Views: 50 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-08-31 Origin: Site
Hypertension is a common chronic disease. If left uncontrolled for a long time, it can cause severe damage to important organs such as heart, brain and kidneys. Therefore, it is very important to understand and prevent hypertension in a timely manner.
I. Definition and Harms of Hypertension
Hypertension refers to the condition where systolic and diastolic blood pressures are persistently elevated. According to China's diagnostic standard, adults with systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg can be diagnosed with hypertension. If the systolic pressure is between 140-159 mmHg or diastolic pressure is between 90-99 mmHg, it is classified as stage 1 hypertension. If the systolic pressure is between 160-179 mmHg or diastolic pressure is between 100-109 mmHg, it is classified as stage 2 hypertension. If the systolic pressure is ≥180 mmHg or diastolic pressure is ≥110 mmHg, it is classified as stage 3 hypertension.
Long-term hypertension can severely damage vital organs such as heart, brain and kidneys, and even lead to fatal conditions like heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Therefore, hypertension is called "the silent killer" and poses a significant health threat.
II. Causes of Hypertension
There are various factors that can influence blood pressure. The major causes of hypertension include:
1. Unhealthy lifestyle
Excessive intake of animal fats, protein, obesity and lack of physical exercise, long-term smoking and alcohol drinking, are all detrimental lifestyle behaviors that can induce hypertension.
2. Excessive mental stress
Various pressures from work and life may stimulate sympathetic excitation, increase cardiac output and lead to elevated blood pressure.
3. Excessive sodium intake
Eating too much sodium-rich food increases sodium content in the blood, leading to fluid retention in blood vessels and increased blood pressure.
4. Genetic factors
People with family history of hypertension are more likely to develop this condition.
As people age, vascular elasticity and function gradually decline, increasing the risk of hypertension.
III. Symptoms of Hypertension
Mild to moderate hypertension often has no obvious symptoms in its early stages and can only be detected through measurement. When blood pressure continues to rise, symptoms like headache, dizziness, palpitations, tinnitus and insomnia may occur. Some patients may also experience impaired vision and epistaxis.
IV. Treatment of Hypertension
6. Pharmacological treatment
(1) Calcium channel blockers: These can dilate blood vessels and are commonly used to treat hypertension, such as nitrendipine, amlodipine, etc. Possible side effects like headache, dizziness and ankle edema should be watched for.
(2) ACE inhibitors: They inhibit the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II to achieve a blood pressure lowering effect. Examples include enalapril, lisinopril, etc. Renal function should be monitored during use.
(3) Beta blockers: They block sympathetic stimulation of the heart to decrease heart rate and cardiac output. Examples include propranolol, atenolol, etc.
(4) Other antihypertensive drugs: Such as diuretics, central-acting agents, etc. Doctors will prescribe appropriate medications according to each patient's condition.
7. Lifestyle modification
(1) Low-salt and low-fat diet: Reduce intake of fat, cholesterol and sodium.
(2) Regular aerobic exercise: Such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, etc. 3-4 times per week, 30-60 minutes each time.
(3) Maintain normal weight.
(4) Smoking and alcohol cessation.
(5) Relaxation training: Such as meditation, listening to music, yoga, etc., to help managing stress.
V. Prevention of Hypertension
The key to prevent hypertension lies in a healthy lifestyle and proper dietary habits.
8. Maintain normal body weight and avoid obesity.
9. Limit smoking and alcohol drinking.
10. Low-salt and low-fat diet, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
11. Engage in regular aerobic exercise like brisk walking, jogging, swimming.
12. Manage work stress and maintain a positive mentality.
13. Check blood pressure regularly. Seek medical care promptly if abnormality is detected.
VI. Importance of Regular Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since hypertension often has no significant symptoms in its early stages, many patients are unaware that they have it. Therefore, regular blood pressure screening is very important.
Adults should have their blood pressure checked once every 3-6 months. If abnormality is spotted, positive medical treatment and lifestyle changes should be initiated under physician’s guidance, in order to keep blood pressure under control and prevent complications.
Hypertension is a preventable and treatable chronic disease. With proper awareness, active prevention, and scientific treatment, it can be effectively controlled to avoid detrimental effects and enable a healthy life.