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What is Hypertension or High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure or blood pressure is the pressure created by the heart on the vessel wall when pumping blood and is expressed in mm mercury (Hg). If this pressure is above the desired values, it is defined as hypertension.

Blood pressure consists of two different values: systolic (commonly known as high blood pressure), or the pressure created by the heart while pumping blood, and diastolic (commonly known as low blood pressure), or the pressure when the heart stops pumping blood. Normal blood pressure values are 120 mmHg and 80 mmHg for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively.

Is hypertension a common disease?

Yes, 49% of adult men and 56% of adult women over the age of 28 in Turkey have high blood pressure. In other words, it can be said that approximately 16.3 million people in our country have hypertension. Therefore, individuals from all age groups should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year.

What are the harms of hypertension?

Hypertension can cause cerebral haemorrhage and stroke, heart failure and heart attack, kidney failure and loss of vision. These diseases can be prevented in hypertensive patients whose blood pressure values are kept within normal limits.

Can hypertension be treated?

Yes, it can. However, treatment of hypertension is lifelong, blood pressure drops to normal limits with the drugs used in treatment, but if the treatment is discontinued, blood pressure will reach the old values again. For this reason, treatment should not be interrupted and the doctor should be checked at least once a year.

In some special cases, hypertension may be due to a kidney disease or an increase in hormones. In these cases, treatment of the kidney disease or hormonal disorder may improve blood pressure or make it more easily controllable with fewer medications.

Are the medicines used in hypertension habit-forming?

No, it does not; due to vascular elasticity, the number or dose of medication taken for blood pressure control may be too low, in which case new medication may need to be added or the dose of the current medication may need to be increased.

I have a relative with hypertension, can I give him/her the same medication that I take?

No, never do such a thing and warn those who do. A medication that is suitable for you may be harmful for someone else, so please advise your relative to consult a doctor.

Can I measure my own blood pressure?

Yes, you can measure blood pressure, but try to get adequate information on how to measure blood pressure from a doctor or training programme. Electronic wrist and arm blood pressure monitors can also be used; however, in order to determine the reliability of these devices, it is appropriate to compare them with the values taken with a mercury sphygmomanometer. In addition, although wrist blood pressure monitors give a rough idea, their reliability is limited. Mercury blood pressure monitors give the most accurate results.

What should I pay attention to when measuring my blood pressure?

You should rest for at least 5 minutes before your blood pressure is measured. You must not have drunk caffeinated drinks such as coffee, cola or cigarettes in the last half hour. Your sphygmomanometer should wrap around your arm and neck sufficiently, and you should not insert the listening device (stethoscope) under the cuff of the sphygmomanometer.

Do the medicines used in the treatment of hypertension cause kidney and liver disorders and affect sexual function?

Each medication may have its own side effects. Consult your doctor about the side effects of the medication you are taking, but generally speaking, the benefit to be obtained from the treatment is much greater than the possible harm of the medication. Therefore, medicines prescribed for the treatment of hypertension should be used regularly.