Benign hypertension


Benign hypertension

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Hypertension that runs a relatively long and symptomless course, as many as 90% to 95% of all cases of hypertension are benign (primary or essential hypertension). The remaining cases of hypertension are secondary hypertension.

Benign hypertension

Several genetic and environmental or lifestyle factors increase the risk of benign hypertension, including obesity, high sodium (dietary salt) intake, tobacco use, high-fat diet, excessive use of alcohol, stressful lifestyle, and lack of exercise. Benign hypertension also maybe inherited; specific genetic risk factors include abnormalities in renin-angiotensin genes and inherited abnormalities of the sympathetic nervous system controlling heart rate, blood pressure, and blood vessel diameter.

The numbers of people with benign hypertension is on the rise with, it is estimated, about a third of all people in world are having the condition, and a third again are thought to be people with undiagnosed benign hypertension.

There is a general yet misplaced belief that benign hypertension is harmless because it takes time to develop. In reality it is in fact 'a silent killer' which may accelerate into malignant hypertension at moment's notice, sometimes too fast and too late for doctors to intervene. Some patients with benign hypertension predispose themselves to this more dangerous and organ damaging malignant hypertension.

A simple trip to a doctor can help assess individual risks of developing benign hypertension, and a treatment plan can be devised based on individual needs.

Symptoms:

Benign hypertension symptoms can simply be absent, mild or altogether confused for another medical problem. Symptoms in mild form may include headache, confusion, dizziness, and nausea.The most sure way to ensure that any mild symptoms are not associated with hypertension is to constantly take blood pressure readings at the Doctor's office or at home.

Diagnosis:

Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and check your blood pressure. If the measurement is high, your health care provider may think you have high blood pressure. The measurements need to be repeated over time, so that the diagnosis can be confirmed.After you are diagnosed with benign hypertension your doctor may also perform other tests to rule out secondary hypertension.

These tests may include:

    Blood tests.

  • Echocardiogram.A standard echocardiogram is also known as a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), or cardiac ultrasound. In this case, the echocardiography transducer (or probe) is placed on the chest wall (or thorax) of the subject, and images are taken through the chest wall. This is a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart.

  • Electrocardiogram.An electrocardiogram is a simple, painless test that records the heart's electrical activity.An EKG shows:How fast your heart is beating, whether the rhythm of your heartbeat is steady or irregular, the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of your heart.

  • Urinalysis.

  • Ultrasound of the kidneys.

Treatment:

Due to the difficulty in diagnosing benign hypertension, prevention is the best course of action. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining an ideal weight are critical in preventing benign hypertension. A moderate exercise program is generally recommended for those who are healthy enough to exercise. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided in those at risk of developing benign hypertension. Regular doctor visits can also help to detect any patterns of increasing blood pressure levels so that medications can be prescribed before any serious damage occurs to the heart or other organs of the body.

Eventually, benign hypertension almost always leads to a condition known as malignant hypertension. This means that the blood pressure becomes noticeably high, and organ damage may begin to become apparent. When this occurs, prescription medications may be given in addition to the recommended dietary and lifestyle changes. In some cases, these medications may be discontinued after the patient adopts a healthier lifestyle. In other situations, these drugs may have to be taken for the life of the patient.

NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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