How to fight against hypertension?

How to fight against hypertension?

17 million French people suffer from high blood pressure. This asymptomatic disease is not detected enough and yet the treatments can be simple. Explanations from Dr. Benoit Lequeux, cardiologist at the University Hospital of Poitiers.

17 million French people suffer from high blood pressure. Half know it. And only half of this half follow their treatment correctly.

High blood pressure is one of the most well-known chronic diseases. Often multifactorial, it may be part of your life without you knowing it. Doctor Benoit Lequeux, cardiologist and head of the cardiological prevention unit of the University Hospital Poitiers
explains how it works.

What is high blood pressure? (hypertension)

It is the abnormal increase in blood pressure on the walls of the arteries. When the heart contracts, it acts like a pump pushing blood through all the arteries. The blood exerts pressure on the walls of the arteries.

When do you have hypertension?

It is defined by blood pressure in consultation greater than or equal to 140/90 mm HG or 14/9.
The first number corresponds to the systolic pressure: pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and ejects blood.
The second is diastolic pressure: pressure in the arteries when the heart expands and fills, between two contractions.

Symptoms of a Hypertensive Person

Usually there are no symptoms. It is a silent disease.
Sometimes you may have headaches, insomnia, abnormal shortness of breath after exercise, ringing in the ears…

The consequences of high blood pressure

Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

Who is concerned ?

More men than women.
Age is the main factor. With aging, the walls of the arteries become less flexible. therefore the risk of high blood pressure increases.
If you have a family history, the risk is higher.
Pregnant women can also develop high blood pressure during pregnancy.

What is “white coat” hypertension?

It is the fact that blood pressure measured by a doctor is more important than that measured at home.

How to take your blood pressure at home?

Get a blood pressure monitor and observe the rule of 3 measures : 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening for 3 days.
Get into a seated position, wait 5 minutes of rest and take your blood pressure. In the morning before your breakfast and taking medication and in the evening before your bedtime.

Prevent hypertension and control it naturally

Medications are not the first line treatment. You can observe simple rules of hygiene of life, such as for example:

  • manage your stress
  • the quality and quantity of sleep
  • reduce salt, sugar, alcohol, coffee (5 cups per day max)
  • stop smoking and junk food
  • be careful with other medications (e.g. contraception)
  • engage in regular physical activity


Some act directly on the body’s hormones that regulate blood pressure, others make the walls of the arteries more flexible, or eliminate excess salt and water from the body, or reduce the pressure in the arteries.

Your treatment may combine several hypertension medications. Drug treatment should not be interrupted. High blood pressure is a lifelong disease.

Hypertensives can have some effects: cough, urge to urinate…

In the event of severe or refractory hypertension, there is surgery: an invasive technique which consists of burning cells inside the arteries of the kidney.

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