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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 the blood on the 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 like kidney disease, atherosclerosis and hormonal imbalance. There are also several risk factors that may increase the chances of developing hypertension including diabetes, obesity, and a strong family history of the disease.

    It is important to understand that the blood pressure varies throughout the day depending on what a person is doing. For example, when exercising, feeling stressed, or in pain, blood pressure will increase temporarily for the duration of the condition. In these instances, there is no need for any medical attention. Treatment is only needed if the blood pressure is always higher than normal.

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

  • 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 (kidney) failure
    • Stroke
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