What is Hypertension? Symptoms and Treatment of Hypertension
Hypertension is high blood pressure that can be seen at any age and can occur due to many reasons. Although it may develop due to reasons such as genetic predisposition and excessive salt consumption, the cause of high blood pressure is not clear in 95% of patients. If high blood pressure is not controlled, it can cause cerebral hemorrhage and paralysis.
What is Hypertension?
If blood pressure values obtained with serial measurements are above the normal range, it is called hypertension. High blood pressure causes damage to the vascular wall in the long term. Over time, occlusion, dilation, or rupture may occur in the vessels due to this damage. Hypertension can cause organ failure by disrupting the blood flow to organs and tissues.
Hypertension is a condition in which both large and small blood pressure is higher than normal.
Sometimes, high blood pressure without symptoms for a long time can be an “insidious enemy” with the damage it can cause to the kidney, brain, heart, and vascular systems.
What are the Symptoms of Hypertension?
If you have one or more of the following complaints, you may be suffering from hypertension.
- Ringing in the ears
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Defect of vision
- Nose bleeding
- Difficulty when exerting
- Do not urinate at night
- Edema in the legs
- Sudden speech disorder
- Tingling in the face and/or body
- Causes of Hypertension
Hypertension; Genetic factors such as high salt intake, stress, obesity, hypertension in the family, diabetes, sedentary life, and insufficient consumption of elements such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium may develop. However, hypertension may also occur in diseases such as thyroid diseases, adrenal gland tumors, narrowing of kidney vessels, aortic (main arterial) stenosis, Cushing disease, etc. Although hypertension may occur in all these cases, the cause of high blood pressure cannot be determined in most patients. This group, which makes up the majority of patients, is called Essential Hypertension.
How Is Hypertension Diagnosed?
Blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg in repeated measurements indicates hypertension. After the systemic examination, laboratory tests, cardiac electrocardiogram, echocardiography and, if necessary, 24-hour blood pressure monitoring (blood pressure Holter) are performed. Blood pressure measurements should be made while at rest and in a stress-free condition, without stimulants such as smoking or coffee.
The aim of the treatment of hypertension is to lower the blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg. However, there may be a limit determined by the specialist physician according to the age of the patient and existing comorbidities (diabetes, kidney failure, coronary artery disease, etc.). Indispensable for hypertension treatment; Lifestyle changes such as salt-free diet, physical activity, weight control. It is also extremely important to initiate the appropriate medication for the appropriate patient. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important to prevent complications caused by hypertension such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Hypertension does not affect the quality of life of individuals who are diagnosed early and receive appropriate treatment. “There is no disease, there is a patient”. Therefore, as with all other treatments, hypertension treatment is also personalized. It is not correct to avoid using drugs, considering that blood pressure medication used in the treatment of hypertension is addictive or has serious side effects. Contrary to what is thought, the medicines used to regulate blood pressure, protect the cardiovascular system and prevent kidney deterioration. In drug treatment, it is aimed not only to control blood pressure but also to protect other organs.
Resistant Hypertension Treatment
There are many effective anti-hypertensive drugs available today. We can also talk about resistant hypertension in patients whose blood pressure cannot be controlled despite the use of 3-4 of these drugs at the same time and in appropriate doses. In such a case, it is necessary to review various diseases that cause blood pressure (renal vessel stenosis, hyperthyroidism, Cushing, etc.). If these conditions are detected, they should be treated with appropriate methods. Renal denervation or a new method of carotid artery pacing may be considered in patients who cannot be controlled despite all these treatments. In renal denervation, the blood pressure is reduced by burning the nerves around the kidney vessels. In the carotid pacemaker, a stimulating device similar to a pacemaker stimulates the pressure-sensitive nerves (baroreceptors) in the carotid artery and blocks these nerves and effective blood pressure can be achieved within 2-3 months.
Common Patient Questions About Hypertension
I had my blood pressure measured recently, it turned out to be high. Am I suffering from blood pressure?
It is natural for every healthy person to increase blood pressure in stressful situations such as pain, excitement, fear, and after exertion. These individual elevations do not indicate that the person has blood pressure.
To diagnose hypertension, it is necessary to follow the blood pressure with serial measurements.
My blood pressure is very high but I do not feel it. Will this be harmful to the body?
Sometimes patients with gradually increasing blood pressure may not have complaints or the patient may not feel this. Having no complaints does not mean that hypertension does not harm your body. Even if the patient does not have any complaints, it is necessary to reduce the blood pressure to normal levels to prevent future organ disorders.
Does Garlic and Lemon Juice Lower Blood Pressure?
It has been known for a long time that some natural substances cause limited drops in blood pressure. However, they are not capable of treating the disease and eliminating the effects of the disease. It cannot be an alternative to drugs, but it is okay to use it as an aid.
Are blood pressure medications addictive? Can I stop taking hypertension medications?
Hypertension drugs are not addictive. The treatment of the patient diagnosed with hypertension lasts a lifetime. Patients who reach the ideal weight after lifestyle changes and whose blood pressure can be controlled with diet, if there is no organ damage, can be followed up by discontinuing the drug.
Does the blood pressure rise when it comes to the doctor?
This condition called “white coat hypertension” is a phenomenon we encounter very often. For this reason, the blood pressure measurements taken by the person are more valuable than the measurements taken in hospital and office settings.
Do hypertension drugs reduce sexual activity?
All medicines have possible side effects. Some blood pressure medications also have such side effects. Your doctor will tell you; It will recommend the drug suitable for your age, taking into account your existing diseases, close to ideal and with the lowest side effect profile. If any side effects occur, you can switch to other alternative medicines. Side effects caused by the drugs will disappear after the drug is discontinued.
How should the lifestyle of a hypertensive patient be?
Salt use in the diet of hypertensive patients should be limited. It is also extremely important for the person to reach and maintain their ideal weight. It should be ensured that he/she avoids stress and gets professional support if necessary. Also, smoking and alcohol consumption should be avoided.