Hypertension Does Not Cause Symptoms Without Causing Organ Damage
One in every three adults in Turkey has hypertension.
One in every three adults in Turkey has hypertension. Anadolu Health Center Cardiology Specialist Dr. stated that 2/3 of the 15 million hypertension patients, that is, approximately 10 million people, do not know that they have hypertension. Ayşegül Karahan Zor stated that regular blood pressure control is important for early diagnosis of hypertension and said, “In cases of hypertension, the treatment must be planned comprehensively and the patient must comply with this lifelong plan and change his lifestyle. “Hypertension is not fatal in itself, but if left untreated, its consequences can be fatal,” he said.
Cardiology Specialist Dr. stated that hypertension is defined as an increase in blood pressure in the blood vessels above normal. Ayşegül Karahan Zor “The heart makes rhythmic and periodic movements while pumping the blood necessary for the vitality of the tissues into the body. These are contractions and relaxations. When the heart contracts, blood in the cardiac cavity is thrown into the arterial system. This is followed by a relaxation period, during which the heart fills with blood again. This process continues periodically. We call the pressure exerted by the blood on the artery walls at a certain moment blood pressure. Our heart sends the blood necessary for the vitality of the tissues to the body by contracting and relaxing movements. When the heart contracts, the blood in the cardiac cavity is thrown towards the arterial system. In the relaxation movement, the heart refills with blood. This process continues periodically. The pressure exerted by the blood on the artery walls at a particular moment is called blood pressure. The blood pressure during contraction is called systolic blood pressure, and the tension during relaxation is called diastolic blood pressure. These pressure values change according to our movements and emotions during the day; Values sometimes go down and sometimes go up. “Constantly high pressure, that is, hypertension, is a disease and needs to be treated,” he said.
Cardiovascular diseases as a result of hypertension
Emphasizing that the most important consequence of untreated hypertension is cardiovascular diseases, Anadolu Health Center Cardiology Specialist Dr. Ayşegül Karahan Zor “Other important consequences that occur when blood pressure cannot be adequately controlled are cerebral hemorrhage and stroke, heart failure and heart attack, kidney failure, and vision loss. If blood pressure is not controlled, it causes 51 percent of heart failure, 33 percent of stroke and 21 percent of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. “It shows that high blood pressure treatment is beneficial in reducing cardiovascular and kidney-related side effects and reduces death rates due to stroke and heart disease,” he said.
Hypertension does not cause symptoms without causing organ damage
Stating that approximately 1 billion people around the world are thought to be affected by hypertension, Dr. Ayşegül Karahan Zor: “According to the TEKHARF study conducted in our country and the Turkish Hypertension and Kidney Diseases Association study, the prevalence in the population over the age of 18, which is considered as an adult in our country, is 31.8 percent and one in every three people (27.5 percent of men, 36.1 percent of women), that is, approximately 15 million people suffer from hypertension. More importantly, 2 out of every 3 people are unaware that they have hypertension. “Because hypertension is such a disease that it does not cause any symptoms before it causes organ damage,” he said. Dr. says that the only way to diagnose hypertension is to measure blood pressure regularly. Ayşegül Karahan Zor stated that ideal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg and below, and values above 140/90 mmHg are considered hypertension, and these patients are advised to make effective nutritional changes, reduced salt intake, weight loss, moderate alcohol intake and increased consumption of vegetables and fruits. He stated that lifestyle changes and more frequent blood pressure monitoring are recommended. The goal of hypertension treatment is to reduce blood pressure to normal values and reduce organ damage due to high blood pressure. Dr. Ayşegül Karahan Zor says that it varies depending on whether there are other diseases accompanying hypertension, cardiovascular risk status, and whether target organ damage caused by hypertension occurs. Dr. Zor said, “If the patient has no cardiac risk factors, that is, does not have diabetes, high cholesterol, does not smoke, and we found the blood pressure of these patients to be slightly moderately high, we recommend lifestyle changes to this patient in the first place. We make this recommendation as initial therapy before starting drug therapy in hypertensive patients or as an adjunct to treatment in those on medication. Among our recommendations, we first ask our patients to restrict salt. If he is overweight, we recommend that he lose weight and exercise regularly. 30-minute walks are required at least 3 times a week. We recommend that our patients pay close attention to their diet. Because when they eat mostly fruits and vegetables, increase their fish consumption, and eat mostly olive oil foods (8-10 portions of vegetables and fruits a day, 2-3 portions of low-fat foods and dairy products, reducing fat and cholesterol intake), their blood pressure decreases.”
– Hypertension treatment lasts a lifetime. Therefore, medications must be used continuously. If a medication-related side effect develops, it should be changed or discontinued by consulting a doctor.
The cause of hypertension is unknown
Anadolu Health Center Cardiology Specialist Dr. emphasized that in approximately 90-95 percent of hypertension cases, there is no cause, but risk factors such as obesity, smoking, malnutrition and familial predisposition can be mentioned. Ayşegül Karahan Zor “This group of hypertension is called primary hypertension. 5-10 percent of hypertension cases develop ‘secondary’ due to another disease. These diseases; Kidney, endocrine and birth control pills, amphetamine-derived drugs, overdose of thyroid hormones, anti-inflammatory and painkillers used in the treatment of rheumatism, cold medications, appetite suppressants and some antidepressants cause an increase in blood pressure. When these medications are stopped, blood pressure returns to normal. Smoking has short and long effects on hypertension. Its short-term effects occur directly through its vasoconstrictor effect. Each cigarette smoked raises blood pressure for about 15 minutes. When another one is smoked, it rises again and never returns to its normal value. “And it is known that smoking consecutively throughout the day causes excessive increases over time,” he said.
Hypertension can be treated
Dr. Zor continued: “If the patient has no cardiac risk factors, that is, does not have diabetes, high cholesterol, does not smoke, and we found that the blood pressure of these patients is slightly moderately high, we recommend lifestyle changes to this patient in the first place. Highly effective evidence has been published that lifestyle changes control blood pressure and thus hypertension. We make this recommendation as initial therapy before starting drug therapy in hypertensive patients or as an adjunct to treatment in those on medication. Among our recommendations, we first ask our patients to restrict salt. (Under 6 grams per day is recommended) If you are overweight, we recommend you lose weight and exercise regularly. 30-minute walks are required at least 3 times a week. We recommend that our patients pay close attention to their diet. Because when they eat mostly fruits and vegetables, increase their fish consumption, and eat mostly olive oil foods (8-10 portions of vegetables and fruits a day, 2-3 portions of low-fat foods and dairy products, reducing fat and cholesterol intake), their blood pressure decreases.”
Hypertension also threatens children
Dr. points out that although essential hypertension is rare in childhood, it has become a more common disease in children today. Ayşegül Zor Karahan said, “In the past, when we saw hypertension in children, we generally thought that it occurred due to another disease, including kidney function disorders, aortic vascular disease known as aortic coarctation, and some hormonal diseases in children. However, we now see essential hypertensive patients in childhood and childhood as well. It has been shown that there is a direct relationship between obesity, insulin resistance, blood lipids, inactivity and blood pressure in children, as in adults. It has been shown that there is a direct relationship between obesity, insulin resistance, blood lipids and blood pressure in children, as in adults. Excess weight gained in childhood is an important determinant of cardiovascular risk in young adults. It has been shown that there is a direct relationship between obesity, insulin resistance, blood lipids and blood pressure in children, as in adults. “Excessive weight gained in childhood is an important determinant of cardiovascular risk in young adults. If the hypertensive child is obese, he should be weakened and salt and calorie restriction should be made in children as in adults.”
Common misconceptions about hypertension
Incorrect: “I am old, so it is normal for my blood pressure to be above 14/90 mmHg.”
Correct: No, everyone’s blood pressure goals should be below 140/90 mmHg, except those with chronic kidney failure and diabetes.
False: “Blood pressure medications are rotting my kidneys.”
True: On the contrary, if blood pressure medication is not used, the kidneys are damaged. One of the most important causes of kidney failure is hypertension.
False: “Drugs are addictive and have no effect after a while. That’s why you shouldn’t use medication for a long time.”
Correct: Hypertension medications are not addictive and should be used continuously.
Wrong: “I stopped taking my medication and my blood pressure is normal. “I don’t need to take medicine anymore.”
Correct: Because many blood pressure-related changes are reversed with long-term medication use. And in patients who are started on medication before vascular changes occur, blood pressure does not actually rise in some patients at first when the medication is stopped. But after three or four months, it starts to rise again. However, since it does not show any symptoms, the patient comes back years later with very high blood pressure and complications. That’s why blood pressure is not a curable disease.