Hypertension or high blood pressure is a growing phenomenon that will affect an estimated 1.56 billion people worldwide by 2025. High blood pressure often produces no symptoms, and may go undetected for years. In the meantime, it is wreaking havoc on your heart, blood vessels, and kidneys, and may cause irreparable damage. Regular screenings are the key to discovering hypertension early before damage occurs.
You may be predisposed to hypertension if you are overweight, obese, a smoker, or have a family history of it. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with too much salt in the diet can also lead to high blood pressure. Hypertension is more common in blacks than in any other race, but your risk for developing it increases with age regardless of your race.
A combination of medication and lifestyle changes is typically recommended to treat hypertension. You may be asked to lose weight, begin an exercise program, or stop smoking. Modifications to your diet might also be necessary in order to eliminate excess sodium and bring the blood pressure back down to normal again. More frequent monitoring is also needed to ensure your blood pressure levels remain in check.
If your blood pressure remains high despite taking more than one type of medication for it, you could have what is known as resistant hypertension. This condition often requires more thorough testing to determine the cause of your high blood pressure. Frequently, adjustments to medication and/or adding a diuretic to your regimen will bring even resistant hypertension under control.