Hypertension occurs when arterioles, small blood vessels that branch of from the arteries, become constricted making it difficult for blood pressure to pass through them. As a result, blood pressure rises causing your heart to work harder. Normal blood pressure would be 120/80. If blood pressure is higher than 140/90 on several readings, you may have HTN. The blood pressure is measured in Systolic and Diastolic. When the Heart beats is called systolic pressure and when it rests it is called diastolic pressure and it is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The Heart Association considers blood pressure less than 140/90 normal for adults.
Hypertension is more common in men than women. More than half of all Americans over the age of 65 have hypertension. It is more common in African American than in White Americans. HTN in some cases may experience headaches or dizziness in the morning but for most no symptoms at all.
The most reliable way is to have a regular blood pressure checked regularly and a physical done. A diagnosis, of HTN is given when multiple high blood pressure readings. Hypertension is a serious medical condition because when in high risk patient, can lead to a heart disease, arteriosclerosis, Stroke, enlarged heart and kidneys damage.
Arterioscleriosis is hardening of the arteries. High blood pressure can make the artery walls thicken and harden, then the inside of the blood vessel narrows. Cholesterol and fats build up on walls of damaged arteries making them even narrower. Blood clots also trapped in narrowed arteries blocking the flow of the blood. Arteries narrowed by arterioclerosis will not deliver blood flow to organs and other tissues. Reduced or blocks blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack. A stroke can result if an artery is blocked on the brain. About 25 % of people who receive kidney dialysis have kidney failure caused by hypertension.
Also severe HTN may cause pulsating headaches, visual disturbances, numbness, seizures, sudden confusion, nausea and vomitting. Untreaded HTN can damage the organs. As I mentioned before, heart , liver disease, eyes, lead to Angina (chest pain) heart failure, kidney ( renal ) failure, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy and a stroke.
Hypertension without a known cause is called primary or essencial hypertension, when a person has HTN caused by another medical condition it is call secondary hypertension. Many people with kidney disorders have secondary HTN. The kidneys regulate the balance of salt and water in the body, if the kidneys cannot get rid of the excess salt and water, the blood pressure goes up. A kidney infection is the narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys called renal artery stenosis and other kidney disorders can disturb the salt and water balance.
Even though the cause of most HTN is not known, some people have risk factors that gives them a greater chance of developing it. Many of these can be changed to lower the chance of developing HTN or as part of a treatment program to lower blood pressure.
* Have a history of HTN in your family.
* Have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes or kidney disease.
* Are a African descent.
* Are a male.
* Are over 35 years of age.
* Are obese.
* Are taking oral contraceptives.
* Frequently consure alcohol beverages.
* Lead a sedentary life style.
* Not consuming the proper food intake (salt or cholesterol)
You can change your life, but you can not change your genes. Genetics seem to be one of the causes of HTN. Adult American males of African descent are at most risk for developing HTN...