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Hypertension: control your blood pressure

Hypertension or (high blood pressure) is a common medical condition,

 that expresses the force of blood streaming inside the arteries or blood vessels.

It’s a ratio of two numbers or two forces the first one is the force of bloodstream pumped from the heart,

 and the second is the resistance or the diameter of the blood vessel lumen.

when the bloodstream pumped from the heart is strong and the artery or blood vessel is narrow, then,

 the blood pressure will be high as it is defined as hypertension.




The definition of hypertension:


It ‘s the value of two numbers representing the amount of blood contracted and refilled in the heart,

 during contraction or pumping process.

systolic pressure:

it’s the number that represents the amount of blood contracted or ejected from the heart into arteries during the contraction process.

diastolic pressure:

it’s the number that represents the force of blood inside arteries when the heart is refilling or relaxed in each beat.




The symptoms of hypertension:


In a lot of cases, there are no symptoms for high blood pressure over years,

 and the patient doesn’t know about his high hypertension until he goes for a clinical check up.

The diagnosis of high blood pressure is too easy to be detected by blood pressure machines

 found in clinics, hospitals and healthcare properties.

Other patients can have some symptoms such as headache, shortness of breath, neck pain or dizziness.

but in most cases they can’t diagnose or differentiate the symptoms of hypertension,

 which are similar to the symptoms of other diseases,

 it’s considered as a risk factor to the patient to progress the complications of high blood pressure such as,

 heart disorders or other life threatening diseases.




Causes of hypertension:


There are two reasons of high blood pressure reveal in patients:


primary hypertension:

This type is caused in elderly people due to unidentified reasons, it progresses over years and years and almost without any symptoms.

secondary hypertension:

This type is caused because of other pathological conditions, and appears suddenly unlike the primary hypertension which reveals over years.

these pathological conditions may be:

  • cushing syndrome
  • hyperthyroidism or thyroid gland disorders
  • kidney diseases
  • some types of medications such as contraceptive pills and nasal decongestant
  • pregnancy can cause hypertension






Risk factors of hypertension:


high blood pressure has a lot of risk factors declared as the following:


age: 

hypertension is more common in older ages, especially in males more than females who get the age of 65 and more.


pathological family history:

patients who have family history of hypertension may have a risk factor for getting this disease more than other ones.


obesity:

obesity can cause the increase of blood pressure, as when the fat cells get more in number,

 it needs more oxygen and nutrition from the body, so the heart pumps more blood that causes hypertension.

In addition to that,

 obesity may cause the accumulation of harmful fatty compounds on the wall of blood vessels,

 causing the narrowing of the lumen of the blood vessels and increase of resistance to the bloodstream.


smoking:

smoking or tobacco is the most common risk factor for high blood pressure,

 smoking can break down in the body releasing harmful chemical compounds accumulated on the arterial walls,

 causing the narrowing of it and increase in blood pressure.


increased amount of salts in diet:

 when the person takes diets with high amounts of salts within,

 it can lead to retaining fluids inside the body and so,

 increase the blood volume then increase the blood pressure.


lack of physical exercise:

when the person tends to do some physical exercises and movements,

 it helps the body to digest and break down the harmful fatty compound or other chemical substances,

 during the renewal of blood circulation.

it can also get rid of the excessive fluids during the excretion process through urination and sweating.


some chronic diseases:

chronic diseases can cause high blood pressure especially in elderly people,

 such as: sleep apnea, kidney disorders or some endocrine disorders.


pregnancy: 

it’s another type of hypertension that occurs in the pregnant woman, as her blood pressure increases.

in most cases the blood pressure returns to its normal value after labour,

 but it’s very important to the pregnant woman to follow up with a doctor to prevent the complications of high blood pressure such as eclampsia,

 that is considered as a serious condition may lead to abortion or other disorders for the pregnant mother.




Treatment of hypertension:


There are a lot of medications or drugs can used for treatment of high blood pressure,

 that the doctor can prescribe it single or in compounded form according to the case and severity of disease.


Diuretic drugs:

These drugs are used to increase urination to get rid of the harmful substances and excessive fluids,

 that can decrease the blood volume and blood pressure.

such as:

  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Loop diuretics
  • K sparing diuretics

ACE Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors:

drugs are used to inhibit the angiotensin enzyme to prevent the formation of angiotensin substance,

 which is responsible for the contraction of arterial wall muscles,

 leading to relaxation of these muscles and dilatation of the arterial lumen and so, decrease the elevated blood pressure.

such as: enalapril.


ARBs Angiotensin receptor blockers:

They are blockers for the angiotensin enzyme receptors, they can prevent the conversion of angiotensin substance,

 which is responsible for the contraction of arterial wall muscles.


Calcium channel blockers:

These drugs are blockers for the calcium channels, which prevent the entry of calcium inside the muscle cells of the arterial wall.

This can decrease contraction of the wall and increase the lumen of the artery and then decrease blood pressure.

such as: verapamil




Prevention of hypertension:


  • follow a healthy diet plan rich in vegetables, fruits and vitamins and avoid too much salty diets.
  • doing physical exercises and practicing sports all the time.
  • maintain healthy body weight.
  • stop smoking.
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