Understanding Essential Hypertension and How to Control It

Essential hypertension is an increase in blood pressure whose cause is not known with certainty. Of all cases of hypertension, about 90% of them include essential hypertension.

Essential hypertension is also known as primary hypertension. This condition is different from secondary hypertension, which occurs due to another health condition, such as kidney disease or thyroid disease.

Although the cause is unknown, there are several conditions that are known to increase a person's risk of developing essential hypertension, ranging from heredity to lifestyle.

Essential Hypertension Risk Factors

The following are some of the factors that can increase the risk of developing essential hypertension:

1. Family history of hypertension

People who have a family history of hypertension are more prone to experiencing this condition. In addition, hypertension is also more common in men than women.

2. Overweight

Excess weight can put an extra burden on the heart. This will increase the risk of hypertension, even up to 2-6 times. This is more or less related to the fact that people who rarely do physical activity have a higher risk of developing hypertension.

3. Aged 40 years and over

Essential hypertension can occur at any age, but this condition is more common in your 40s. This is because blood vessels become stiffer with age, allowing for an increase in blood pressure.

4. Eating too much salt

Eating too many foods containing salt can trigger hypertension. This is because salt can increase the amount of water stored in the body, so the volume of fluid in the blood also increases which will then increase blood pressure. In addition, lack of potassium intake can also trigger hypertension, because potassium is a mineral that can neutralize salt levels in the body.

Several other conditions, such as stress, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and sleep disturbances are also known to be associated with an increased risk of essential hypertension.

How to Control Essential Hypertension

Essential hypertension cannot be cured, but it can be controlled so that the sufferer can live a healthy life. The method is as follows:

1. Exercise regularly

Being physically active can reduce the risk of hypertension by up to 50%. It is recommended to exercise for about 30 minutes per day, at least 3 times a week. The type of exercise you do need not be heavy. Light exercise, such as walking or jogging, can also help. It is important to understand that exercise needs to be done regularly for optimal benefits.

2. Apply the right diet

You are advised to go on a low salt diet. This can be done by limiting processed foods, such as fast food, and increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.

3. Limit alcohol consumption

Although consuming 2 alcoholic drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women is still considered safe, this can increase the risk of hypertension if done continuously, especially if you are an alcoholic.

For that, limit the consumption of alcohol. It would be even better if you could stop drinking alcohol completely.

4. Quit smoking

Smoking or frequent exposure to secondhand smoke can damage the walls of blood vessels and increase the risk of hypertension. It is advisable to stop smoking immediately and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

5. Manage stress well

To keep essential hypertension under control, learn to deal with stress, for example by taking a yoga class, keeping a diary, or sharing stories with friends and family.

In addition to lifestyle changes, your doctor may give you drugs that can control essential hypertension, such as class drugsbeta-blockers, diuretic, and ACE inhibitors.These drugs can only be obtained through a doctor's prescription and need to be used according to the instructions for use.

Be aware of physical complaints that often accompany hypertension, such as frequent headaches, difficulty breathing, and hearing a pounding sound from the chest or ears. If you experience these complaints, you are advised to immediately consult a doctor so that the cause can be ascertained and given the right treatment.