HYPERTENSION
Description


 
  Symptoms
Behaviour – irritability Blood pressure - high Breathing - difficulty
Chest - pain Ear - noise (tinnitus) Face - paralysis
Fatigue/exhaustion Head - ache Heart - beat irregular
Mental confusion Nausea Nose - bleeding
Urine - dark color Vision - blurred  
  Description

Hypertension, also called high blood pressure or arterial hypertension, is a chronic condition in which the blood pressure against the walls in the arteries is elevated. High blood pressure is called "the silent condition" because it does not show symptoms for many years until it can be “sensed” when more complicated symptoms appear.

Measurements of blood pressure show two readings in millimeters of mercury (written as mmHg):

-         Systolic, at the top, when heart muscle is contracting, and

-         Diastolic, the bottom reading, expressed when the heart muscle is relaxed between beats.

The readings are structured and interpreted in different forms. The most common is:

Classification Systolic BP (mmHg) Diastolic BP (mmHg)
Hypertension Stage 2 > 160 > 100
Hypertension Stage 1 140 - 159 90 - 99
Normal - High 130 - 139 85 - 89
Normal 120 - 129 80 - 84
Optimal < 120 < 80

Another classification considers pre-hypertension the readings over 120 mmHg systolic or over 80 mmHg diastolic.

Blood pressure normally changes throughout the day, but when either systolic or diastolic pressure stays constantly high (140/90 mmHg or above) it is called “hypertension”. For certain individuals with diabetes or chronic kidney disease is considered high when it is over 130 mmHg systolic or over 80 mmHg diastolic.

Hypertension is classified as:

-           Primary (or essential) hypertension, with unknown cause, and

-         Secondary hypertension that is caused by known conditions such as kidney disease, or endocrine system dysfunctions.

Numerous surveys and studies have found a strong correlation between blood pressure and outdoor temperature, showing higher blood pressure during winter. Apparently, cold increases sympathetic tone leading to an increment of the blood pressure. On the other side, the decreasing tendency of blood pressure observed in summer is explained by cutaneous vasodilatation and loss of water and salt from sweating.

Some studies also suggest that there is a link between deficiency of vitamin D and blood pressure.

Hypertension during pregnancy can lead to pre-eclampsia, characterized by the presence of protein in the urine.

Hypertension in children and young people can indicate the presence of underlying disorders. In most of cases, they are related to obesity and kidney diseases. If discovered during middle age and left untreated, hypertension can affect vital organs of the body and speeds up brain aging with the possibility of cognitive deterioration later in life.
  Causes

The exact causes of hypertension are mostly unknown. However, there are some factors that have been statistically associated with the condition:

-          Obesity or overweight

-          Diabetes

-          Smoking

-          Lifestyle (poor physical activity)

-          High levels of water and salt in the body

-          Alcoholism or excess of alcohol consumption

-     Genetic factors

-          Deficiency of vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and potassium

-          Stress

 -    Medicines such as birth control pills, diet pills or cold medications

-          Chronic kidney disease

-          Disorders of the adrenal gland

-          Hyperthyroidism and other endocrine disorders

-          Pregnancy (pre-eclampsia)

-          Environment (cold outdoor temperatures)

-          Early life events (lack of breast feeding, low birth weight, etc.)

-          Tumors

Aging is also a factor but it is natural because the blood vessels become stiffer as people age.

  Diagnosis

Along with daily blood pressure measurements during a period of time, the following tests should be necessary to confirm the diagnosis of hypertension:

-          Cholesterol levels

-          Echocardiogram or electrocardiogram

-          Blood test - basic metabolic panel

-          Urine analysis

-          Ultrasound of the kidneys

Ophthalmoscopy findings may also give some indication of hypertension.

   More Information:
Hypertension Treatment
Hypertension Healthcare Centers
 

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