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Pediatric Hypertension Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Pediatric Hypertension ?

Pediatric hypertension is a term used to describe high blood pressure in children and adolescents.

In children, hypertension is defined as an average blood pressure on three or more occasions equal or higher than the 95th percentile appropriate for the sex, age and height of the child.

Since the blood pressure which is considered normal for children is highly susceptible to change as they grow, there isn’t a straight forward target blood pressure reading which may classify as being high for children.

The prevalence and rate of diagnosis of pediatric hypertension appear to be increasing. This is the result of the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity as well as growing awareness of this disease.

Usually caused by some underlying medical condition, pediatric hypertension may be treated by a combination of medication and life style changes.

Causes Of Pediatric Hypertension

Pediatric hypertension is caused by the presence of an underlying medical condition in children. Such conditions may include:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Genetic conditions
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Heart problems
  • Adrenal disorders
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor in the adrenal gland
  • renal artery stenosis
  • Sleep disorders

Symptoms Of Pediatric Hypertension

Pediatric hypertension does not exhibit any symptoms.

The fact that pediatric hypertension does not cause any symptom has earned it the name of “silent killer”.

However, if hypertension progresses, the following symptoms may exist:

  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of kidney function
  • Convulsions

Diagnosis Of Pediatric Hypertension

Pediatric hypertension is diagnosed via:

  • Measurement of blood pressure, and evaluating whether it is high or normal for the age of the affected individual
  • Extensive medical history and physical examination, to identify the underlying cause
  • Blood test, to check sugar count and kidney function
  • Urine sample test
  • Echocardiogram, to check the blood flow
  • Ultrasound, to check the kidneys of the affected individual

Treatment Of Pediatric Hypertension

The following treatment options are available:

  • Medications
  • Beta blockers, to reduce  the workload on the heart,
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which makes it easier for the blood to flow
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers, to help relax blood vessels by blocking a natural chemical
  • Calcium channel blockers, to help relax the muscles of the blood vessels
  • Encouraging life style changes
  • Controlling weight
  • Healthy diet
  • Decreasing the amount of salt intake

By : Natural Health News

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