As a matter of fact, more than a quarter of UAE nationals suffer from high BP also known as hypertension. Since hypertension cases are on the rise, we have put forth this article that contains everything about this “silent killer”. Some are aware about hypertension while many are not. It is high time we prioritise our health over anything else. Eating the right quality and quantity of food, making necessary lifestyle choices, deep sleep, and managing stress and emotions is the need of the hour. Also, it is important to have a blood pressure monitor at home to keep a constant check on your BP levels.
The following sections and information will guide through everything that you need to know to be aware about hypertension. Ensure you read through every single sentence without skipping anything.
Systolic and Diastolic Pressure
When it comes to blood pressure measurement, there are two parts involved. Systolic pressure i.e. blood pressure when the heart contracts and diastolic pressure i.e. the blood pressure between heartbeats. For instance, if your blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg, this means your systolic pressure is 120 mm Hg, and your diastolic pressure is 80 mm Hg.
There are different ways in which you can measure your blood pressure. If you consider the traditional method of visiting the clinic to check your blood pressure then the doctor will use a manual sphygmomanometer with a stethoscope to do so. Also, the doctor will put the pressure cuff around the person’s arm. However, nowadays, people prefer monitoring their blood pressure from home itself. You don’t have to visit the clinic anymore to check your blood pressure. All you need to do is purchase a blood pressure monitor that is specially designed for home use.
When you use it to check your blood pressure, you will get a reading that has one of the following.
- Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg.
- Elevated: 120-129/80 mm Hg. At this stage, or in other words, when you get an elevated reading, you need to make lifestyle changes to return your blood pressure to the normal range.
- Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139/80-89 mm Hg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: Over 140/90 mm Hg.
- Hypertensive crisis: 180/120 mm Hg or above. An individual with a hypertensive crisis requires immediate medical attention.
Also, it is better if a person takes more than one reading since various factors can affect the blood pressure results. Doing this will help you confirm your diagnosis. Note that blood pressure can fluctuate after eating something, or when a person is anxious or stressed. Additionally, it can also fluctuate depending upon the time of the day.
As and when you check your blood pressure using the BP monitor at home, keep a track of your readings. If your reading is 180/120 mm Hg or above then you need to visit the doctor immediately since it is the case of a Hypertensive crisis. Your doctor will take immediate action if there are signs of organ damage or any other complications.
Additional Tests for Confirmation of a Diagnosis
Blood and Urine Tests: These tests can check for underlying problems such as kidney damage or urine infection.
Exercise Stress Test: This tests involves measuring your blood pressure before, during, and after using a treadmill or a stationary bicycle. These test results are extremely beneficial since they give important clues about heart health.
Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG tests the electrical activity in the heart. A doctor may advise a person with hypertension and high cholesterol levels to use an ECG. This is because an ECG is a baseline for comparing future results. The changes in future results may show that coronary artery disease is developing or that the heart wall is thickening.
Holter monitoring: Here, the individual carries an ECG portable device that connects to their chest through electrodes for about 24 hours. This ECG portable device provides an overview of blood pressure throughout the day. Additionally, it also shows how it changes as the level of activity varies.
Echocardiogram: As a matter of fact, ultrasound waves show the heart in motion. The doctor will be able to detect problems like defective heart valves, thickening of the heart wall, excessive fluid around the heart, and blood clots.
Side Effects of Hypertension
A healthy blood pressure is necessary for maintaining all the body functions. High blood pressure (hypertension) can have a severe impact on the following:
- The Cardiovascular System: Firstly, hypertension can cause the arteries to harden. This, in turn, increases the risk of a blockage.
- Heart: A blockage can reduce the blood flow to the heart, thereby increasing the risk of a heart failure, angina, or a heart attack.
- Brain: Blockage in the arteries can lower or prevent the blood flow to the brain. This can lead to a stroke which is commonly seen in most of the high BP patients.
- The Kidneys: High BP can result in chronic kidney disease and kidney damage.
All these side effects are life threatening which is why you need to keep a regular check on your blood pressure levels.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is Genetic: Myth or Fact?
The main risk factors for high BP are more likely to be environmental. However, genetic factors play a major role. Hypertension can run in the family. Further, people from certain racial and ethnic backgrounds are known to have a higher risk of hypertension. It is natural that people belonging to the same family share similar lifestyles like dietary choices. In case a person with genetic factors increases their susceptibility to high BPand if he/she makes lifestyle choices that increase the risk of high blood pressure. Then that individual will have a greater chance of developing hypertension.
Are Decongestants Safe if You Have High Blood Pressure?
Decongestants are an OTC (over-the-counter) remedy that are beneficial for people who have a stuffy or runny nose. However, it is crucial to know that some decongestants can raise blood pressure. Always look out for the contents/ingredients that the decongestants contain. Ingredients you should avoid if you have high blood pressure are oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, and pseudoephedrine. The best thing you can do is tell a doctor or a pharmacist that you have high blood pressure so that they can give you a suitable decongestant that doesn’t have these ingredients.
Commitment for Betterment
We hope you went through everything that we have specified here about hypertension. As a matter of fact, hypertension is a lifestyle disease. Hence, you’ve got to make the necessary lifestyle choices to prevent or reduce it. Don’t forget to go through the best blood pressure monitor for home use in UAE since it will help you purchase the right BP machine depending upon your requirements.