Hypertension causes, symptoms and prevention

Dr Michael Mühlhause from Germany is an extremely experienced doctor in the field of hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease. He shares his expertise on high blood pressure and why it is so harmful.
Dr. M. Mühlhause is a specialist in nephrology and diabetes, as well as an expert in treating hypertension. In this interview, he discusses the causes, treatment and other aspects of hypertension.

Hypertension is a very common condition. What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

At the beginning, most symptoms are unspecific. These include experiencing headaches, in particular at the back of the skull, as well as dizziness, tinnitus, nose bleeds, or a feeling of inertia.

Why is hypertension so dangerous?

It‘s dangerous because it damages organs like the heart, brain and kidneys.

This could result in heart attack, irregular heart rhythm, or congestive heart failure; if the blood supply to the brain is damaged, it could result in a stroke.

This could mean losing the ability to speak and/or use of your senses and motor function.

In cases where the kidneys are affected, it could result in renal insufficiency which would result in the patient requiring dialysis therapy.

What can you measure to control the disease in daily life?

The best method of monitoring and controlling high blood pressure is by self-measurement.

The process of self-measurement should conform to certain rules. Doctors are likely to recommend their patients to:

  • wait until about 5 minutes have passed after sitting down before measuring
  • only take measurements in a pleasant inner and outer condition
  • not smoke or drink coffee shortly before measuring
  • not engage in any unusual physical or mental effort before measuring.

What is the best treatment for hypertension?

It depends on several factors.

If you are overweight, it is preferable to lose weight, by incorporating activities like jogging, swimming and cycling into your every day life.

You should also avoid ingesting more than 5 grams of salt every day, by avoiding using salt during cooking and eating.

Moreover, there is an extensive range of pharmacology drugs, which lower blood pressure.

They are very useful, but if someone succeeds in changing his lifestyle, they might not be necessary forever.

Usually, you will need to take them once or twice every day.

This would also prevent secondary illnesses of the brain, heart or kidneys.

. . . if someone succeeds in changing his lifestyle, they (drugs) might not be necessary forever.

Dr. Mühlhause

How long does a patient have to take blood pressure medication for?

Most people have to take the medication for the rest of their life, unless their hypertension was provoked by another underlying disorder.

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