It is a measure of the force exerted by your blood on your arteries. Heartbeats pump blood into the arteries. As your heart beats, your blood pressure is at its highest. Systolic pressure measures this. Your blood pressure drops when your heart is at rest, between beats. Diastolic pressure refers to this.
These two numbers are used to determine your blood pressure. Systolic numbers usually appear before or above diastolic numbers. 120/80 means 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, for instance.
In most cases, high blood pressure does not cause any symptoms. Blood pressure checks are the only way to detect it. Blood pressure will be measured with a cuff, a gauge, and a stethoscope or electronic sensor. A diagnosis is made after taking two or more readings at separate appointments or by using a blood pressure holter.
Children and teens are tested by comparing their blood pressure readings to other kids of their age, height, and gender.
Primary and secondary high blood pressure are the two main types.
- Most people with high blood pressure suffer from primary hypertension, or essential hypertension. Generally, this type of blood pressure develops with age.
- Another medical condition or medication can cause secondary high blood pressure. In most cases, it will improve after you treat the condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
Having high blood pressure for an extended period of time can lead to serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and kidney failure.
Lifestyle changes and medications are both effective treatments for high blood pressure.
A treatment plan will be developed with your provider. A lifestyle change may be all that is required. Making these types of changes, such as eating and exercising healthily, can have a significant impact on your heart. In some cases, however, the changes are not effective at controlling or lowering your high blood pressure. Taking medicine may be necessary then. Blood pressure medicines come in different types. It may be necessary for some people to take more than one type.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about high blood pressure, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych