Heart and Blood pressure
About heart diseases and Blood pressure:
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. The heart is a muscular organ that supplies oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. Circulation of blood is very important as it carries nutrition to the tissues and waste products away from the body. The heart has two sides - right and left. Each side has its own atrium and ventricles.
Blood circulates via the heart to all parts of the body with the help of blood vessels. The heart pumps the blood to different parts of the body. When the blood flows in the blood vessels it exerts a certain pressure on the walls of the vessels, it is referred to as blood pressure, but when the heart needs to work extra efficiently to push the blood through vessels this pressure increases and then it is called high blood pressure or hypertension.
Causes of hypertension:
There are many risk factors that can lead to this condition:
• Sedentary lifestyle
• High intake of salt
• High levels of alcohol consumption
• Genetic tendency
• Birth control pills and other medications
Symptoms of hypertension:
Although it is a symptomless disease, still patients with blood pressure above 150/90 mm Hg may feel some rare symptoms like headache, nausea, and vomiting. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to measure it.
Adverse effects of Hypertension:
Hypertension is often termed a silent killer as it can damage your body parts for years together undetected and you may not even feel any symptoms. If remains untreated then it can lead to serious life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks.
The hazardous effects of hypertension are discussed below which have serious implications on the individual’s heart, brain, and arteries. Hypertension can cause various heart diseases such as:
Left ventricular hypertrophy – The left ventricle of the heart becomes thick and starts to expand because of the extra force exerted by the heart to pump the blood throughout the body. This increases the chances of cardiac arrest and may result in heart failure.
Heart failure: The continuous pressures on the heart muscles make them weak and this hampers their efficiency resulting in improper pumping of blood throughout the body
Aneurysm: It is a condition that occurs when arteries become weakened and a bulge is formed. This generally happens in the aorta and if it gets ruptured, it can cause severe internal bleeding
Arteriosclerosis: This happens when there is a formation of plaque-like structure in arteries, obstructing the blood flow to the heart and other body parts. Thickening of arteries and deposition of fats in the arteries block the passage of blood flow
Stroke: It is a condition that occurs when a brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients because of the weakening or bursting of brain’ blood vessels. In some cases, there a blood clot forms in the brain hampering blood flow and causing a stroke. Dementia and problems in thinking, learning, and speech are the associated symptoms
Kidney problems: Chronic hypertension has a deleterious effect on the kidneys as the functioning of arteries leads to kidneys getting affected. This results in the inefficient working of the kidneys to the extent of there being need for kidney transplantation.
To keep your blood pressure in control you can adopt various healthy lifestyle options that can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle may include:
• Smoking cessation
• Limiting the alcohol intake
• Getting good amount of physical activity
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Eating a healthy and nutritious diet etc.
Common Blood pressure medicines:
Some most common blood pressure medicines are as follows:
• Ciplar LA
• Amlopres, etc.
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Myths and facts:
Myth: if my blood pressure is high, I may be able to feel it
Fact: No, not necessarily and that is why high blood pressure is called a silent killer because there are usually no symptoms associated with High BP. The only way to know is to get yourself checked.
Myth: the only way to control BP is through medications
Fact: no, as some lifestyle options like healthy eating and regular exercise can keep the blood pressure in the healthy range.
Doctors diagnose high blood pressure through their BP measuring device, sphygmomanometer and ascertain the presence of hypertension problem only after 4-5 readings. The doctor may also take some blood, urine tests, and ECG to check for any other ailment due to BP.
High blood pressure can be treated by implementing a few changes in lifestyle or by taking high blood pressure medications. The various medications for the treatment of various heart diseases and high blood pressure are as follows –
• Calcium channel drugs such as Nifedipine and Amlodipine
• Angiotensin II receptors like Lovastatin and Atorvastatin
• ACE inhibitors like Benazepril and Quinapril
• Hypolipidemic drugs
• Renin inhibitors
• Combination drugs etc.
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Steps to improve life with BP:
There are a number of steps that should be taken by people with high blood pressure to control their blood pressure levels. Keep a check on your weight; if overweight then there is an urgent need to lose weight. One will also have to quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake. Regular workouts, meditation, and yoga will help you to keep yourself stress-free and prevent weight gain. Eat green, fresh vegetables and fruits and follow a low-fat diet. Minimizing the intake of salt can really keep your blood levels in check. Consume beetroot, fish, and garlic as they relax the blood vessels and aid in smooth blood flow. Under severe conditions, these changes alone can’t reduce high blood pressure levels, so have your physician prescribe some antihypertensive drugs to bring down the levels.
Important things to know:
Hypertension is not a life-threatening problem until you keep the Blood pressure in control. So, be involved in a good and healthy lifestyle to keep your hypertension in your control and live life to the fullest.
What is the most common medicine for high blood pressure?
The common medicine for high blood pressure includes the ACE inhibitor (lisinopril), which tops the list, followed by amlodipine besylate, a calcium channel blocker, and generic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
What are the problems with taking high blood pressure medicines?
In most cases, blood pressure medicines do not cause side effects. Some people have mild side effects, including headaches, dizziness, stomach problems, and swelling in the legs or feet.
Can we stop blood pressure medicine if BP reaches a normal level?
You shouldn’t stop taking blood pressure medicine. Sudden treatment discontinuation may cause potentially dangerous side effects that may give rise to withdrawal symptoms.
Can blood pressure be cured with medicines?
There is no cure for high blood pressure. However, treatment can cause a significant reduction in high blood pressure. If it is mild, changing your lifestyle can control high blood pressure.
Is blood pressure medicine permanent?
You may need to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. However, your doctor may be asked to reduce or stop your treatment if your blood pressure stays controlled for several years.
Can blood pressure return to normal?
There is no cure for high blood pressure, so making an effective lifestyle and taking blood pressure medicines as your doctor prescribes is important.
What causes high blood pressure?
High blood pressure usually develops because of unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as not getting enough physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Can you live long with high blood pressure?
Treatment of high blood pressure medicine prolongs life, prevents or delays congestive heart failure, and reduces the incidence of stroke. However, antihypertensive agents have been less effective in preventing coronary heart disease.
Can I take BP medicine twice if my blood pressure is high?
Taking an extra dose of the antihypertensive agent is generally not a cause for immediate concern. Still, it can cause some adverse effects, such as light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting.
What helps lower BP immediately?
Take a warm bath or shower. Try to be in the shower or bath for at least fifteen minutes and enjoy the warm water. Do breathing exercises. Take a deep breath for about two seconds, then slowly exhale. Also, relax as much as you can.
Can I buy blood pressure medicine without a prescription?
You can't buy blood pressure medicine without a prescription.