Hypertension in children, causes and treatment
Reducing the amount of salt in the diet of such children can help lower blood pressure
Washington: Although people generally think that only middle-aged or elderly people have high blood pressure, teenagers, children and even young children can also suffer from this disease.
According to the American Heart Association, all children should be screened for high blood pressure on an annual basis, as early detection and treatment of the condition improves a child’s health and can reduce or prevent the condition’s harmful effects.
High blood pressure in children can also commonly be caused by a medical condition such as heart disease or kidney disease. Hence it is called secondary hypertension and blood pressure usually returns to normal once the medical condition is cured. The following are the symptoms of secondary hypertension.
Disorders of the glands near the kidneys
Sleep problems, especially insomnia
Disorders of the kidneys
In addition, there is primary hypertension which has different causes than the ones mentioned above:
Overweight or obesity
Family history of high blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes or elevated blood sugar from fasting
Some important steps you can take to treat high blood pressure in children are listed below:
Dietary changes: Encourage a healthy, balanced diet that is low in sodium (salt) and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and sources of protein. Reducing salt intake can help lower blood pressure.
Weight management: If the child is overweight or obese, weight loss is essential as it can significantly lower blood pressure.
Physical activity: Encourage regular physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Get your child to do at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.
Blood pressure monitoring: Monitor the child’s blood pressure regularly at home and track progress during visits to the pediatrician and make adjustments as needed.
Keep records: Keep records of blood pressure readings and share them with health care providers.
Medicines may also be prescribed if lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control high blood pressure or if the child has an underlying medical condition. The choice of medication will depend on the specific conditions and any underlying causes.
Family involvement is critical to the success of treatment. Parents and caregivers should be educated about hypertension management and help the child make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Regular follow up:
Children with high blood pressure should be monitored regularly by a health care professional to assess their progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed