Blood pressure refers to the force applied to the walls of your arteries as blood flows through your body. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition where this pressure is higher than usual and poses a potential health risk. While many believe this condition is restricted to adults, it is also known to appear in children.
Cause And Symptoms Of Impact of Pediatric High Blood Pressure
Diagnosing hypertension in children requires a different approach than that used with adults. This is because the definition of “healthy blood pressure” changes through childhood. Hypertension in children is diagnosed when the patient’s blood pressure is higher than that in 95% of other children in their demographic. Age, gender, and height are all considered during the diagnostic process.
If untreated, hypertension can impact the kidneys, heart, and brain. This is due to the extra stress hypertension places on the body’s systems and the impact hypertension has on how blood is distributed throughout the body.
Common causes of hypertension in children include:
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disorders
- Certain medications, such as steroids and decongestants
Boys, teenagers, and those with African-American or Hispanic backgrounds are also more likely to experience hypertension.
Children diagnosed with hypertension must be treated quickly and effectively to avoid the abovementioned complications. Treating high blood pressure in children can be done successfully using various methods. These include weight loss, increasing physical activity, and alterations to their diet. These changes typically aim to reduce sugar and salt content. Many children with hypertension benefit from these approaches. However, medication is often necessary to get results when they prove ineffective.
The types of medication used to treat hypertension in children include:
- Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors – This medication helps to reduce tension in the blood vessels, helping the blood flow more smoothly.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers – These medications prevent a similar enzyme from causing the blood vessels to contract.
- Calcium Channel Blockers – These work to relax blood vessels and boost blood supply to the heart.
- Beta Blockers – These medications reduce heart rate and block the effect of adrenaline, effectively lowering blood pressure.
- Diuretics – These increase the body’s ability to flush waste and excess fluid out of the body, reducing the pressure in the blood vessels.
This condition is temporary in some patients, passing as the underlying causes are addressed. In others, childhood hypertension may represent a lifelong condition needing ongoing management.
Treat Child Hypertension With Advanced Pediatrics of Rockland
Managing your child’s overall health and ensuring they have a long and healthy future is the cornerstone of our services. By contacting us at (845) 364-9800, you’re taking the first step to address any health conditions your child may be experiencing. Together we can help protect them from hypertension and limit its impact on their health through effective management. If you live in Pomona, NY, or the surrounding area, call us to schedule your first appointment today!