Decreasing the amount of common salt and other sodium salts in food and increasing the amount of potassium which offsets the affect of sodium also helps. Potassium is found in bananas.
4.High sound levels and bright lights are common in large cities and hypertension can be reduced by relocating to a quiet place.
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