High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) – Symptoms, Causes & Diet

high blood pressure hypertension symptoms causes diet


High blood pressure (HBP) or Hypertension (HTN or HT) is a long term medical condition where the pressure exerted by the blood over the arteries is continually elevated. Blood Pressure is measured as systolic and diastolic pressure. The Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) is the pressure when the heart contracts and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) is the pressure noticed between the heartbeats. For an average person, the blood pressure is 120 /80 mmHg. Symptoms of high blood pressure are visible in some patients, while other patients might show no symptoms even though they have a high blood pressure.

Hypertension Types


    • Normal-pressure range: SBP between 120 – 139 mmHg
        DBP ranges from 80-89 mmHG.

        • Primary (Stage I): SBP 140 -159 mmHG.

DBP 90-99 mmHg.

        • Secondary (Stage II): SBP more than or equal to 160 mmHg

DBP more than or equal to 100 mmHg.




Primary HTN is elevation without an identified cause while the Secondary HTN is with an exact cause. Though many do not experience symptoms when the blood pressure rises high, it’s dangerous, and hence, it is also called the ‘Silent killer’.


Signs and Symptoms


In Adults:


        • Nausea
        • Headache
        • Nosebleeds
        • Vomiting
        • Dizziness
        • Breathlessness
        • Bell’s palsy
        • Blurred vision
        • Wheezing respiration
        • Heart palpitation


In Children:

        • Fatigue
        • Headaches
        • Nosebleed
        • Bell’s Palsy
        • Blurred vision or double vision.


In New-Borns:

        • Lethargy
        • Irritability
        • Seizures
        • Respiratory distress


Secondary Causes:


        • Renal diseases
        • Endocrine disorders like Cushing’s Syndrome
        • Neurological disorders like brain and head injury
        • Sleep apnea
        • Congenital problems
        • Medications like oral contraceptive pills, NSAID, and cocaine
        • Cirrhosis of liver
        • Few medicines and supplements
        • Stress and anxiety


Risk factors:


        • Age
        • Alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption raises the risk of heart failure, stroke and alters heartbeats.
        • Smoking: Smoking leads to narrowing of blood vessels that result in an increase in pressure of the flow of blood. Moreover, the oxygen intake is reduced, and hence, the heart would have to compensate by pumping faster, leading to an increase in pressure.
        • Diabetes: Diabetes affects the nervous system, thereby resulting in cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, retinopathy etc. due to high blood sugar levels. Hence, the pressure on blood vessels is on the rise for diabetic persons.
        • Nutrients Imbalance: Excessive delay intake of Sodium, very less quantity of salt and potassium in the diet leads to an increase in exerted pressure.
        • Gender: Males are often more at risk than females.
        • Race: Individuals with African-American heritage are more prone to HBP than whites.
        • Family history: People who have close relatives suffering from hypertension are liable to get this as a condition.
        • Obesity: People who are overweight and obese have an increased risk of High blood pressure.
        • Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of exercise increases the risk of HBP.
        • Stress and anxiety: Too much of stress and anxiety is also a cause of hypertension.
        • Diet: Poor dietary habits and dependency on foods that lack nutritious values and having oily foods with saturated fats and trans fats commonly found in processed and animal sources lead to HBP.
        • Pregnancy: A pregnant woman with a placental disorder develops increased blood pressure to dangerous levels.
        • Sleeping disorders: Sleep apnoea is a disorder where people tend to stop breathing during sleep unknowingly can lead to High blood pressure





People who suffer from high blood pressure need a regular check-up to help maintain their blood pressure always under control as excessive pressure damages the artery walls to a greater extent if left unnoticed.

        • Cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and heart failure): Chances of Coronary Artery Disease after 50 years of age increases as the blood vessels lose their flexibility and are prone to pressure.

          • Aneurysm
          • Blood clots
          • Stroke
          • Kidney diseases
          • Ophthalmic problems where thickened and torn blood vessels affect eyes and sight.
          • Metabolic syndrome
          • Memory problem and brain functions distorted.


Preferred treatment:


Treatments are to be done according to the severity of blood pressure.  For slightly elevated pressure, a lifestyle change where exercise and a routine workout to lower risk of cardiovascular problems is advised.  For people with moderately high blood pressure, medication along with lifestyle changes are recommended as in future they are bound to be at a higher risk of cardiac problems.


Lifestyle changes required:


Exercise: Exercising regularly for 30 minutes for 3 or 4 days a week keeps blood pressure under control.  People need to check and evaluate their physical health and confirm with the doctor of their status of fitness before starting on the exercises. A daily exercise routine may be selected according to the need of the person for a highly effective response.

Losing weight:
Other studies reveal that losing weight and maintaining a moderate weight is essential for a beneficial blood pressure control. Along with that, medication would prove more effective.

Diet: A healthy diet comprising of plenty of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, plant sources of fats, nuts, unrefined carbohydrates and omega oil help in regaining health and maintain moderate healthy body weight.  Low salt intake is preferred as it acts directly on systolic blood pressure

Relaxation Techniques: Yoga, meditation and a guided breathing pattern regularly help one to relax and get free of stress and anxiety, leading to a maintained physical health. These may be effective in a more significant aspect during the initial stages of high blood pressure.

Tests to be undertaken:

        • Urine tests
        • Blood tests
        • Exercise stress test
        • Electrocardiogram
        • Holter monitoring
        • Echocardiogram

Hypertension is a health problem that can be maintained with a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and managing to lose excess weight. In addition to these, sound and relaxed sleep are also necessary. SRL Diagnostics offers a wide range of extensive health-care packages that include all-encompassing health tests. Take these tests today to get an accurate evaluation of your heart’s health.

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