Essential Hypertension

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 Essential Hypertension

Essential Hypertension is a common condition which is the result of a high blood pressure. If left untreated, it can result in strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, amongst other complications. It is imperative that we are informed about this condition as it is very prevalent in our modern society.

While the cause is not exactly known, (hence the name essential hypertension), there are a number of risk factors that can predispose one to becoming hypertensive. They include: genetic predisposition, high sodium diets, obesity, alcoholism, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; increasing age, black race, male gender, sedentary lifestyle, smoking.

The problem with hypertension is that it does not usually have any symptoms.  When it does, symptoms can be severe headaches, chest pains, dizziness, agitation and fatigue. For the most part however, high blood pressure is diagnosed during a regular check-up with your doctor.This is why it is called The Silent Killer.

It is better to prevent these problems by treating the blood pressure, than to wait until it is too late, when life or limb threatening problems have arisen. Essential hypertension is easily controlled and treated with risk factor modification as well as different medications.  

A nurse or doctor will check your blood pressure and let you know if it is high or not.If it is, and depending on how high it is, recommendations will be made. Tailored treatment of hypertension is based on what your risk factors are perceived to be. Clearly, there are some risk factors that are modifiable and some that are not.

You may be sent to see a dietician, in order to learn how to begin a low salt diet. You may be advised to join a health club and start regular exercise, as well as lose weight. If alcoholism is seen to be a risk factor, you may need to go to rehab, in order to quit drinking alcohol.You may be prescribed medications in order to help you quit smoking. If you have been diagnosed with essential hypertension you can no longer “eat whatever you want”. You will need to pay close attention to what you eat and drink, as well as exercise regularly.

Obviously, genetic predisposition, age, gender and race are non-modifiable risk factors.Specific medical treatments may be recommended. Discussion of these medications is beyond the scope of this piece.There is anecdotal evidence that garlic pills help lower blood pressure. A note of warning however: this is not scientifically proven, so, please, do not stop taking your medication without medical supervision.

Can hypertension be cured? Well, yes and no. If the only contributors to hypertension are modifiable risk factors, then, once they are taken away blood pressure may normalize. Weaning off of medication should only be done under a doctor’s supervision.

Make sure you have your blood pressure checked at least once every six months, and at least once every three months if you have already been diagnosed with hypertension.

What challenges are you facing, with hypertension? I may be able to give you some tips. Please leave a comment below. You may subscribe to this blog for a free e-book, weekly updates, and first-to-know offers.

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