May 6, 2009

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Home Remedies For Hypertension

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Hypertension or high blood pressure can be described as a very common medical problem, in which the force of blood against the artery walls goes very high. Anyone can suffer from this condition, but it is a lot more common in elderly people. The risks of hypertension are also higher in men, as compared to women.

High blood pressure can be classified into two types – Primary hypertension and Secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension takes several months or even years to develop and affects almost everyone eventually. Secondary hypertension usually makes a sudden appearance and causes the blood pressure levels to spike higher.

Fortunately, there are several different ways in which high blood pressure can be brought under control. If it is not treated in time, this condition could lead to serious health problems, including heart diseases, strokes and even death. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to get hypertension checked and treated by a doctor without any delay.


There are several different factors that could cause you to suffer from hypertension. Some of the most common causes of this condition include –

  • Advancing age
  • Being obese or severely overweight
  • Chronic health conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea and high cholesterol
  • Congenital defects in the blood vessels
  • Diets that are too high in sodium or low in potassium and vitamins
  • Excessively high levels of stress
  • Hereditary factors
  • Illegal drugs like cocaine or amphetamines
  • Kidney problems
  • Lack of adequate exercise
  • Tumors in the adrenal glands
  • Unhealthy habits like drinking excess alcohol or smoking cigarettes
  • Use of certain medicines like decongestants, birth control pills or prescription drugs

In several cases, women develop high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, their blood pressure usually returns to normal after childbirth.

Some of the causes of high blood pressure are quite serious and need to be addressed by a doctor immediately.


High blood pressure is asymptomatic for many people, which means that their blood pressure reading may be very high, even though they do not experience any of the signs that are normally associated with the condition. Given below some of the symptoms that may alert you to the fact that your blood pressure is higher than it should be –

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Flushing of the face
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pain in the chest
  • Pounding in the chest, ears and neck
  • Ringing sensation in the ears
  • Severe headaches
  • Traces of blood present in the urine
  • Vision problems

In case your blood pressure reaches an alarmingly high level, you may be at a risk of a stroke. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to seek immediate medical attention in if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.


Your doctor will take several different factors into account, before deciding the treatment path to be followed for high blood pressure. Depending upon your age, overall health and the severity of the condition, your doctor may prescribe some of these medicines for controlling your blood pressure –

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Alpha blockers
  • Alpha-beta blockers
  • Angiotensin receptors blockers (ARBs)
  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Central acting agents
  • Rennin inhibitors
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Vasodilators

Once your blood pressure is stable, your doctor may ask you to take an aspirin every day, to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Often, you may need to use a combination of medication to reduce your blood pressure.

Home Remedies

Medication alone is not always enough for reducing blood pressure. In addition to medicines, your doctor will also advise you to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine. Eating right and exercising for at least half an hour a day are the key elements for reducing hypertension.

You could also ensure that your blood pressure remains within its normal range by using a few simple hypertension home remedies, such as –

  • Garlic: Chew on a piece of fresh, raw garlic as soon as you get up in the morning. Alternately, you could sprinkle some crushed garlic over the foods you eat.
  • Celery: A substance known as 3-n-butylphthalide, present in celery, gives the vegetable its distinct aroma. This chemical has blood pressure lowering properties and at the same time, it is also good for alleviating stress.
  • Watermelon Seeds: People suffering from hypertension are generally advised to have liberal quantities of dry and roasted watermelon seeds as a daily snack. Certain substances present in these seeds help alleviate high blood pressure.
  • Potatoes: Contrary to the common belief, potatoes can be quite good for reducing hypertension, as they contain high amount of potassium and magnesium.
  • Herbs: Those suffering from high blood pressure are usually required to restrict their intake of sodium. You will need to cut down on the amount of salt and condiments you eat on a daily basis. Fortunately, this does not mean that you have to survive on bland, tasteless food. You can enhance the flavors of your food by adding healthy herbs such as gingerroot, cayenne, fennel, parsley and rosemary instead.

Techniques to get rid of excessive stress, like yoga, meditation, deep breathing and massage therapy are also excellent for reducing hypertension.

While the hypertension home remedies and self-care measures mentioned above are quite safe if used correctly, it is best to check with a doctor before trying any of them. Hypertension is quite a serious problem and therefore, you should not try to treat it on your own, without consulting a doctor.