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High Blood Pressure

  • What is High Blood Pressure?

    High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension, means that the amount of force exerted by your blood on your artery walls while flowing through is higher than normal. With time, Hypertension can lead to Atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty deposits in the artery walls), which can lead to serious complications including heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

  • The causes of Hypertension are unknown in 95% of patients. In 5% of cases, some specific conditions can be responsible for the high blood pressure, such as kidney disease, atherosclerosis and hormonal imbalance. There are also several risk factors that may increase your chances of developing hypertension including diabetes, obesity as well as a strong family history of the disease.

    It is important to understand that the blood pressure varies throughout the day depending on what you are doing. For example, if you are exercising, feeling stressed, or in pain, your blood pressure will increase temporarily for the duration of the condition. In these instances, you do not require any medical attention; treatment is only needed if your blood pressure is constantly raised.

  • Hypertension usually does not lead to any symptoms, but in the long term it can damage various organs and lead to the following:

    • Headache and giddiness (in severe cases)
    • Heart attack
    • Heart failure
    • Kidney disease
    • Stroke
  • Your doctor will evaluate your condition and discuss with you the range of treatment options available. These include a combination of:

    • lifestyle changes to improve your general health:
      1. Eating a healthy diet (limit your intake of salt, cholesterol, and all fat types, and increase fibre intake)
      2. Exercise regularly
      3. Limit your alcohol consumption
      4. Maintain a healthy weight
      5. Quit smoking
    • monitoring of blood pressure at home
    • visiting your doctor for regular check-ups to better manage your condition and avoid any potential complications

    Antihypertensive medications may also be prescribed, and these need to be taken regularly and permanently.

    • Heart disease (coronary heart disease)
    • Heart failure
    • Peripheral artery disease
    • Renal failure
    • Stroke
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