• Primary hypertension, also called "essential" hypertension, is the term used for high blood pressure that develops over time and for which the cause remains unknown. According to the American Heart Association, however, there is evidence linking primary hypertension to heredity.


    Often symptomless, stage 1 hypertension is characterized by a blood pressure reading of 140mm HG to 159mm Hg (systolic) over 90mm HG to 99mm Hg (diastolic). A patient is considered to have reached stage 2 when systolic blood pressure reads 160mm Hg or higher and diastolic reads 100mm Hg or higher. Severe hypertension is often accompanied by dull headaches, dizziness and nose bleeds.


    You can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, abstaining from tobacco and alcohol, reducing sodium in the diet, eating a healthy, vitamin-rich diet, avoiding stress, and treating other chronic diseases.


    Treatment for primary hypertension most often involves following the guidelines for prevention and using medications to lower blood pressure. Possible medications include diuretics, alpha and/or beta blockers, certain types of inhibitors, vasodilators and calcium channel blockers.


    Undiagnosed and/or untreated high blood pressure can lead to arterial damage, blindness, cardiac arrest, kidney failure, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and mental issues involving cognitive understanding and memory.


    Although stress is not indicated as a cause of long-term hypertension, relaxation techniques and maintaining a low-stress lifestyle can help to lower blood pressure. Many of the recommended guidelines for reducing stress are included in the treatment of primary hypertension.


    High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Mayo Clinic

    The Dutch Hypertension and Offspring Study: American Heart Association

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