Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Hypertension is a medical term for abnormally high blood pressure. When the blood pressure readings consistently show elevated readings over a period of time, hypertension is the resultant condition. Normal blood pressures hovers around the range of 120/80 mmHg. Pre-hypertension is a Situation when your blood pressure hovers around 130 for systolic pressure and between 80 and 89 for diastolic pressure. Factors that can affect blood pressure are many - salt content of the body, volume of water in the body and the condition of the kidneys, nervous system and blood vessels.
It is essential not to ignore signs of hypertension - high blood pressure, since it increases the strain on the heart and lead to stroke or heart attack. Secondary hypertension is noticed among 5% of the people. The causes can be linked to kidney disease or adrenal gland disease or even narrowing of the aorta. It is sometimes seen due to use of steroids, contraceptive pills. Hypertension induced by pregnancy or pre-eclampsia is another cause for secondary hypertension among women.
Hypertension is known to run in families and chances of your developing hypertension are high if your close relatives suffer from it. Other causes of hypertension are obesity and excess stress. Those who consume large quantities of alcohol or salt are also at higher risk of getting hypertension.
Symptoms of hypertension
If you are obese, it is necessary to lose weight and make dietary changes. Decrease levels of fat and sodium. A modest restriction of salt may decrease blood pressure. Instead increase the proportion of fiber, fruits and vegetables. Limit your alcohol intake to one or two glasses a day. Introduce exercise into your daily routine to treat hypertension. Regular, moderate aerobic exercise can modestly decrease blood pressure and has many other beneficial effects. Gradual weight loss through modified calorie intake and increased physical activity is a good approach to tackle high blood pressure.
Also called as Water Pills as this group of drugs lower the blood pressure by excreting excess water and sodium. Originally Diuretics enhance the rate of urine excretion - diuresis. These drugs are prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, (High blood pressure), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Edema, a condition in which excess fluid is accumulated in the body tissues.
Even caffeine, alcohol and some fruit extracts and juices like that of cranberry juice have mild diuretic effect.
Types of Diuretics
Loop type diuretics:
Sometimes a combination of the diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide and triamterene is also prescribed.
Known popularly as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is the only vitamin that the body is capable of producing on its own on being exposed to sunshine. Vitamin D, also called cholecalciferol is produced when the body is exposed to sunlight before it can produce this vitamin. Vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in the body's fatty tissue. Vitamin D helps build strong bones as it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Vitamin D works in tandem with other nutrients and hormones in the body and supports healthy bone renewal. Recent studies have concluded that Vitamin D protects against a host of health ailments.
These include diabetes type 2, hypertension or high blood pressure, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are needed for reducing the risk of hypertension. Those who do not have adequate exposure to sunlight might suffer Vitamin D deficiency which leads to osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children. Excessive levels of Vitamin D can lead to higher calcium levels that can lead to vomiting and kidney stones. Egg yolks, fish oils and fortified foods like milk contain Vitamin D. The role of Vitamin D in overall good health is often ignored. It is crucial in the immune system regulation as well as maintaining brain function well into later years. Vitamin D might have a bearing on your risk to cancer. In a study carried out by Cancer Treatment Center of America, it was noticed that cancer patients showed Vitamin D deficiency. This could result because the active form of Vitamin D is instrumental in inhibiting proliferation and plays a role in cellular differentiation.
Test for Vitamin D deficiency
The 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test accurately measures the quantity of Vitamin D in your body. This test changes Vitamin D into an active form of the vitamin which is measured through the blood. It is the active form of Vitamin D that helps control calcium and phosphate levels in your body. The normal range is between 30.0 and 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Vitamin D helps absorbs calcium. Since calcium and Vitamin D have other health benefits, they both are essential. For healthy bones, Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand, as Vitamin D must be present for calcium to be absorbed from the digestive tract.
Studies reveal that Vitamin D can regulate stress hormone production and regulate glucocorticoid, and either too high or too less stress hormone is associated with poorer mental health. Vitamin D has significant immune enhancing benefits and therefore it may play a role in improving mental health through its anti inflammatory effects.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 26, 2023