Hypertension (HTN), defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) > 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) > 90 mmHg, is a major health problem across the globe. It is essential to diagnose Hypertension on time to prevent so many complications including heart attacks and stroke.

It is important for every individual who is above 30 years of age to be evaluated for High blood pressure at least once an year. Early diagnosis and regular monitoring will help the individual to avoid complications.

The correct method of diagnosing hypertension is by taking blood pressure measurements in a clinic setting.

If blood pressure is high, it should be measured again after the patient relaxes for few minutes. The pressure is measured again two times on another day with few minutes apart. Blood pressure should be measured in both arms.  

Doctor usually takes the average of the multiple readings before making the decision about the Hypertension Diagnosis.

The doctor usually orders few initial tests at the time of diagnosis. They are

  1. Urine examination
  2. Blood tests like serum creatinine, Blood urea Nitrogen, Sodium, Potassium
  3. kidney imaging
  4. electrocardiogram (ECG)

Hypertension in initial stages can be managed through

dietary modification like reducing salt intake and lifestyle changes such as engaging in physical activity, cutting down alcohol intake and smoking.

If Blood pressure is not controlled by these measures, or if the blood pressure is higher, then medications will be prescribed.  

-Dr. Alekhya

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