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Understanding Hypertension and How to Manage It

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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition that can lead to severe health complications if left unchecked. It’s estimated that nearly half of the American population has this disease, making it one of the most prevalent diseases in the country. If you’re someone diagnosed with hypertension, it’s essential to understand the basics and take steps toward managing it. Here’s what you need to know about hypertension and how to manage it.

What Is Hypertension?

Hypertension is an abnormal increase in blood pressure as it flows through your arteries. High blood pressure can put you at risk for serious health issues such as stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and heart disease. It can also cause damage to other organs in your body, such as your eyes.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hypertension

The most common symptom of hypertension is a feeling of shortness of breath or dizziness when standing up quickly. However, many people may not have symptoms until their blood pressure rises. Another common symptom of hypertension that people tend to forget about is poor oral health. People who have hypertension tend to forget that it affects their oral health. Periodontitis can cause hypertension and vice versa. This can lead to complications in both treating periodontitis and hypertension. The main reason behind this complication is that hypertension can cause the blood vessels in your gums to shrink due to high pressure, preventing your body from defending against bacterial infections.

High blood pressure is a serious condition that needs to be managed by a doctor. Treatment usually involves changing lifestyle factors and taking medication. Lifestyle factors include

Because of this, people with hypertension should get their teeth checked. A tooth replacement service must replace any teeth they’ve lost. This ensures that their gums are protected from bacterial infection, as exposed gums can be a haven for many harmful bacteria in a person’s mouth.

To diagnose hypertension accurately, your doctor or healthcare provider will need to check your blood pressure regularly. They will use an electronic device called a sphygmomanometer to measure the force at which your heart pumps blood through your body. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone over 18 get their blood pressure checked at least once every two years.

An obese man getting measured

Risk Factors

Hypertension is a disease with various risk factors. Here are the most common:

Age

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at eliminating water and salt from our bloodstream. This causes the blood vessels to become thicker, leading to an increase in blood pressure. As a result, age is one of the most significant contributing factors to developing hypertension; people over 55 are most likely to experience it.

Gender

Men are more likely than women to develop hypertension before age 45, but after menopause, women are more likely than men to suffer from it due to their bodies’ changing hormone levels.

Genetics

You may be born with a predisposition to developing hypertension due to genetics. Genetics can also affect susceptibility to other risk factors, such as obesity or diabetes. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with hypertension, it is wise to discuss this with your doctor. They may recommend that you get screened more frequently than the general population so that any signs of impending hypertension can be detected early on.

Family History

If you have close relatives who suffer from hypertension, you are far more likely to develop it yourself. Therefore, it’s essential for those with a family history of hypertension or other heart-related conditions to monitor their health closely and educate younger generations on prevention and lifestyle changes that can reduce the likelihood of developing these conditions.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

Certain lifestyle choices have been linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension. These include smoking, eating an unhealthy diet high in salt and processed foods, excessive alcohol consumption, and not getting enough exercise. However, changes such as quitting smoking, eating more fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol intake, and exercising regularly will help reduce your risk of developing hypertension over time.

Managing Hypertension

Once you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, there are several steps you can take toward managing it effectively. First and foremost, changing your lifestyle habits is essential; diet and exercise are critical components in managing hypertension long-term. For example, eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and reducing sodium intake can help lower your blood pressure naturally over time. Additionally, exercising for at least 30 minutes five days per week can reduce stress levels and help keep your blood pressure under control. Finally, if lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to manage your condition effectively, medications prescribed by your doctor may be necessary to bring down dangerous levels of high blood pressure more quickly.

High Blood Pressure is a severe condition that affects millions of people each year. However, understanding the basics about this condition can help you take steps towards managing it effectively so that you don’t experience any long-term health complications associated with untreated hypertension.


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