Hypertension: An Overview
The physics of the problem that blood pressure is, can be quite baffling for the layman. Pressure, area, force, pounding. Terms that efficiently explain the problem, but which leave the novices perplexed as well. Keeping this obvious vagueness that enshrouds the hypertension problem, we thought it best to not just define but discuss this healthcare challenge in detail. Read on, if you want to improve your understanding of hypertension and the effects of high blood pressure.
Now that we are done with the introductory formalities, let us start by defining hypertension in the simplest possible words. Blood circulating against your arteries in an abnormally high manner. There, we hope that you got our point. Because blood pressure is a force, there will be after-effects if our arteries suddenly have to sustain an increased force. It is worth mentioning here that a higher blood pressure means that your heart is pumping more blood while the arteries represent a very narrow state of affairs.
Types of Hypertension
Before we delve deep into the symptoms and causative factors of hypertension, it sounds logical to talk about its types. Well, high blood pressure is categorized into two categories. These are:
When a person suffers from high blood pressure in the middle or senior years, it is termed primary hypertension. Teens can suffer from this condition as well, although this type of hypertension is chiefly attributed to advancing age. Other causative factors for primary hypertension remain unknown.
This type of hypertension is primarily because of an underlying condition. It is sudden and more intense as compared to primary hypertension. Some medical conditions that can lead to hypertension include renal disorders, thyroid disorders, and congenital blood vessel defects. Susceptibility to secondary hypertension can increase further if a person is in a regular habit of using over-the-counter analgesics.
There aren’t many, to be honest! Alright, some will complain about headaches, and some will they are short of breath. But the majority of high blood pressure patients cannot tell they are suffering from this condition, at all! Of course, when things become too hot to handle, diagnosis is made and hypertension is established for sure. Typically, systolic blood pressure readings greater than 140mmHg and diastolic blood pressure readings greater than 90 mmHg are indicative of hypertension.
Hypertension Risk Factors
According to the World Health Organization, some of the risk factors for hypertension include:
- Diets rich in saturated fats
- Diets rich in trans-fats
- Lack of exercise
- Alcohol abuse
These risk factors are dubbed as modifiable, meaning that you can turn around things by making required changes. On the other hand, the list of non-modifiable risk factors include:
- Family history of high blood pressures
- Age well over 65 years
- Renal disorders
High Blood Pressure & Complications
We now switch our focus to the point around which this whole discussion has been orchestrated. Complications and consequences of high blood pressure. Before we name them, there is a simple rule that you have to remember all the time. The longer the high blood pressure is ignored, the direr would be the effects and consequences. With those words of wisdom, we now discuss the complications:
This condition refers to the thickening of arteries. Elevated levels of blood pressure for a longer period can lead to this condition, which can then lead to even more fatal conditions like a stroke or heart attack.
- Heart failure
Once the normal threshold is breached, a person’s heart has to pump with all of its might to supply blood to all body parts. That’s where things get messed up to an extent that heart muscles begin to thicken because of all the hard work. Eventually, this condition leads to heart failure.
- Vision impairment
Think of blood vessels as water pipes. What happens when you fill them beyond their capacity? They burst, they are torn. The same happens with our blood vessels when blood pressure is too high. Once the blood supply is disconnected, consequences can be extremely disturbing as in the instance of vision impairment.
- Memory loss
Because high blood pressure affects a person’s ability of thinking and learning greatly, the risk of memory loss over a long period of hypertension cannot be ruled out.
- Renal Complications
Again, these arise primarily because of the weakened blood vessels in the kidneys. Things can go from bad to worse in no time if renal functioning is impaired.
Some of the preventive measures that can save one from the curse of hypertension include:
- Quit smoking
- Exercise daily
- Avoid alcohol
- Limit saturated food intake
- Increase vegetables and fruits on your platter
Following measures can help manage hypertension effectively:
- Stress management
- Management of underlying conditions
- Keeping an eye on your BP regularly
High Blood Pressure: A Major Challenge in Low & Middle Income Countries
According to the WHO, almost 1.13 billion people suffered from hypertension in the year 2015[i]. The major chunk of this number was a resident of low and middle-income countries, predominantly because of the high prevalence of risk factors that we have discussed earlier in this discussion. The underprivileged section of these countries doesn’t have enough funds to manage or treat the after-effects associated with hypertension. It is in these testing times that organizations like Transparent Hands put up their hands!
How Transparent Hands works?
Transparent Hands is the largest technological platform for crowdfunding in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. It offers a complete range of free healthcare services including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities to the underprivileged community of Pakistan. The platform provides visibility to underprivileged patients and builds a personal and trusted bond between patients and donors while ensuring complete transparency. It also sets up free medical camps in the rural areas of Pakistan in which, free medical consultation, free medicines, and free diagnostic tests are provided to deserving patients. Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment, and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely.