“Blood pressure” is the force with which your heart pumps blood through the body. Occasional increases in blood pressure levels are not unusual. Hypertension Hypertension is high blood pressure. When heart beats (contracts and relaxes) it pumps out a certain volume of blood. The maximum arterial pressure, measured in mm Hg, determines the systolic reading and the lowest reading of this pressure is called the diastolic pressure. It is widely accepted that a person having a reading of a systolic pressure of greater than/equal to 140 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of greater han/equal to 90 mm Hg is considered to have high blood pressure.
When such a reading is sustained over a period of time, it is diagnosed as hypertension. Causes There are two types of hypertension. One is primary hypertension and the other is secondary hypertension. The cause of primary hypertension is unknown. It just happens but however, there are certain risk factors or associations such as hereditary factors, race, age, environmental and life-style factors (where you live, salt and other chemicals, weight, stress, alcohol, lack of exercise). The difference between rimary and secondary hypertension is that we know the causes of secondary hypertension.
Usually, the causes of secondary hypertension include renal artery stenosis (or other cause of increased plasma renin), renal parenchymal disease (glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy, polycystic disease, obstructive uropathy), drugs (oral contraceptives, steroids), and increased levels of catecholamines (pheochromocytoma), glucocorticoids (Cushing’s disease), or mineralcorticoids. Symptoms Hypertension is referred to as “the silent killer” since those afflicted eem to experience few, if any, symptoms.
However, hypertension may be associated with fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, chest pains, visual and speech disturbances, shortness of breath, and nose bleeds. Treatments We do not know what causes “essential” hypertension but we have proof that there are many factors associated with its development, such as age, race, and family history. Many of these cannot be controlled or prevented; however, weight, diet, and life-style can be controlled to a great extent, and their control may help prevent or reduce your high lood pressure.
Hypertension is controllable and one of the simplest treatment is taking medication. There are a wide variety of medication available for patients. Diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, alpha blockers, central agents, and vasodilators are just some drugs used to treat high blood pressure. High blood pressure is dangerous because if it is not treated and controlled it can damage important organs of the body: the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
When blood pressure remains abnormally high for a long time, usually years, the increased force against the walls of the arteries causes them to become thicker and crooked, decreasing the flow of blood to the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. Cardiovascular disease is the NO. 1 cause of death. Death rates are higher when high blood pressure is also present and even higher when the high blood pressure is associated with other risk factors such as cigarette smoking and high blood cholesterol. Target Organs Heart – enlargement of the heart and increased hardening, thickening, nd blockage of the coronary arteries.
These changes can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, heart failure, and irregular heartbeats. Brain- high blood pressure is the most common cause of strokes, which also called cerebrocascular accidents (CVAs). Strokes are usually the result of a clot in a blood vessel or a bursting of a blood vessel in the brain. This cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, so that a portion of the brain gets sick and dies.
Kidneys – your kidneys filter waste substances out of the blood into the urine. your kidneys do not function properly, these waste substances build up in the blood and, beyond a certain level, begin to poison your body. As in the heart, the blood vessels in your kidneys can become hardened and thickened as a result of high blood pressure, and they cannot carry enough blood to nourish these organs and aid in eliminating waste. The result is kidney renal failure. Eyes- long-standing high blood pressure can cause serious eye problems, such as bleeding or clots in the small eye vessels or tearing away of the lining of the inner eye.