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.
Preeclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women and affects the mother and unborn baby. This condition is characterized by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is also known as pregnancy induced hypertension and toxemia. This condition can either develop over time or come on rapidly. Preeclampsia is noticed more often in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Women suffering from Preeclampsia are likely to give birth to low birth weight babies since this condition hampers the placenta from receiving enough blood.
Pregnant women over the age of 40 or those carrying multiple babies are at higher risk for developing Preeclampsia. Women who are already suffering from hypertension or kidney disease are more susceptible for developing pre eclampsia. Lack of magnesium or calcium can lead to pre eclampsia. This can occur due to poor diet or immune problems. Hormonal disruption can also lead to preeclampsia. Symptoms of preeclampsia include sudden weight gain and swelling. The pregnant women is likely to experience headaches and vision problems. There might be upper abdominal pain, dizziness and vomiting.
In most cases, the woman is relieved of this condition on delivering the baby. If the symptoms of preeclampsia are noticed early in pregnancy, care must be taken to keep blood pressure under control. The physician will advice a woman during the time of pregnancy on the amount of salt to be consumed as well as the amount of water to be taken in a day. Often this may require hospitalization. The baby is closely monitored with ultrasound. Aspirin or additional calcium may be prescribed to prevent Preeclampsia in women who are more susceptible to developing it. Magnesium sulfate is given to women suffering from preeclampsia when they go into labor.
Blood clotting occurs due to a complex process of coagulation that heals a bleeding blood vessel with at clot. Blood platelets and plasma protein fibrinogen are vital to the blood clotting process. People can suffer from various blood clotting disorders such as formation of blood clots due to excessive blood clotting. The PT or Prothrombin Time Blood Test is done before any surgery to check a patient's bleeding and clotting factors. PTT or Partial Thromboplastin Time Blood Test checks for a clotting disorder.
Blood clots can form in the heart or legs or brain or even in the lungs. These clots can travel through the blood vessels and hamper the flow of blood. This can lead to damage in the organs. Blood clot in the veins of the arm or legs can lead to DVT or Deep Venous Thrombosis. Pulmonary embolism is a condition where a blood clot travels to the lungs. Blood clots during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or pre eclampsia.
Bleeding disorders can occur due to severe liver disease. Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder. Bleeding disorders can also be a side effect of medicines.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 6, 2023