WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?
Hypertension is high blood pressure. To flow in the artery, our blood needs to be pushed by the heart. The “squeezing” of the heart muscle generates a pressure which allows the blood to flow. Certain condition, like hardening of the arteries, causes an increase of this pressure, and this is Hypertension.
In the long term, hypertension will damage the arteries and so it is a risk factor for cardiac and vascular diseases.
WHAT CAUSES HYPERTENSION?
The cause of hypertension is generally unknown (primary) and results from a combination of genetic predisposition (Hypertension usually “runs in the family”) and lifestyle factor, including poor diet (high sodium intake), obesity, smoke and lack of exercise. Rarely, it is a consequence of other medical problems (secondary) such as hormonal disease (adrenal problem, thyroid problem, neuro-endocrine tumor) or even physical defects in arteries (renal artery stenosis).
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR HYPERTENSION?
Treatment for hypertension is almost always multidisciplinary. Most people need medication to help control the high blood pressure and at the same time are expected to make lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise or eating a healthier diet. High intake of salt can cause high blood pressure, as can smoking cigarettes or indulging in recreational drugs. Treatment for hypertension is based on the type of hypertension you have – primary or secondary.