Hypertension is the other name for high blood pressure, a condition when the pressure of the blood is higher than normal. Blood pressure itself is the force exerted by the flow of the blood on the arterial walls. This force can be distinguished by two other factors, the systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The systolic pressure is the pressure the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries when the heart is beating with a contraction of its muscles; while the diastolic is the pressure of the blood when the muscles of the heart relax.
Hypertension is a condition. Prehypertension can be described as the beckoning of hypertension, the calm before the storm. It is a rather recent categorization of the phase which is an intermediate of normal blood pressure and high blood pressure, but the categorization is mostly American. The reading for which the blood pressure is considered to be applicable for this category is a systolic pressure of 120 to139 mm Hg, and a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. This new category was set up and decided upon by the seventh report of the Joint National Committee. As to why a new category was called for can be understood by its prevalence. Data from 1999 to 2000 show that prehypertension has a prevalence of 31% among adults, with men being more susceptible to it than women.
Like hypertension, prehypertension is mostly without any identifiable symptoms, or asymptomatic. That is because unless hypertension reaches its malignant stage, it often does not show any particular symptoms. However this increases the risk of the patient remaining undiagnosed. Thus it is always important to keep a look out for the stemming of prehypertension. This can be done by many ways.
One thing a person must remember is that prehypertension formulates over the years. As a victim gets older the risk too increases. This has no identifiable cause, but specialists suggest that this happens as a result of the effect of medication on body, or problems with the organs. Of course the risk factors for prehypertension do not end there. Another thing to look out for is the fact that the risk of prehypertension increases with increasing weight – being overweight is almost always a risk factor. Genes too also decide whether a patient will have prehypertension or not, so it also important to analyze one’s family for a possible risk factor. A laid back lifestyle with little physical activity or low physical activity levels too can decide upon the beginnings of a risk factor involving prehypertension. The individual should also ensure that his or her sodium intake is kept to a minimal level, with alcohol intake and smoking diminished to negligible amounts. Only then can a possible risk factor be prevented.
Failure to minimize risks of prehypertension can give rise to many a problem later on. These include heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure, renal failure etc. The patient can follow a home monitoring procedure to ensure that risk factors are minimally met or eliminated. Home monitoring is also a way the patient will be more emancipated about his or her health, thereby also make it possible to detect white coat hypertension, which is when the blood pressure goes up upon seeing the doctor. The monitoring must be done everyday and at a specific time when the patient is relaxed and not worked up, or has not just eaten a big meal. A regular device is all it needs. A specific chart will be necessary for keeping track of the reading, while some people might also want to use specialized charting software.