- Hypertension ̶ or elevated blood pressure ̶ is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risks of heart, brain, kidney, and other diseases.
- An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries.
- In 2015, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women had hypertension.
- Fewer than 1 in 5 people with hypertension have the problem under control.
- Hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide.
- One of the global targets for non-communicable diseases is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% between 2010 and 2025.
- Severe headaches.
- Fatigue or confusion.
- Vision problems.
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. You could be having a hypertensive crisis that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. You may also have another serious health condition.
Most of the time, high blood pressure doesn’t cause headaches or nosebleeds. But, this can happen in a hypertensive crisis when blood pressure is above 180/120. If your blood pressure is extremely high and you have these symptoms, rest for 5 minutes and check again. If your blood pressure is still unusually high, it’s a medical emergency. Call 911.
It’s important to remember that high blood pressure doesn’t usually have symptoms. So, everyone should get it checked regularly. The American Heart Association recommends that adults with normal blood pressure should get blood pressure checked each year at routine health visits. You may also have it checked at a health resource fair or other locations in your community.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor might recommend that you monitor it more often at home. At-home monitors may work better than store-based machines. Your doctor will also recommend making lifestyle changes along with medications to lower your blood pressure.
Untreated hypertension can lead to serious diseases, including stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and eye problems.
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. …
- Exercise regularly. …
- Eat a healthy diet. …
- Reduce sodium in your diet. …
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. …
- Quit smoking. …
- Cut back on caffeine. …
- Reduce your stress.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high.
Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.
Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmHg.
What are the risk factors for hypertension?
Modifiable risk factors include unhealthy diets (excessive salt consumption, a diet high in saturated fat and trans fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables), physical inactivity, consumption of tobacco and alcohol, and being overweight or obese.
Non-modifiable risk factors include a family history of hypertension, age over 65 years, and co-existing diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease.
What are the common symptoms of hypertension?
Hypertension is called a “silent killer”. Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is essential that blood pressure is measured regularly.
When symptoms do occur, they can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.
The only way to detect hypertension is to have a health professional measure blood pressure. Having blood pressure measured is quick and painless. Although individuals can measure their own blood pressure using automated devices, an evaluation by a health professional is important for the assessment of risk and associated conditions.
What are the complications of uncontrolled hypertension?
Among other complications, hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart. Excessive pressure can harden arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. This elevated pressure and reduced blood flow can cause:
- Chest pain is also called angina.
- Heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die from lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, which occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to other vital body organs.
- An irregular heartbeat can lead to sudden death.
Hypertension can also burst or block arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain, causing a stroke.
In addition, hypertension can cause kidney damage, leading to kidney failure.
Why is hypertension an important issue in low- and middle-income countries?
The prevalence of hypertension varies across regions and country income groups. The WHO African Region has the highest prevalence of hypertension (27%) while the WHO Region of the Americas has the lowest prevalence of hypertension (18%).
The number of adults with hypertension increased from 594 million in 1975 to 1.13 billion in 2015, with the increase seen largely in low- and middle-income countries. This increase is due mainly to a rise in hypertension risk factors in those populations.
How can the burden of hypertension be reduced?
Reducing hypertension prevents heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage, as well as other health problems.
- Reducing salt intake (to less than 5g daily).
- Eating more fruit and vegetables.
- Being physically active on a regular basis.
- Avoiding the use of tobacco.
- Reducing alcohol consumption.
- Limiting the intake of foods high in saturated fats.
- Eliminating/reducing trans fats in the diet.
- Reducing and managing stress.
- Regularly checking blood pressure.
- Treating high blood pressure.
- Managing other medical conditions.
Massage for Hypertension
There is growing scientific evidence for the health benefits of massage.
A 2010 study trusted Source found that when integrated into acute care, massage therapy may help a person:
- deal with physical and mental health challenges
- experience less pain
- manage emotions
Research from 2018 found that the use of hand and foot massage in clinical settings can reduce anxiety and improve vital signs for patients.
Also, a 2016 review suggested that healthcare professionals recommend massage therapy over no treatment as a pain management option.
- Massage may help protect against high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. …
- A number of studies indicate that Swedish massage (a gentle, relaxing massage type) may be useful for lowering blood pressure.
5 Pressure Points That Will Instantly Lower Your Blood Pressure
In America alone, one in 3 people have high blood pressure (32% of adults), and only 54% of them have their problem under control. And this problem can raise its head very unexpectedly, so it is crucial to know at least some quick fixes — like acupressure points — to lower your blood pressure.
High blood pressure, along with severe discomfort, can also put you at risk of heart disease and strokes. So what are you supposed to do when you’re not feeling well and there’s nothing on hand to help?
The point between your big toe and second toe is called Liver 3 (LV 3) and shouldn’t be neglected in hypertension treatments. Apply pressure to it for one minute to help your body with a range of problems from blood pressure to menstrual pains and anxiety. In general, your feet have a variety of pressure points, which, when massaged, can bring a great improvement to your health.
LI 4 (Large Intestine 4) is an easily reachable point on your hand. You can apply pressure with the thumb of your other hand for some time, or treat it with a pulsating movement. Stimulating this spot treats chronic pain and boosts immunity, along with relieving high blood pressure.
PC 6 (Pericardium 6 or “Inner Gate”) is a pressure point on your inner forearm. To find it, go approximately 3 finger widths from your wrist, and aim for the middle. It helps your heart and settles your blood pressure by regulating your circulatory system. It can also treat nausea, headaches, and motion sickness.
GB 20 (Gallbladder 20 or the “Wind Pool”) are actually 2 points on your neck on both sides of the vertebra and right under the base of your skull. To “activate” these points, you need to apply medium pressure for about one minute at a time. Keep your hands steady, and don’t involve any other motion. When doing it to yourself, use your thumbs. This can also release neck tension and treat fevers and eye problems.
GV 20 (Governing Vessel 20 or “Hundred Convergences”) is a pressure point on the top of your head. You can find it in the middle of your head by imagining a line going from ear to ear. You can massage or press this point to lower blood pressure, treat dizziness, or just to feel more rested.
Massage increases blood flow. If you have high blood pressure that is not under control, the increased blood flow that is a result of massage therapy may cause problems.
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*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.