Uncontrolled Hypertension

What is Uncontrolled Hypertension?

Uncontrolled hypertension, also known as uncontrolled high blood pressure, is a medical condition in which an individual's blood pressure remains consistently above their target blood pressure level. This is usually defined as having a consistently sustained systolic blood pressure level of 140 mmHg or higher, and/or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or higher.

Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and renal failure. Long-term hypertension can lead to serious and often disabling or fatal medical complications.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of uncontrolled hypertension include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath

Causes of Uncontrolled Hypertension

The cause of uncontrolled hypertension is often related to lifestyle and environmental factors, however, it can also be caused by health conditions or medical treatments.

Common causes of uncontrolled hypertension include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • A diet that is high in sodium and fat
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Certain medications, such as hormone replacement therapy drugs
  • Chronic stress
  • Medical conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO)

Complications of Uncontrolled Hypertension

Uncontrolled hypertension can increase the risk of serious medical complications, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Aneurysm
  • Kidney failure
  • Retinal damage
  • Blood vessel and artery damage
  • Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension

Treatment for uncontrolled hypertension depends on the underlying cause. It may include lifestyle changes, medications, procedures, or surgery. It is important to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and lifestyle.

Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, reducing salt intake, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing alcohol consumption, have been shown to reduce high blood pressure and aid in control of hypertension.

Medications, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and diuretics, may be recommended to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing serious medical complications.