The heart is a hollow muscular organ of human beings. It acts as force pump that maintains the circulation of the blood. Blood Circulation is important in the human’s body because it carries nutrients to the tissues and waste products away from the body. When the heart pumps blood it exert force called blood pressure. Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood upon the walls of the blood vessels and arteries. High blood pressure happens when the heart needs to exerts extra force to push the blood.
Causes of high blood pressure
There are many risk factors that can lead to this condition:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High intake of salt
- High levels of alcohol consumption
- Genetic tendency
- Birth control pills and other medications
Signs and symptoms of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a silent killer because most people will not experience any symptoms. But once blood pressure reaches about 180/110 mmHg, it is considered a medical emergency. At this stage, symptoms will show as follows:
- A headache
- Blurred or double vision
- An irregular beating of the heart
- Bell’s Palsy or inability to control facial muscles on one side of the face
- Seizure, failure to thrive, lethargy, respiratory distress (for newborns or young babies)
High blood pressure complications
If not treated, excessive pressure on the artery walls can lead to damage of blood vessels. Below are some complications of high blood pressure:
- Blood clots
- Metabolic syndrome
- Thickened, torn blood or narrowed blood vessels in the eyes
- Memory problems
- Kidney disease
- Heart attack and heart failure
High blood pressure medicines
Below are some common drugs for treating high blood pressure:
- Thiazide diuretics – This drug acts on the kidney to help the body remove sodium and water. This will help lessen the blood volume which may result in lower blood pressure.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors – This drug blocks the actions of some hormones that regulate blood pressure.
- Renin inhibitors – Renin is an enzyme produced in the kidneys. It is involved in the production of Angiotensin I. Renin inhibitors helps reduce or block the production of this enzyme.
- Calcium channel blockers – This drug decreases the calcium in blood vessels. It helps relaxes the vascular muscle so it will not contract that strong which may result in the widening of arteries.
- Beta-blockers – This is the most used treatment of high blood pressure. This drug can slow down the heart rate, reducing the force of the heart resulting in low blood pressure.
High blood pressure diagnosis
Health providers diagnose high blood pressure through sphygmomanometer and determine hypertension problem after 4-5 readings. Blood test, ECG and urine test are also taken to check other ailments due to blood pressure.
High blood pressure treatment
The following can help treat this kind of disease:
- Change in lifestyle – Lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure. Lifestyle changes include regular exercise, having enough sleep, losing weight and diet
- Prescribed medication – Your doctor may prescribe medicines that can help lower your blood pressure.
- Consultation with a specialist – Your doctor may refer you to a heart specialist if your blood pressure is very high.