health challenges - High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)


The circulating blood within the human body exerts a force on the walls of the arteries and veins through which it travels, thus force the exerted by the blood on the walls of the veins and arteries in the body is known as blood pressure. The pressure generated is guided, controlled and regulated by a complex system involving may internal and vital organs such as the heart, the brain, the kidneys and the adrenal glands, of course the blood vessels, that is the veins and the arteries themselves play a large and important role in this regulation. Minute by minute fluctuation of the pressure in blood is not only possible; it is frequent and normally seen in all individuals. In a condition known medically as hypertension, this pressure does not climb down and remains high throughout the day, this is chronic hypertension and it is a serious condition in many people.

Two readings or numbers are used to record the blood pressure in an individual. When the heart contracts it is known as a systole, so a systolic pressure, which is the first number in a reading, reflects the contraction of the heart and the sudden gush of oxygen laden blood into the arterial system for distribution to the tissues. When the heart relaxes or dilates, it is called a diastole, the diastolic pressure of blood, which is the lower number is thus a reflection of the relaxation or dilation of the heart. Using these two numbers, a normal range or pressure for most people has been calculated and thus in an average human adult, the systolic pressure is 120, and the diastolic is 80, this is written as 120/80, there is also a wide range around this two numbers and this numbers reflect only the usual blood pressure. During chronic conditions of hypertension however, the blood pressure averages very high systolic and diastolic ranges, thus a person can be said to be suffering from hypertension when the average blood pressure hovers around 140/90 or possibly higher, where two separate measurements have been undertaken.

The majority of sufferers from hypertension are afflicted with a type of raised blood pressure known as essential hypertension, this form occurs in an amazing 90% of afflicted patients, the underlying reason for the presence of hypertension in this case is unidentified. There are however some generalizations that can be made, gender is an important factor as a risk, for example men are more likely than women to develop hypertension. The other possible risk factors include any history of hypertension in the family, habits like smoking, medical conditions like obesity and a diet rich or abundant in sodium. As a demographic group African Americans are more prone compared to whites where the development of hypertension is concerned.


Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension may not produce any symptoms, even if you have had it for years. That’s why it is sometimes referred to as a “silent killer.” It’s estimated that 1 out of every 5 people with high blood pressure aren’t aware that they have this major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks. If not properly treated, high blood pressure can damage the heart and circulation, lungs, brain, and kidneys without causing noticeable symptoms. Symptoms of high blood pressure may be present in those who have an extremely high blood pressure.

Symptoms of extremely high blood pressure include the following:

  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears



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