Normal blood pressure maintains the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart to different organs. If the blood pressure is low, then blood flow to the organs remains suboptimal. If the blood pressure is high, it can cause damage to different organs in the long run. The organs which are prone to be affected by high blood pressure are the central nervous system, heart, kidney and eye. So it is essential to maintain normal blood pressure. Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, explains about blood pressure and its relation with heart:
How To Check If One Has BP?
95% of persons having high BP may not have any symptoms. Only 5% of patients having high BP may have symptoms like headache, fatigue, giddiness, confusion, vision problem etc. So you may not have any symptoms to warn you that you have high BP. The only way to know is periodic BP check-up. You should check your BP at least once a year even if your BP recordings are familiar.
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What Is Normal Pressure Levels?
Average blood pressure numbers are systolic less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic less than 80 mm Hg. BP is known to be elevated when the Systolic is between 120 to 130 and diastolic less than 80 mm hg. It is the stage I high BP if systolic is 130 to 140 mm hg or diastolic is 80 to 90 mm hg, It is stage II high BP if systolic is more than 140 and diastolic is more than 90 mm hg. Hypertensive crisis is a situation when systolic BP is more than 180 mm hg and/or diastolic BP is more than 120 mm Hg.
The most common cause of high BP is the normal ageing process. Studies have shown 50% of people beyond the age of 50 are affected with high BP. It is mainly due to the stiffening of blood vessels with the ageing process. Secondary causes of high blood pressure are kidney disease, brain tumours, hormonal abnormalities, sleep apnea, certain drugs etc. In children, congenital malformations like coarctation of the aorta, a condition when the main artery coming out of the heart is narrowed can cause hypertension.
Tips To Control High BP
In early stages, hypertension may be controlled with a low salt diet, low-fat diet, high intake of fruits and vegetables, regular aerobic exercise. However, once BP is more than 140 systolic and 90 diastolic, most patients will need the addition of one or more medicines to normalise BP. High blood pressure needing drugs does not normalise spontaneously. So it would help if you continued treatments to keep BP regular.
High BP if remains untreated, can cause organ damage. The organs prone to get damaged because of high BP are the central nervous system which includes the brain, heart, kidney and eye.
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Low salt diet, low-fat diet, regular aerobic exercise, high intake of fruits and vegetables, maintaining ideal body weight are essential to maintain normal BP. However, even after maintaining all healthy habits, there is a possibility of having high BP with advancing age. Do not hesitate to take medicines if it is required to maintain normal BP.
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