High blood pressure (1)

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most famous long-term diseases in the world. In this condition, blood puts the persistence force towards the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is evaluated by the blood pumped by the heart and total resistance to blood flow in arteries.High blood pressure is characterized by the highamount of blood pumped by the blood and narrower blood arteries. In Hypertension, patients consistently keep suffering from mean high blood pressure as compared to the normal range. To put it differently, in high blood pressure, there is higher pressure in blood arteries than it normally should be: which is 120/80mmHg and the normal upper range:135/90 mmHg.

When and if the measurements of a person are higher than these values, they are said to have high blood pressure. It can prove to be very damaging to health as it can affect normal heart functioning. Data suggests short and life expectancy in patience is proper treatment and management is not applied.

High blood pressure eventually affects almost everyone. It is possible to have blood pressure for years without being diagnosed as in some cases it does not show symptoms.  Throughout these years it continuously produces negative effects and ultimately causes severe systemic consequences.

Signs and symptoms

Mostly high blood pressure does not show any signs and symptoms even if the patient meets the dangerous level.

Moreover, symptoms are not specific to high blood pressure only.

A patient might feel frequent headaches, nose bleeding, high pulse rate, hot flashes, trembles and sometimes feeling of anger. Fatigue or confusion, vision problems, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine are also some signs and symptoms of hypertension.

Causes of hypertension (2)

Different factors can be the reason for the occurrence of the disease. A study shows that more than 90% of the people with this condition also have primary hypertension and the origin of this is unknown. There might be several contributing factors such as obesity and excessive weight gain. (3)

Some of the known causes of essential hypertension include insulin resistance obesity high alcohol intake aging high salt intake sedentary lifestyle low potassium intake low calcium intake and stress. (1)

Secondary hypertension is this less common type of hypertension which has an identifiable underlying root cause. It appears suddenly with several root causes. It may include any impaired kidney function or kidney damage,Overactive adrenal glands, thyroid dysfunctioning, Various drugs for example birth control pills, use of cocaine And cold remedies, etc. Some endocrine problems also cause secondary hypertension for example pheochromocytoma is a noticeable cause of secondary hypertension (2)

Sedentary lifestyles are a lifestyle devoid of physical activity and they’ve been termed as a leading cause for the development of hypertension.In most patients, junk food and high sodium intake is also a culprit.

Complications of hypertension

With the passage of time, high BP damages the arteries walls and this ultimately leads to other chronic conditions. An example of such scenario might be the artery walls becoming very weak and forming an area called aneurysm. The dangerous thing is that this wall has the capability to burst and start bleeding into the tissues around it. (4)

Damage to an artery wall may trap cholesterol, calcium, and fats. They build and form a plaque. This reduces the space for blood to flow easily. If this happens in the brain then it can lead to brain stroke.

Diagnosis

It is very common but it’s often underdiagnosed. Since the treatment of hypertension reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. How providers make the diagnosis of hypertension may slightly vary across countries, clinics, and providers. Hypertension diagnosis begins with an initial blood pressure measurement. It’s important to measure blood pressure accurately. The person should be in the correct seated position and not talking. It is also important to choose the proper cuff size and use a validated device. It’s very unlikely that a person has hypertension if systolic BP is less than 140 mmHg and that diastolic BP is less than 90. However systolic blood pressure typically goes up with the age. On the other hand, if this value is greater than or equal to 140mmHg or the diastolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 90 mmHg the person likely has hypertension.

Treatment

One can manage high blood pressure by changing lifestyle. Involving in physical activities, intake of food less in salt, maintained body weight and decreased alcohol intake van control high blood pressure of an individual.

But these life changes are not sufficient to control high BP. Medications are used to maintain hypertension. According to the studies, the treatment of hypertension is to keep the systolic blood pressure below 140mmhg and diastolicblood pressure below 90 mmHg.

Thiazide diuretics or water pills help in decreasing the high blood pressure by increasing urination. E.g, furosemide.

Beta-blockers such as atenolol perform their function by inhibiting the effects of the hormone known asadrenaline. This inhibition causes the heart to beat slower leading to low blood pressure.

ACE inhibitors such as Capoten help in the relaxation of veins and arteries and lowers blood pressure.

ARBs lower the blood pressure by inhibiting the effects of angiotensin. E.g candesartan

Calcium increases the contraction of the heart and vessels and ultimately causes hypertension soCalcium channel blockers stop the calcium from entering the cells.E.g amlodipine besylate.

Alpha-blockers Reduce the resistance of arteries and relaxes the muscle tone of vessels. E.g. terazosin hydrochloride

Vasodilators dilate the vascular walls and make the blood flow more easily and thus reduces hypertension e.g. minoxidil.

Above pharmacological agents do not eradicate hypertension but regulate it. So a patient should be compliant to therapy.

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension