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Unveiling Hypertension: Understanding its Origins, Symptoms, and Effective Management

Dr. Craig Smith, MD

4 Min read

Hypertension, colloquially known as high blood pressure, represents a pressing global health concern, standing as a primary catalyst for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. This article seeks to offer a thorough exploration of hypertension, encompassing its causes, symptoms, risk factors, complications, diagnosis, and adept management strategies.

I. Definition and Measurement:

Hypertension manifests as sustained elevated blood pressure, wherein the force of blood against arterial walls consistently exceeds normal levels. Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), blood pressure is articulated as systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. The conventional blood pressure baseline is around 120/80 mmHg, with hypertension diagnosis established when readings consistently surpass 130/80 mmHg.

II. Causes and Risk Factors:

Numerous factors contribute to hypertension development, including genetics, age, lifestyle, obesity, chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea.

III. Symptoms:

Hypertension may remain asymptomatic initially but can progress to include headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain.

IV. Complications:

Untreated hypertension can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and vision loss.

V. Diagnosis:

Diagnosis involves regular blood pressure monitoring and tests to identify underlying causes or organ damage.

VI. Management and Treatment:

Management includes lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, weight management, adopting a healthy diet like the DASH diet, and medication for severe cases.

VII. Prevention:

Prevention focuses on healthy lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet, physical activity, stress management, and avoidance of excessive alcohol and tobacco use.

Conclusion: Hypertension requires proactive management to prevent complications. Regular check-ups, a health-conscious lifestyle, and adherence to treatments are essential for maintaining optimal blood pressure levels and mitigating associated cardiovascular disease risks. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial for appropriate evaluation and guidance.

About the Author

In 1984, Dr. Craig Smith founded Lifesource. As a coach, he's worked with world-class athletes and guided thousands towards successful weight loss. Driven by a desire to elevate his understanding of the human body, he returned to the rigors of medical school in his 50s, achieving his goal of becoming a physician at 56. Now in his 60s, Dr. Smith leads by personal example, continuing to inspire, educate and empower individuals from all walks of life to achieve their health and fitness goals. If you wish to train and diet online with Dr. Smith, hear his message and schedule a 45-minute consultation on the New You page.