High blood pressure / Hypertension
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your blood vessels. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Your blood pressure is recorded as two figures. For example, 120/70 mm Hg. This is said as 120 over 70.
The top (first) number is the systolic pressure. This is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. The bottom (second) number is the diastolic pressure. This is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between each heartbeat.
What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels.Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
High blood pressure cause health problems, such as heart disease. High blood pressure is a blood pressure of more then 140/90 mm Hg or above each time it is measured at the doctor.
Types of hypertension
- High systolic pressure: 160/70 mm Hg
- High diastolic pressure: 115/105 mm Hg
- High systolic pressure and High diastolic pressure: 160/105 mm Hg
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Primary High Blood Pressure
- Drinking alcohol
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Racial (African or Caribbean origin)
- Salty food
Secondary High Blood Pressure
- Conditions that affect the body’s tissue
- Cocaine, amphetamines and crystal methamphetamine
- Hormonal conditions
- Kidney disease
- Narrowing of the arteries (large blood vessels) supplying the kidneys
- Oral contraceptive pill
- Painkillers (anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs)
Effect of High Blood Pressure on your body
High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke. Very high pressure can cause a break in a weakened blood vessel, which then bleeds in the brain. This can cause a stroke. If a blood clot blocks one of the narrowed arteries, it can also cause a stroke.
High blood pressure can eventually cause blood vessels in the eye to burst or bleed. Vision may become blurred or otherwise impaired and can result in blindness.
As people get older, arteries throughout the body "harden," especially those in the heart, brain, and kidneys. High blood pressure is associated with these "stiffer" arteries. This, in turn, causes the heart and kidneys to work harder.
The kidneys act as filters to rid the body of wastes. Over time, high blood pressure can narrow and thicken the blood vessels of the kidneys. The kidneys filter less fluid, and waste builds up in the blood. The kidneys may fail altogether. When this happens, medical treatment (dialysis) or a kidney transplant may be needed.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack. The arteries bring oxygen-carrying blood to the heart muscle. If the heart cannot get enough oxygen, chest pain, also known as "angina" can occur. If the flow of blood is blocked, a heart attack results.
Congestive Heart Failure (CGF)
High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF is a serious condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Being overweight forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around your body, which can raise your blood pressure.
Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control High blood pressure. It also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. It doesn't take a lot of effort to become physically active.
Avoid alcohol intake
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. It also can harm the liver, brain, and heart. Alcoholic drinks also contain calories, which matter if you are trying to lose weight.
Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. This applies even to filtered cigarettes. So even though it does not cause High blood pressure, smoking is bad for anyone, especially those with High blood pressure. If you smoke, quit. If you don't smoke, don't start. Once you quit, your risk of having a heart attack is reduced after the first year.
Drinking more than 3 cups of coffee or caffeine containing drinks (tea, energy drinks) a day may increase your blood pressure.
Stress can make blood pressure go up for a while, and it has been thought to contribute to High blood pressure. But the long-term effects of stress are as yet unclear. Stress management techniques do not seem to prevent High blood pressure. However, such techniques may have other benefits, such as making you feel better.
Treatment of High Blood Pressure ( HYpertension)
- Amias Candesartan