Symptoms and diagnosis of hypertension

Published At: 15 January 2020 , 12:22 PM

Hypertension is considered one of the most common and insidious cardiovascular diseases. How to identify it in time and why it is essential to do this as soon as possible - you will learn from this article. According to some reports, every fourth inhabitant of our planet from 15 to 64 years old suffers from high blood pressure. The main danger of hypertension is that over time it can lead to a heart attack and stroke, prolonged disability, disability, or even death. Therefore, it is so important to know more about the symptoms of hypertension and its treatment. 

What is Hypertension? 

Hypertension (other names: arterial hypertension, arterial hypertension) is high blood pressure. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis of “hypertension,” and the presence of a disease is only talked about if high blood pressure recorded with at least three control measurements. Usually, the pressure can increase or decrease during the day and in various situations (during exercise, it is higher, during sleep - lower). But it should return to normal levels - from 100 to 60 to 140 to 90. If the pressure is continuously 140 to 90 or stably higher, then they say there is hypertension. Causes of occurrence 

At physiological and chemical levels, increased pressure is a natural reaction of the body to any danger or stress. In a critical situation, adrenaline released into the blood, and the heart begins to work faster, the vessels narrow, the muscles contract, and the pressure rise. So the body mobilizes its resources to be saved. However, in the modern world, our body experiences such a stress load regularly, which is why increased pressure becomes not a protective mechanism, but a direct threat. Regular stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, problems - all this can lead to increased pressure. However, doctors also call other causes of hypertension: heredity, overweight or obesity, disorders of the thyroid gland, kidneys, magnesium deficiency in the body, and some medications. 

Risk group 

The following groups of people are at risk of developing hypertension: those whose parents have or have had high blood pressure. Most often, this disease is hereditary, overweight, leading an unhealthy/sedentary lifestyle, suffering from osteochondrosis of the cervicothoracic region and atherosclerosis. In these cases, the vessels are compressed, which threatens to increase pressure; women and men during the period of extinction of sexual function (menopause), since hormones also strongly affect pressure; Persons subject to constant stress and nervous strain. In many cases, hypertension also has psychological reasons: overload and unexpressed negative emotions increase pressure. The more stress, the higher the likelihood of a hypertensive crisis. In this case, the best solution is to learn to relax and calm down; having high cholesterol in the blood; patients with diabetes, smokers. Important fact Men are more likely than women to suffer from hypertension and the highest prevalence rates observed in people over 50 years old. It is at this age that hormonal changes occur, we begin to move less, weight grows, and the experiences accumulated over the years of life haunt. Men at the age of 55 and women over 65 are at risk. But it is worth remembering that hypertension has no age restrictions, and even very young people can suffer from high blood pressure.

Possible complications 

Hypertension is dangerous for the difficulties and consequences that it can lead to. Unfortunately, often these consequences are fatal. Here are just a few of them: the development of atherosclerosis, heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, chronic cerebrovascular accident, kidney disease (renal failure), visual impairment, complications of diabetes, metabolic syndrome; erectile dysfunction. Some of these serious illnesses can lead to disability, disability, and even death. That is why it is essential to know the symptoms of hypertension and try to detect it even at the initial stage. 

Symptoms of Hypertension 

The insidiousness of hypertension is not only in the complications to which it leads but often in its hidden course. As a rule, the first symptoms of hypertension are not worrisome; usually, people do not pay attention to them, suggesting that they are overworked or a little cold. Fatigue, lethargy, flies in the eyes, nausea, regular headaches - all this should be alarming. Already with the appearance of these symptoms, it is worth starting to measure the pressure regularly. If it is consistently high, consult a doctor immediately! This is how hypertension of the first degree manifests itself. The following symptoms should also alert: sweating facial redness, swelling of the hands, swelling in the morning, puffiness of the face, memory impairment. The first degree is considered easy, and the pressure ranges from 140–159 / 90–99. With timely access to a doctor and treatment, you can sometimes achieve full recovery if you change your lifestyle. With hypertension of the second degree, the pressure rises to 160–179 / 100–109. At this stage, hypertension already makes itself felt: excruciating headaches; dizziness pains in the heart. The second degree of hypertension is dangerous because organs begin to suffer, especially the eyes. The risk of stroke increases. One change in lifestyle can no longer be corrected; medication prescribed by a doctor required. The third degree of hypertension is already a severe threat to life because the vessels are under tremendous strain, and irreversible consequences occur in the cardiac system. Pressure rises to 180/110. With this degree of hypertension, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, heart failure, arrhythmia, and other diseases can develop. In the second and third degrees, a hypertensive crisis also poses a severe threat to life, in which all the symptoms of hypertension worsen, and lower blood pressure rises sharply. In this condition, severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting observed. 

Diagnosis of the disease

In connection with the danger of the consequences of hypertension and the specified complexity of its independent identification at the initial stage, a competent and timely diagnosis of the disease seems very important. What recommended to make an accurate diagnosis? First of all, this, of course, is the measurement of pressure, as well as the study of the so-called target organs. Blood pressure measurement can be carried out independently (in the presence of an electronic tonometer). However, to make a diagnosis, the doctor can use the ABPM - a method of daily monitoring of blood pressure. For this, a portable device installed on the patient’s belt and a cuff placed on the shoulder. At specific points in time, the cuff will inflate, and the device will record the pressure. During the day, the pressure is recorded every 10-15 minutes, at night - every half hour. Measurements carried out in natural and familiar conditions for humans. Urine and blood tests To diagnose hypertension, it is also necessary to take blood and urine tests (to determine the levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit, potassium, calcium, glucose, creatinine, blood lipid spectrum, including the level of HDL cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides). Evaluation of the heart There are several methods for assessing the functioning of the heart muscle. Physical diagnosis involves examining the heart muscle with a phonendoscope. The doctor “listens” to the heart, reveals noise, rhythm disturbance. According to the results of physical diagnosis, prescribes an ECG. An ECG, or electrocardiogram, is also an assessment of the work of the heart muscle, only more detailed. Such a study allows you to identify possible changes in time and to thoroughly analyze the work of the heart for a specified period. The study of the heart can also be carried out using ultrasound waves or echocardiography, which reveals the condition of the heart valves, wall thickness, and the presence of defects. Another effective ultrasound study is dopplerography, which helps to determine the state of blood flow through the vessels. And finally, the radiological method - arteriography - assesses the condition of the arterial walls, reveals atheromatous plaques, arterial defects, etc.