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Hypertension Prevention and Preparing consultation

With what must it be confused with hypertension?
Blood pressure may exceed the limit of 140/90 mm ​​Hg in a timely manner, for example because of the emotion that causes consultation (hypertension called "white coat"). To make sense of things, the doctor may ask the patient to take his blood pressure at home with an electronic self-measurement.

In hypertension "white coat" high blood pressure is below 135/85 mmHg at home. A home is recommended, sitting, three measurements in the morning at breakfast, the three measures before bedtime, for three consecutive days (rule 3). Measurements are spaced a few minutes (Recommendations 2011 of the Society of Hypertension).

It may overestimate blood pressure in obese people. Must then check with a cuff adapted.
Finally, verification of material (blood pressure) is necessary because calibration is rarely done regularly from the manufacturer. With possibly resulting in a breach of hypertension or alert unfounded.

Are there possible prevention of hypertension?
Yes. It is to act on the factors that can be changed, that is to say healthy lifestyle: eat more balanced, limit the intake of salt, fat and alcohol, regular physical activity , weight control, stop smoking.

These habits are vital for those who have a genetic predisposition to hypertension, that is to say those whose father and / or mother have high blood pressure, especially if it occurred before the age of 50 years.

Hypertension Preparing consultation

When to consult?
A sharp and significant increase in blood pressure is an emergency if it is accompanied by alarming symptoms: severe headache, vomiting, chest pain, decreased vision, difficulty breathing ...

Apart from this case, regular checks of blood pressure allows the discovery of hypertension (occupational medicine, self-measurement at home or at the pharmacy). Consultation with the doctor in a few days (same day if pregnant) to make the point.

What is the doctor?
It verifies that it is a permanent hypertension in at least three consultations. He makes an initial assessment of impact of this hypertension: electrocardiogram, blood, urine examination, fundus.

Hypertension secondary to a specific cause (renal artery stenosis, licorice intoxication) is treated by removing it.

When essential, the doctor chooses a treatment based on age, health status, family history and lifestyle. Its objective is to lower blood pressure below 140/90 (130/80 mmHg in patients with diabetes or renal failure associated).

Treatment always includes:

  • the dietary measures: limiting consumption of salt, alcohol and saturated fats (animal), at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day, regular physical activity and adapted
  • correction of other cardiovascular risk factors: smoking cessation, treatment of diabetes or high cholesterol, weight reduction ...

If necessary, the doctor adds one or more antihypertensive drugs: in 2010, 45% of antihypertensive treatment did not include a drug and 62% one tablet.

How to prepare my next visit?
The doctor may ask that you check your blood pressure at home (self-measurement) in the range of two consultations. This is a good way to know if the treatment is effective enough (only a third of treated hypertensive!).

One can also note the possible side effects of antihypertensive drugs, including the possible voltage drop that occurs by a stunning transition from lying or sitting to standing position (orthostatic hypotension).

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