Hypertension

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High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.

  • Top number (systolic pressure).The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
  • Bottom number (diastolic pressure).The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.

You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.

Symptoms

Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.

A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren't specific and usually don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

Causes

There are two types of high blood pressure.

Primary (essential) hypertension

For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called primary (essential) hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.

Secondary hypertension

Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney disease
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain defects you're born with (congenital) in blood vessels
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
  • Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

Complications

The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to complications including:

  • Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
  • Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
  • Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, the heart has to work harder. This causes the walls of the heart's pumping chamber to thicken (left ventricular hypertrophy). Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally.
  • Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss.
  • Metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a group of disorders of your body's metabolism, including increased waist size, high triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), high blood pressure and high insulin levels. These conditions make you more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  • Trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Trouble with memory or understanding concepts is more common in people with high blood pressure.
  • Narrowed or blocked arteries can limit blood flow to the brain, leading to a certain type of dementia (vascular dementia). A stroke that interrupts blood flow to the brain also can cause vascular dementia.

Diagnosis

Blood pressure measurements fall into several categories:

  • Normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure is normal if it's below 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Elevated blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 129 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure below (not above) 80 mm Hg. Elevated blood pressure tends to get worse over time unless steps are taken to control blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure may also be called prehypertension.
  • Stage 1 hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension. More-severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher.
  • Hypertensive crisis .A blood pressure measurement higher than 180/120 mm Hg is an emergency situation that requires urgent medical care. If you get this result when you take your blood pressure at home, wait five minutes and retest. If your blood pressure is still this high, contact your doctor immediately. If you also have chest pain, vision problems, numbness or weakness, breathing difficulty, or any other signs and symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency medical number.

Both numbers in a blood pressure reading are important. But after age 50, the systolic reading is even more important. Isolated systolic hypertension is a condition in which the diastolic pressure is normal (less than 80 mm Hg) but systolic pressure is high (greater than or equal to 130 mm Hg). This is a common type of high blood pressure among people older than 65.

Home monitoring is an important way to confirm if you have high blood pressure, to check if your blood pressure treatment is working or to diagnose worsening high blood pressure.

Home blood pressure monitors are widely available and inexpensive, and you don't need a prescription to buy one. Make sure to use a validated device, and check that the cuff fits. Bring the monitor with you to your Health Guardian’s office to check its accuracy once a year. Talk to your doctor about how to start checking your blood pressure at home.

Devices that measure your blood pressure at your wrist or finger aren't recommended by the American Heart Association because they can provide less reliable results.

Treatment

Changing your lifestyle can help control and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make lifestyle changes including:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet with less salt
  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you're overweight or obese
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink

But sometimes lifestyle changes aren't enough. If diet and exercise don't help, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.

Herbal Strategies Addressing Hypertension

Fight Hypertension with Hypotension Herbs

There are many herbs that have been observed to create a Hypotensive environment within the body, this is a short list of potential examples.

Ashwagandha Root, Dong Quai Root, and Korean Ginseng Root

Fight Hypertension with Vasodilator Herbs.

These are some of the herbs that can help expand the diameter of blood vessels, thus reducing any resistance, and lowering your blood pressure.

Bilberry Leaves, and Horse Chestnut.

Fight Hypertension by Strengthening the Heart.

Coleus Root, Hawthorn Berry, and Myrrh Gum Aerial Parts

 RELEVANT INFUSIONS

 Whole Body Protection®

 The Nervous System Stabilizer®

 The Endocrine System®

 The Vascular Strengthener®

The Cardiovascular System Revitalizer®

The Musculoskeletal Sysystem Gladiator®

 

 

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