Hypertension is a condition in which blood pressure is higher than normal. Normal values are a systolic blood pressure (the pressure your blood exerts against your artery walls when your heart contracts) of less than 140 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure (the pressure your blood exerts against your artery walls when your heart is resting) of less than 90 mmHg. Hypertension is often asymptomatic and can lead to serious complications such as heart disease and stroke even when there are no symptoms.
Causes of Hypertension
There are two main causes of hypertension.
Primary Hypertension (Essential Hypertension):
This is high blood pressure without an identifiable cause. Approximately 90% of Japanese people have primary hypertension.
High blood pressure caused by other diseases. It can be caused by kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, adrenal gland tumors, etc.
Causes of Primary Hypertension
The causes of primary hypertension are not fully understood, but the following factors are thought to be involved:
・Excessive salt intake
・Lack of exercise
・Excessive alcohol consumption
In the case that the lower blood pressure (diastolic pressure) is high
When the lower blood pressure (diastolic pressure) is 90 mmHg or higher, it is called isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH). IDH increases the risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke, even if the upper blood pressure (systolic pressure) is within normal values.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is often asymptomatic and may not cause any symptoms.
In the case of hypertension, the following symptoms may occur:
・Ringing in the ears
・Shortness of breath
・Hot face and neck
・Numbness in hands and feet
Complications of Hypertension
Hypertension can lead to the following serious complications:
Heart Disease：myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, arrhythmia, etc.
Stroke：Cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, etc.
Kidney Disease：Chronic kidney disease, dialysis, etc.
Retinopathy：Visual impairment, etc.
Aneurysm：Ruptures may be fatal
Treatment of Hypertension
Treatment of hypertension is a combination of lifestyle modification and drug therapy.
Lifestyle modification is very important in the prevention and treatment of hypertension.
If the lower blood pressure (diastolic pressure) is high, antihypertensive medications may be needed in addition to lifestyle changes. Antihypertensive medications include the following types
・Diuretics：Remove excess water and salt from the body
・Beta-blockers：Suppress the sympathetic nervous system
・Calcium channel blockers：Dilate blood vessels
・ACE inhibitors：Suppress substances that increase blood pressure
・ARBs：Similar to ACE inhibitors
※Because each antihypertensive drug has different effects and characteristics, it is important to choose the right drug for you after consulting with your doctor.
(Always consult with your doctor before taking these medications.)
At Toranomon Hills Ryu Clinic, our experienced emergency physicians will quickly and carefully evaluate your symptoms.
You can rest assured that we will always make recommendations that are appropriate for your situation and, of course, we will always make sure that you are satisfied with the treatment plan.
Please do not hesitate to contact our clinic for a consultation.