What is hypertension?

Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension refers to a state in which your blood exerts higher than normal pressure against your blood vessels as it circulates through your body. If you don’t treat hypertension, the high forces in your vessels can cause dangerous and potentially lethal conditions, such as:

  • Heart attack and heart failure
  • Aneurysms and stroke
  • Kidney disease and failure
  • Cognitive changes
  • Impaired vision and eye damage
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

How can I tell if I have hypertension?

Hypertension has no distinct symptoms, which is why it’s called the “silent killer” and why regular screenings should be part of your self-care plan.

The team of caring medical professionals determines whether your blood pressure is healthy or not by measuring the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart is pumping (systolic pressure) and the pressure when your heart is at rest (diastolic pressure).

When your blood pressure is normal, your systolic rate is below 120 mmHg and your diastolic rate is below 80 mmHg. Abnormal blood pressure is categorized into three stages, and can be affected by a change in either diastolic or systolic pressure:

  • Prehypertension (systolic 120-139 or diastolic 80-89)
  • Stage 1 HBP (systolic 140-159 or diastolic 90-99)
  • Stage 2 HBP (systolic 160 or higher or diastolic 100 or higher) 

How does the team treat hypertension?

The team approaches each case of hypertension individually. Depending on what stage of disease you’re in, they may recommend lifestyle changes only, or lifestyle changes with medications that lower your HBP and ease the pressure on your heart. Stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension usually require ongoing medical care so that you stay healthy and safe.
  • Some lifestyle changes that can lower high blood pressure include:
  • Losing weight
  • Eating more vegetables and fruits
  • Avoiding salt and sodium
  • Getting more exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Learning meditation and other calming techniques

Don’t risk the consequences of untreated high blood pressure. Get a simple blood pressure test at Essential Medical Clinic by calling the friendly team or booking your appointment online.