Blood Pressure, is Yours O.K.? Why Not Get it Checked?
What is (BP), Blood Pressure?
This 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 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 is highest during the systole activity and lowest during the diastole activity. The unit of measurement is millimetres. A normal pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg.
A normal healthy person maintains the pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg. A deviation from this normal reading can result in a BP disorder. There are basically two abnormal conditions. They are known as high BP or hypertension and low BP or hypotension.
High BP/ Hypertension
A person is known to suffer from this condition when their measurement of pressure increases over that of a normal reading. A normal pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg. When this increases to, say 140/ 90 mmHg, the person is known to have high BP.
This is often termed as ‘a silent killer’. You might be suffering from this for a long period of time and not know it at all. When a person develops high BP, 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.The condition causes high BP or hypertension. This condition strains your heart and can even damage your blood vessels. If the vessels get damaged, the 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 BP.
There are two forms of high BP, essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. Around 95 % of hypertension cases are related to essential hypertension. The cause of essential hypertension is multi fold 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 BP largely remains undetected in its first stage of occurrence. A person would probably never know about it. But if the condition of high BP prolongs, it can cause serious damages to the various body organs. High BP can directly affect the person in the form of kidney failure, congestive heart failure or heart attack.
Low BP/ Hypotension
In the medical terms, low BP is called hypotension. A person is said to have low BP disorder, if his BP falls below the normal reading of 120/80 mmHg.
Why Low Blood Pressure?
There are many causes of low BP. 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 BP. Increasing age causes your arteries to stiffen and cause a drop in the pressure.
Damage to adrenal glands can also lead to low BP 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 BP. This causes dizziness when you stand up. Low BP can also be caused due to the usage of diuretics.
A person with low BP shows symptoms of chest pain, headache, prolonged diarrhoea 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 BP, nor low BP is good for your body and health. You should get your BP checked regularly for either of these two disorders. The proper treatment and control of your BP will definitely enable you to live a healthy and happy life!
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