Hypertension: All you need to know about blood pressure
What is blood pressure?
Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in blood vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as it is pumped by the heart.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. The higher the pressure in blood vessels the harder the heart has to work in order to pump blood. If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to a heart attack, an enlargement of the heart and eventually heart failure.
The pressure in the blood vessels can also cause blood to leak out into the brain. This can cause a stroke. Hypertension can also lead to kidney failure, blindness, rupture of blood vessels.
Causes of blood pressure
Consumption of food containing too much salt and fat, and not eating enough fruit and vegetables, harmful levels of alcohol use, physical inactivity and lack of exercise, poor stress management.
Detection and treatment
Early detection of hypertension can minimize the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure. Digital blood pressure measurement machines enable this to be done outside clinic settings. For some people, lifestyle changes are not sufficient for controlling blood pressure and prescription medication is needed.