Blood Pressure including Hypertension

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood as it is circulated in the arteries. Each time the heart beats it squirts a relatively small volume of blood into the arterial system momentarily boosting the pressure of the circulating blood.

Think of blood pressure as you would the mains pressure in the household water pipes.

Systolic blood pressure is the higher level of pressure which occurs each time the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure is the lower level existing when the heart relaxes in between beats, and is the resting level of pressure.

Hypertension is a blood pressure higher than normal.

Hypotension is blood pressure lower than normality.

Normal levels of blood pressure are hard to define. If your doctor is concerned, it may be necessary to take several readings spread over several weeks to months before a decision is made to put you on to medication. This is also because you might have to take it for the rest of your life.

Symptoms of raised blood pressure are few until the pressure is dangerously high. So each time you have a check-up with your local doctor, your blood pressure should be measured.

Increased blood pressure gradually throws a strain on the blood vessels causing them to lose their elasticity and harden. This causes narrowing of the arteries which produces a further increase in blood pressure. A high fat diet which clogs up and narrows blood vessels can complicate the picture. With high blood pressure, the heart feels a stain when it attempts to pump blood through the body, resulting in a general onset of heart disease.

The types of high blood pressure are :

Primary or Essential Hypertension which is a medical way of saying we donít know the cause, accounts for 85 to 95% of cases of high blood pressure. It often runs in the family. The onset of essential hypertension is usually between the ages of 25 and 55.

Secondary Hypertension is raised blood pressure associated with an underlying cause such as kidney disease, tumours or following the use of oral contraceptive pills. The are other causes which your doctor can determine.

From all of this it can be seen that throughout your adult life it is sensible to have your blood pressure regularly checked by your general practitioner who is in a position to evaluate the various readings.

Blood pressure readings can be influenced by anxiety, by the time of day - it is generally lower early in the morning and higher towards the end of the day, but the lowest reading is during sleep. It can be affected by the stress which you experience during the day.

In hypertension, the following points are important :

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing narrowed arteries which are also a complication of high blood pressure.

Obesity (overweight) is often associated with a rise in blood pressure and the blood pressure falls as you lose weight.

It is generally accepted that a lower salt diet is recommended when a degree raised blood pressure is present.

Emotional stress such as problems at home or at work may aggravate blood pressure. regular holidays and recreation may be all that is necessary to keep your blood pressure in check. For some people stress management helps their blood pressure to go down.

Mild to moderate blood pressure responds to a

- Anaemia - Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia
- Anxiety - Arthritis
- Asthma - Backache
- Blood Pressure including Hypertension - Boils and Carbuncles
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - Chronic Bronchitis
- Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) - Colostomy and Ileostomy
- Constipation - Cramp
- Cystitis - Diabetes
- Diarrhoea - Earache
- Footcare - Gallstones
- Glandular Fever (Infectious Mononucleosis) - Gout
- Haemophilia - Headache
- Hepatitis - Hip Replacement
- Indigestion - Influenza
- Jaundice - Kidney Stones
- Legionnaires Disease - Low Blood Pressure
- Migraine - Nose Bleeding
- Osteoporosis - Peptic Ulcers (Gastric or Duodenal)
- Piles (Haemorrhoids) - Pneumonia
- Poor Circulation (incl Buergers & Raynauds Disease) - Prostate Problems
- Rheumatic Fever - Shingles
- Sleeping Difficulties (Insomnia) - Slipped Disc
- Spinal Injuries - The Common Cold
- The Overactive Thyroid Gland - The Underactive Thyroid Gland
- Thrombophlebitis of Superficial Veins - Thrombosis in Veins
- Tonsillitis and Complications

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