Hypertension - Some Common Questions Asked

17 October, 2020

Hypertension - Some Common Questions Asked

Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have raised blood pressure.

Each time the heart beats; it pumps blood into the vessels, which carry the blood throughout the body. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump.

Most people have hypertension but they show no symptoms. Sometimes some people show symptoms like headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations of the heart .

There are many questions frequently asked by people around us and they need to be guided. So let’s discuss a few of the questions.

1) What categories of patients should be diagnosed with hypertension?

People with the following habits / symptoms are advised for a regular check up -

  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Family history
  • Previous elevated BP

With this kind of symptoms / health issues, patients are likely to develop hypertension in the near future if not treated on time. Therefore patients have to get their blood pressures monitored on regular basis.

2) Can blood pressure be monitored at home with digital BP apparatus?

Sometimes there is a lot of variation in the blood pressure readings.

What would be the reason and how it can be taken care of ?

The two instruments which are used for checking blood pressure levels are the Mercury machine and the Digital machine.

Accuracy and reliable results are obtained on Mercury machine but to monitor the readings of blood pressure on this machine, a stethoscope and a trained nurse are required which is not always possible.

On Digital machines, there are a lot of fluctuations due to uncertainties like movement, anxiety, body position, cuff tightness, etc.

To avoid all these complications, irregularities in blood pressure readings, it’s always advisable to check blood pressure in clinics and discuss it with your physician. So these readings will help the doctor to decide the course and right dose of medicines.

3) The blood pressure readings are on the higher side whenever I visit the clinic whereas at home the readings are normal on the BP apparatus. So what could be the reason behind these abnormal readings?

The condition where there is a rise in blood pressure after entering the clinic among the patients is called as “WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION”. This is observed in almost 30% of the patients worldwide.

The reason behind this is the stress or anxiety which the patient experiences on visiting the physician in the clinic or hospital.

So the ideal way to measure the blood pressure of the patients coming to the clinic is only after the patient rests for 15-20 mins. They are even advised to check the readings regularly at home and make a note of them. If all the readings are within the normal range, then the patients are not given any specific treatment but if some readings are normal and some are on higher side then they are advised to get their readings checked through ABPM.

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is when your blood pressure is measured as you move around, living your normal daily life. It is measured for up to 24 hours.

This is the most valid and scientific way of monitoring the blood pressure readings throughout day and night time to check for the irregularities / fluctuations in the readings.

4) In spite of taking medicines regularly still the patients' experience / complain of recording higher readings, what could be the reason ?

Yes, many of them complain of this problem that in spite of taking in medicines regularly there are a lot of variations in blood pressure readings, this could be due to UNCONTROLLED HYPERTENSION OR RESISTANT HYPERTENSION.

The causes of Uncontrolled Hypertension are -

Not taking medicines on time, improper diet followed, increased mental stress and abnormal sleep pattern. All these factors lead to uncontrolled hypertension which the patient experiences and they don’t realize until they monitor their blood pressure readings.

The causes of Resistant hypertension are -

Even after taking the medicines at right time and following all the instructions, taking required precautions, still the readings are abnormal, then the patients are asked to take three types of medicines. Even after that the pressure is not under normal range, then it indicates another of another abnormality / complications like OSA, Renovascular HT, Pheochromocytoma, etc.

Special investigations are to be done to rule out these complications and to give proper treatment to the patient.

These are the common questions that many of the patients have in their mind and it has to be cleared so as to get proper treatment in their life. We at lifeblyss, strive to attain the satisfaction of the patients by solving all their queries.

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