Instructor`s name Hypertension

Also known as high blood pressure is a state whereby the force of the blood or the blood pressure against the walls of the artery greater than normal, to an extent of causing health issues.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Majority of people with hypertension may live for years without knowing about their condition, despite blood pressure readings showing considerably high blood pressure. Although a small number of people may experience mild headaches, dizzy spells, or nose bleeding, these signs may not occur unless blood pressure reaches serious or life threatening level (Dorresteijn, Visseren and W. Spiering 18). This is known as malignant hypertension.
High blood pressure has no identifiable cause in most people this is called essential hypertension which tends to develop gradually with time.
Sometimes, hypertension may be as a result of an already existing health condition. This is known as secondary hypertension. Unlike essential or primary hypertension, secondary hypertension occurs suddenly and results to very high pressure levels. According to Mayo Clinic, the following health conditions can lead to secondary hypertension.
* Adrenal gland tumors
* Kidney problems
* Pregnancy
* Illicit drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine
* Some medications which include birth control pills, over the counter pain killers, cold remedies, decongestants as well as some prescription drugs.
Normally, blood pressure is measured with an inflatable cuff placed around the arm and a pressure assessing gauge. Blood pressure is presented as two numbers such as 120/80mmHg. One or both of these numerals can be higher than the norm which means that a person has hypertension. The numerator is represents systolic blood pressure which is the pressure within the arteries, while the denominator represents the diastolic blood pressure which is the pressure within arteries between impulses.
When the pressure of blood is at 140/90mmHg or more, a person is said to be hypertensive. If the numbers are at 120/80mmHg or higher, but not exceeding 140/90mmHg, a person is said to be pre-hypertensive. A pre-hypertensive person is more likely to develop high blood pressure if measures are not taken to curb it. A healthy person`s blood pressure is slightly below 120/80mmHg (Dorresteijn, Visseren and Spiering 18).
Some cardiologists recommend that, the ideal blood pressure be maintained at 115/75mmHg. They argue that, when blood pressure rises beyond this figure, the risk of cardiovascular disease is likely to go high (Mayo Clinic N.P).
If a person is diagnosed to have some form of increased blood pressure, the doctor may suggest regular tests, including urinalysis, blood tests as well as an electrocardiogram (ECG) which measures the electrical activity of the heart. Cholesterol tests may also be performed to check for further signs of heart disease. This is done to avoid confusion with other conditions including chronic renal failure, drug use, renal artery stenosis, hypothairoidism, hyperthyroidism, sleep apnea obstructive among other conditions.
Risk Factors
According to Pimenta and Calhoun (1594) the following group of people are at risk of hypertension
* Obese or overweight
* Drinking too much alcohol
* Smokers
* Diabetic
* African American
* People with stress
* Family background of high blood pressure
Hypertension can be treated using medication, depending on the health status of the person. The medications used as listed by The Mayo Clinic entail:
Thiazide diuretics: also known as water pills are drugs which work on the kidneys to facilitate the elimination of water and sodium from the body, thus reduce the volume of blood. They are usually the first medications advised by doctors (Appel, et. 1138).
Angiotensin-Converting Enzymes (ACE) inhibitors: They used to enable the blood vessels relax. They inhibit the production of a natural substance responsible for constriction of blood vessels.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): These are drugs that help the relaxation of blood vessels, without inhibiting the production of the substance responsible for constriction of blood vessels.
Beta blockers: reduces the workload of the heart and widens blood vessels enabling the heart to beat at a low pace and with minimal force.
Calcium channel blockers: helps the muscles of the blood vessels relax or cause the heart beat to slow down.
Renin inhibitors: inhibits the productions of rennin (a chemical manufactured by the kidneys to instigate a series of chemical activities that increase blood force). Rennin minimizes the ability of rennin to initiate this process.
If the above medications fail to reach a desired blood pressure, other medications may be used including alpha inhibitors, vasodilators, alpha-beta blockers, and central acting agents.
Alternative medication and home remedies
Some supplements are known to reduce blood pressure including blond psyllium, cod-liver oil, cocoa, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, garlic and alpha-linolenic acid (Mayo Clinic N.P).
Despite the use of medication to treat high blood pressure, one needs to engage in a healthy lifestyle to manage or keep their blood pressure under control. The following lifestyle changes are important to treatment of hypertension
* Eating heart healthy diet, including plenty of water, potassium and fiber.
* Exercising to keep the body healthy, such as having an aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
* Quitting smoking for smokers, as smoking increases the likelihood of hypertension
* Limiting the amount of salt (sodium) consumption to below 1,500mg daily (Appel, et al. 1138)
* Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed as alcohol can raise the blood pressure.
* Maintain a healthy body as overweight is raises the risk of hypertension (Dorresteijn, Visseren & Spiering 19)
* Reducing stress, by avoiding stressors. Yoga and meditation, getting enough sleep can help reduce stress.
* Being able to monitor one`s blood pressure at home is important in helping keep close check on it, establish if the medications are helping and inform your doctor of any complications.
Works Cited
Appel, L. J., et al. The Importance of Population-Wide Sodium Reduction as a Means to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke A Call to Action From the American Heart Association. Circulation 123.10 (2011): 1138-1143.
Dorresteijn, J. A. Visseren, N.F. and W. Spiering. “Mechanisms linking obesity to hypertension.” Obesity Reviews 13.1 (2012): 17-26.
Mayo Clinic. Hypertension. Web. (Accessed 5/12/2013).
Pimenta, Eduardo, and Calhoun, David. Resistant hypertension incidence, prevalence, and prognosis. Circulation 125.13 (2012): 1594-1596.