What Is Essential Hypertension?
hypertension is high blood pressure that doesn’t have a known secondary cause.
It is also referred to as primary hypertension.
is the force of blood against your artery walls as your heart pumps blood
through your body. Hypertension occurs when the force of blood is stronger than
it normally should be.
Most cases of
high blood pressure are classified as essential hypertension. The other kind of
hypertension is secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is high blood
pressure that has an identifiable cause, such as kidney disease.
cure for essential hypertension, but there are treatments.
What Are the Risk Factors Associated with
factors are thought to play a role in essential hypertension. Diet, stress, and
being overweight may increase your risks of developing essential hypertension.
What Are the Symptoms of Essential
is the major indicator of essential hypertension. It’s important to understand
how to take your blood pressure and read the results.
readings have two numbers, usually written this way: 120/80. The first number
is your systolic pressure. Systolic
pressure measures the force of blood against your artery walls as your
heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. The second number measures
your diastolic pressure.
Diastolic pressure measures the force of your blood against your artery walls between heartbeats,
as the heart muscle relaxes.
pressure readings can fluctuate higher or lower throughout the day. They change
after exercise, after rest, when you’re in pain, and even when you’re stressed
out or angry. Occasional high blood pressure readings don’t necessarily mean
you have hypertension. You won’t receive a diagnosis of hypertension unless
your blood pressure readings are consistently high.
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.
Prehypertension is higher than normal blood pressure, but not quite high
enough to be hypertension. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure of 120 to 139
mmHG or a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mmHG.
Stage-1 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 140 to 159 mmHG or a diastolic
pressure of 90 to 99 mmHG.
Stage-2 hypertension is higher than 160/90 mmHG.
Most people won’t
notice any symptoms of essential hypertension. They usually discover that their
blood pressure is high during a regular medical checkup. Essential hypertension
can begin at any age. It most often occurs first during the middle-aged years.
How Is Essential Hypertension Diagnosed?
will test your blood pressure using a blood pressure monitor. If your blood
pressure is high, your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure at home
during regular intervals. Doing so will help determine if the high blood
pressure reading is a common occurrence. Your doctor will teach you how to use
a blood pressure monitor if they ask you to measure your blood pressure at
home. You will record these readings and discuss them with your doctor at a
may perform a physical exam to check for signs of heart disease. This exam may
include looking at your eyes and listening to your heart. Small blood vessels
in the back of your eye can indicate damage from high blood pressure. Damage
here indicates similar damage elsewhere.
may also order the following tests to detect heart and kidney problems:
blood test to check your cholesterol levels
echocardiogram test that uses sound waves to make a picture of your heart
electrocardiogram test that records the electrical activity of your heart
test, urine test, or ultrasound to check your kidney function
How Is Essential Hypertension Treated?
If you have
prehypertension or hypertension, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes
to lower your blood pressure. Lifestyle changes your doctor may recommend
at least 30 minutes a day
a low-sodium, low-fat diet that’s rich in potassium and fiber (don’t increase
your potassium intake without your doctor’s permission if you have kidney
weight if you are overweight
your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman and two
drinks a day if you’re a man
your stress levels
changes don’t lower your blood pressure levels enough, your doctor may
prescribe you one or more antihypertensive medications. The most common blood
pressure medications include:
blockers, such as Lopressor
channel blockers, such as Norvasc
such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as Capoten
II receptor blockers, such as Cozaar
inhibitors, such as Tekturna
What Are the Complications Associated with
your blood pressure is, the harder your heart has to work. A stronger force of
blood can damage your arteries, blood vessels, and heart muscle. This can
eventually cause reduced blood flow through your body, leading to:
(hardening of the arteries from cholesterol buildup, which can lead to a heart
What Is the Long-Term Outlook?
You may need
to try several different medications until you find a single medicine or a
combination of medications that effectively lower your blood pressure. You may
need to continue your lifestyle changes or take your hypertensive medications
for the rest of your life. Some patients are able to use the medication to
lower their blood pressure and then maintain that lower pressure with a
healthier lifestyle, never needing blood pressure medication again.
There’s a good
chance that you can control your blood pressure. It’s also likely that you can
reduce or prevent your risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, eye damage,
and kidney damage. If you already have damage to your heart, eyes, or kidneys,
treatment may make the effects of the damage less severe.