Alternatively known as High blood pressure (HBP), Hypertension (HT or HTN) is a medical situation wherein blood pressure in arteries of an individual is significantly increased. It is one of the most common medical conditions seen in patients worldwide. With about 1 million people already suffering from the disease, the numbers can significantly rise to 1.57 billion by 2025, as suggested by the WHO (World Health Organisation).
Before delving into this topic, you must first understand a few simple but essential terms so that your understanding of the subject becomes easy.
Arteries – These are the blood vessels which are responsible for blood flow to different parts of our body.
Blood Pressure – This is the pressure caused against arteries while blood flows inside a body.
To answer what is hypertension, it is a situation wherein the blood pressure in an individual's body is abnormally high. Such a person might have high psychological stress. If this situation is persistent, it may lead to several other severe health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, etc.
To understand this simply, if the arteries are narrower while the heart pumps a significant amount of blood each time, the blood pressure is meant to rise.
These are broadly categorised into sections
Primary or Essential Hypertension – This class of hypertension is mostly seen in adults and has no proven or identifiable cause for occurrence. One may develop this symptom over time with age.
Secondary Hypertension – In this case, the blood pressure is comparatively higher than primary or essential hypertension. However, this kind is caused due to a medical condition or medications. The causes of hypertension could be kidney issues, thyroid issues, adrenal gland tumours, medications like cold remedies, birth control pills, painkiller overdose, etc.
There may be instances when a person does not show any symptom at all and yet have an increased level of blood pressure. However, few patients show headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath as its symptoms. Notably, these symptoms are not always seen in such patients and might occur only when the condition is life-threatening or extreme.
Environmental conditions and stress can be causes of hypertension which lead to a healthy person showing such symptoms. However, this can also be caused as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, consumption of fatty items, use of alcohol, tobacco, etc.
It is easy to diagnose the blood pressure of an individual using a medical instrument named sphygmomanometer. Usually, three various readings are taken to understand and identify the extent and causes of hypertension. In this regard, medical professionals also use blood tests, urine tests, ECG or electrocardiogram tests, kidney ultrasound imaging, etc.
Now that you know what is meant by hypertension, you must also note the precautionary measures which need to be taken by an individual.
Since hypertension is often connected with obesity, it is essential to adhere to weight loss programs and exercise.
You should avoid consuming food items rich in low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol.
Your diet must have an increased level of Vitamin D and calcium.
A balanced meal containing vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains are recommended.
While this helps you understand what is the meaning of hypertension and the related concepts effortlessly, you can also refer to our questionnaires for a glimpse of related exercises. You can also download our Vedantu app for better access to these notes, questionnaires and even online sessions for enhanced clarity on these topics.
1. What is the Definition of Hypertension?
Ans. Hypertension, often termed as high blood pressure condition, is a medical condition with increased blood pressure levels in arteries. If it persists for a prolonged duration, it can lead to various other life-threatening ailments which include heart diseases and even stroke.
2. What is the Primary Cause of Hypertension?
Ans. Unhealthy lifestyles with a high intake of fat and high cholesterol food items, chronic health conditions, medications, and high intake of salt are some causes of hypertension.
3. Which Instruments Help in the Diagnosis of Blood Pressure?
Ans. An instrument named sphygmomanometer is used for the diagnosis of high blood pressure. Apart from this, blood tests, urine tests, ECG or electrocardiogram tests, kidney ultrasound imaging, etc. can also be used for the same purpose.