A healthy heart pumps the blood through veins and arteries with a certain optimum amount of pressure. But sometimes due to various causes, the pressure increases and when it does, the person is at a greater risk for heart disease and possibly paralyzing stroke.
Blood pressure will increase when there is increased viscosity of the blood, increased velocity, or constriction due to decreased diameter of the blood vessel. The normal blood pressure for a healthy individual is 120/80 where the value 120 is systolic blood pressure and 80 is the diastolic blood pressure.
CLASSIFICATION OF HYPERTENSION
|Stage 1 HTN||130-139||80-89|
|Stage 2 HTN||140-179||90-109|
Types of Hypertension
From the Ayurvedic point of view, high blood pressure falls under three categories, primarily vata and pitta but also kapha.
Vata is responsible for constriction of the blood vessels. This frequently happens in old age. As the age progresses, the wall of the blood vessels often become thicker and the passage becomes narrower, as a result many individuals develop a type of HTN known as essential hypertension. It is a vata condition and is different from narrowing of arteries that occurs as a result of fatty deposits on the artery walls which is a kapha predominant condition. Pitta is responsible for the rushing of the blood with more force. Kapha is related to increased blood viscosity.
Physical and emotional stress including anger and anxiety, constrict the blood vessels and can increase the blood pressure for a time. Heavy responsibilities, or stressful situations can contribute to blood pressure soaring. There is even a phenomenon known as “white coat syndrome”; when a person goes to the doctor, anxiety and tension may increase, with the result that the blood pressure goes up. This is all quite common and quite physiological and usually temporary. But if blood pressure high, it can become dangerous.
Secondary hypertension happens when the blood pressure raises as a result of any underlying disease. It may be due to narrowing of the arteries or can occur due to obstruction in the air pathway during sleep. Abnormal hormonal changes, thyroid disorders can also have an impact on blood pressure and leads to secondary hypertension.
Isolated Systolic Hypertension
The normal systolic blood pressure when raises above the range of 120 and diastolic pressure remains in normal range (below 90) we call it as isolated systolic hypertension. This is common in the age group above 65yrs. The artery losses its elasticity and leads to this situation.
Malignant hypertension is a rare type of HTN. Only 1% of the population suffer from the malignant hypertension. This is an acute condition where the blood pressure rises immediately and requires quick medical advice.
Resistant hypertension happens due to the influence of genetic inheritance. Almost 25-30% high blood pressure patients fall under this category. The BP remains high even after taking anti-hypertensive
Probable causes of Blood Pressure
- Blood pressure gradually increases as age progresses
- Overweight or obesity
- Stressed nature
- Fear towards everything
- Not getting sufficient sleep
- Overexertion of the body with physical activity or exercise
- Excess consumption of salt in diet
- Over indulgence of Alcohol
- Continuous usage of medications can risk the chances of high BP
- Weak physiology of muscles of the heart
- Sedentary life style
- Family history of HTN
Symptoms of High blood pressure
Many a times individuals with high BP doesn’t show any symptoms. Very few patients come with symptoms like:
The symptoms may vary from individual to individual. These doesn’t pop up until the blood pressure has reached a severe level.
When to see a doctor?
If high blood pressure is temporary and related to a stressful situation, some rest and relaxation will generally take care of it. And even in the long term just because if the pressure is high does not necessarily mean it has to be treated with medications. Entirely natural means, such as diet, exercise, herbs, meditation, and yoga, which have no negative side effects, may be quite sufficient to deal with hypertension
However, high blood pressure does require a doctor’s supervision. Hypertension is a potentially life threatening condition. Standard medical care should be adopted during this phase. In advanced stage Ayurveda remedies should be taken with doctor’s knowledge and approval.