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Blood Pressure:  An  Overview       What  is  Blood  Pressure?     Blood  pressure  is  a  measurement  of  the  pressure  exerted  by  the  circulating  blood  on   the  walls  of  the  arteries,  veins  and  chambers  of  the  heart.  The  pressure  of  blood  is   measured  in  the  context  of  systolic  and  diastolic  activities.  When  the  ventricles  in   the  heart  contract,  it  is  termed  as  a  systolic  activity,  while  the  relaxing  ventricles   mark  a  diastolic  activity.     The  pressure  of  blood  is  highest  during  the  systole  activity  and  lowest  during  the   diastole  activity.  The  unit  of  measuring  blood  pressure  is  millimeters.  A  normal   blood  pressure  reading  is  120/80  mmHg.     A  normal  healthy  person  maintains  the  blood  pressure  reading  of  120/80  mmHg.  A   deviation  from  this  normal  reading  can  result  in  a  blood  pressure  disorder.  There   are  basically  two  abnormal  conditions  of  blood  pressure.  They  are  known  as  high   blood  pressure  or  hypertension  and  low  blood  pressure  or  hypotension.     High  Blood  Pressure/  Hypertension     A  person  is  known  to  suffer  from  high  blood  pressure  when  their  measurement  of   blood  pressure  increases  over  that  of  a  normal  reading.  A  normal  blood  pressure  is   120/80  mmHg.  When  this  blood  pressure  increases  to,  say  140/  90  mmHg,  the   person  is  known  to  have  high  blood  pressure.     High  blood  pressure  is  often  termed  as  'a  silent  killer'.  You  might  be  suffering  from  a   high  blood  pressure  for  a  long  period  of  time  and  not  know  it  at  all.  When  a  person   develops  high  blood  pressure,  it  usually  lasts  for  lifetime.     Why  High  Blood  Pressure?     Your  heart  pumps  the  blood  and  supplies  it  to  the  various  organs  of  your  body  via   arteries.  The  arteries,  when  leaving  your  heart,  narrow  into  arterioles.  The   arterioles  further  narrow  themselves  into  capillaries.  These  capillaries  supply   oxygen  and  nutrients  to  the  various  body  organs.     Due  to  certain  nerve  impulses,  the  arteries  become  dilated  or  contracted.  If  the   arteries  become  contracted,  the  passage  of  blood  is  hampered  and  it  increases  the   pressure  of  blood.  The  condition  causes  high  blood  pressure  or  hypertension.  This   condition  strains  your  heart  and  can  even  damage  your  blood  vessels.  If  the  vessels   get  damaged,  the  blood  supply  can  further  affect  various  body  organs  connected  to   the  damaged  vessels.    

The human  body  generally  bears  and  handles  this  sudden  increase  of  pressure  for  a   long  period  of  time.  This  is  one  of  the  sole  reasons  for  the  fact  that  you  can  live  your   whole  life,  without  any  ill-­‐effects  or  symptoms,  from  high  blood  pressure.     Two  Forms  of  High  Blood  Pressure     There  are  two  forms  of  high  blood  pressure,  essential  hypertension  and  secondary   hypertension.  Around  95  %  of  hypertension  cases  are  related  to  essential   hypertension.  The  cause  of  essential  hypertension  is  multifold  though.     There  are  several  factors  which  result  in  essential  hypertension.  One  of  the  major   factors  is  high  salt  intake.  Other  factors  that  can  contribute  to  the  cause  of  essential   hypertension  are  tobacco  smoking,  alcohol  abuse,  obesity,  diabetes  mellitus,  a   sedentary  lifestyle  and  genetic  causes.     Secondary  hypertension  amounts  to  at  least  5  %  of  the  cases  of  hypertension.  The   factors  contributing  to  secondary  hypertension  are  pregnancy,  a  slow  pulse,  drugs,   kidney  diseases,  certain  types  of  cancers,  malformed  aorta  and  aortic  vale  disease.     High  blood  pressure  largely  remains  undetected  in  its  first  stage  of  occurrence.  A   person  would  probably  never  know  about  it.  But  if  the  condition  of  high  blood   pressure  prolongs,  it  can  cause  serious  damages  to  the  various  body  organs.  High   blood  pressure  can  directly  affect  the  person  in  the  form  of  kidney  failure,   congestive  heart  failure  or  heart  attack.     Low  Blood  Pressure/  Hypotension     In  the  medical  terms,  low  blood  pressure  is  called  hypotension.  A  person  is  said  to   have  low  blood  pressure  disorder,  if  his  blood  pressure  falls  below  the  normal   reading  of  120/80  mmHg.     Why  Low  Blood  Pressure?     There  are  many  causes  of  low  blood  pressure.  Among  the  common  cause  include   acute  illness.  The  condition  can  be  characterized  with  the  symptoms  such  as  severe   blood  loss,  infection,  fluid  loss  or  damage  to  the  heart.  The  age-­‐factor  plays  an   important  role  in  low  blood  pressure.  Increasing  age  causes  your  arteries  to  stiffen   and  cause  a  drop  in  the  pressure  of  blood.     Damage  to  adrenal  glands  can  also  lead  to  low  blood  pressure  conditions.  Damage  to   adrenal  glands  affects  the  production  of  aldosterone  in  your  body.  This  hormone   controls  the  salt  amounts  in  the  body.  If  the  aldosterone  hormone  gets  affected,  it   leads  to  the  loss  of  salt  from  your  body,  further  resulting  in  low  blood  pressure.  This   causes  dizziness  when  you  stand  up.  Low  blood  pressure  can  also  be  caused  due  to   the  usage  of  diuretics.    

A person  with  low  blood  pressure  shows  symptoms  of  chest  pain,  headache,   prolonged  diarrhea  or  vomiting.  The  person  also  suffers  from  burning  sensation   while  urination,  stiff  neck,  high  fever  and  irregular  heartbeat.  The  person,  at  times,   suffers  from  shortness  of  breath  and  a  cough  with  phlegm.     Normal  is  healthy!     Neither  high  blood  pressure,  nor  low  blood  pressure  is  good  for  your  body  and   health.  You  should  get  your  blood  pressure  checked  regularly  for  either  of  these  two   disorders.  The  proper  treatment  and  control  of  your  blood  pressure  will  definitely   enable  you  to  live  a  healthy  and  happy  life!     Blood  Pressure  Answers  http://www.blood-­‐pressure-­‐    

Blood Pressure Answers