Topics: Hypertension, Blood pressure, Blood Pages: 4 (989 words) Published: January 10, 2013

What is hypertension? Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common condition that occurs when the pressure of the blood in your artery walls is so high; it starts to complicate your health. Your blood pressure is based on how much the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to the blood flowing in the arteries. The harder it pumps, the more constricted the arteries are, the higher the blood pressure reads. High blood pressure can be in a person for years and go unnoticed; however, once diagnosed, it can be treated. What are the causes of hypertension? There are two types of hypertension: 1. Essential (primary) hypertension – gradually develops over the years in adults. Some causes are: * Smoking

* Stress
* Inactive lifestyles
* Obesity
* Heavy salt intake
* Alcohol abuse
* Aging
* Insulin resistance
* Hereditary

2. Secondary hypertension – caused by a pre-existing condition. It’s acute and can read higher than in primary hypertension. Some of the pre-existing conditions may include: * Kidney issues

* Tumors in the adrenal glands
* Congenital defects in blood vessels
* Medications (birth control pills, cold remedies, pain relievers and some prescribed medications) * Cocaine and amphetamines
What is the mechanism of hypertension? Although it is not fully understood how the mechanism of essential hypertension works, secondary hypertension is understood. Cardiac output, (amount of blood pumped out by each ventricle in one minute) is elevated in the beginning stages of the disease while the total peripheral resistance (TPR) is normal. Through time, cardiac output drops to normal levels and TPR is raised. The diagram below shows the ranges of blood pressure and when hypertension becomes prevalent.

What are the symptoms of hypertension? Symptoms vary on the type of hypertension and in the persons themselves. Some symptoms are: * Headaches/drowsiness

References: www.mayoclinic.com
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