Thursday, January 06, 2011

Hypertension or High blood pressure

High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries.

Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body.

High blood pressure does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase blood pressure.

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body.

Blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and usually given as two numbers - for example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg). One or both of these numbers can be too high.

The top number is your systolic pressure.
  • It is considered high if it is over 140 most of the time.
  • It is considered normal if it is below 120 most of the time.

The bottom number is your diastolic pressure.
  • It is considered high if it is over 90 most of the time.
  • It is considered normal if it is below 80 most of the time.

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called "pre-hypertension", and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high.

The top number, the systolic blood pressure, corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood forward into the arteries.

The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes after the contraction.

The diastolic pressure reflects the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed.

The diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so efforts can be made to normalize blood pressure and prevent complications.

It was previously thought that rises in diastolic blood pressure were a more important risk factor than systolic elevations, but it is now known that in people 50 years or older systolic hypertension represents a greater risk.

Causes :

Essential hypertension :
Most of the time, no cause is identified. This is called essential hypertension. 

Essential hypertension is the most prevalent hypertension type, affecting 90–95% of hypertensive patients.  

Although no direct cause has been identified, there are many factors such as sedentary life style, smoking, stress, obesity, Potassium deficiency, salt (sodium) sensitivity, alcohol intake, vitamin D deficiency that increase the risk of developing hypertension.

Risk also increases with aging, some inherited genetic mutations, and having a family history of hypertension. 
An elevated level of renin, a hormone secreted by the kidney, is another risk factor.

Insulin resistance, which is a component of syndrome X (or the metabolic syndrome), is also thought to contribute to hypertension.  

Recent studies have implicated low birth weight as a risk factor for adult essential hypertension.


Secondary hypertension : 

Secondary hypertension by definition results from an identifiable cause. 

This type is important to recognize since it's treated differently to essential hypertension, by treating the underlying cause of the elevated blood pressure. 
Hypertension results in the compromise or imbalance of the pathophysiological mechanisms, such as the hormone-regulating endocrine system, that regulate blood plasma volume and heart function. 

Many conditions cause hypertension, some are common and well recognized secondary causes such as Cushing's syndrome, which is a condition where the adrenal glands overproduce the hormone cortisol. 

In addition, hypertension is caused by other conditions that cause hormone changes such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism (citation needed), and certain tumors of the adrenal medulla (e.g., pheochromocytoma). 

Other common causes of secondary hypertension include kidney disease, obesity/metabolic disorder, pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, the congenital defect known as coarctation of the aorta, and certain prescription and illegal drugs. 
Signs and symptoms : 
Most of the time, there are no symptoms. 

Symptoms that may occur include:

1. Headaches - Headaches may be experienced due to elevation in blood pressure. Sometimes morning headaches can also be due to hypertension. 

2. Dizziness - Dizziness is often experience by people with high blood pressure. However dizziness cannot always be treated as a symptom of hypertension. If dizziness is experienced it is always wise to consult a medical practitioner.  

3. Heart pain  

4. Palpitations  

5. Nose bleeds - Nosebleeds without particular reason might be a symptom of high blood pressure. It is better to check the blood pressure in such cases.  

6. Difficulty in breathing  

7. Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears)  

8. Blurred Vision  

9. Frequent urination

    If you have a severe headache or any of the symptoms above, see your doctor right away.
    These may be signs of a complication or dangerously high blood pressure called malignant hypertension.

    Exams and Tests :
    1. Hypertension may be diagnosed by a health professional who measures blood pressure with a device called a sphygmomanometer - the device with the arm cuff, dial, pump, and valve. 
    2. Echocardiogram 
    3. Electrocardiogram 
    4. Ultrasound of the kidney

    Treatment :
    The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications.

    There are many different medicines that can be used to treat high blood pressure, including:

    1. ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril)
    2. Alpha blockers (e.g., prazosin)
    3. Angiotensin II receptor antagonists (e.g., losartan)
    4. Beta blockers (e.g., propranolol)
    5. Calcium channel blockers (e.g., verapamil)
    6. Diuretics (e.g. hydrochlorothiazide)
    7. Direct renin inhibitors (e.g., aliskiren)

    Reduction of the blood pressure by 5 mmHg can decrease the risk of stroke by 34%, of ischaemic heart disease by 21%, and reduce the likelihood of dementia, heart failure, and mortality from cardiovascular disease.

    Do's & Dont's :
    1. Eat a heart-healthy diet, including potassium and fiber, and drink plenty of water.
    2. Exercise regularly - at least 30 minutes a day.
    3. If you smoke, quit - find a program that will help you stop.
    4. Stop alcohol drinking.
    5. Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat - aim for less than 1,500 mg per day.
    6. Reduce stress - try to avoid things that cause stress for you. You can also try meditation or yoga.
    7. Stay at a healthy body weight -- find a weight-loss program to help you, if you need it.

    Complications : 
    01. Blood vessel damage (arteriosclerosis) 
    02. Brain damage 
    03. Congestive heart failure 
    04. Chronic kidney disease 
    05. Heart attack 
    06. Hypertensive heart disease 
    07. Peripheral artery disease 
    08. Pregnancy complications 
    09. Stroke 
    10. Vision loss


    Ayurvedic Remedies : 

    Classical Preparations :
    01. Sarpagandhaadhi Gulika
    02. Dhanwantharam Gulika
    03. Rasonaadhi Kashaayam
    04. Ashtavargam Kashaayam
    05. Maha Rasnadhi Kashaayam
    06. Gandharava Hasthaadhi Kashaayam
    07. Paarthaarishtam
    08. Arjunaarishtam
    09. Jeerakaarishtam
    10. Saraswathaarishtam

    Useful Plants :
    01. Brahmi : Bacopa monerri - ബ്രഹ്മി
    02. Shankhpushpi :  Clitoria ternatea - ശംഖു പുഷ്പം
    03. Jatamansi : Nardostachys jatamansi - ജഡാമാഞ്ചി
    04. Garlic : Allium sativum Linn. - വെളുത്ത ഉള്ളി
    05. Sarppa gandha : Rauwolfia serpentina - അമല്‍ പൊരി
    06. Ankola :  Alangium salvifolium  - അങ്കോലം
    07. Shigru :  Moringa oleifera  - മുരിങ്ങ  
    08. Nithya kalyaanni : Vinca rosea - നിത്യ കല്യാണി 

    Click Here For More Health Related Articles

    1 comment:

    നിങ്ങളുടെ വിമര്‍ശനങ്ങളും അഭിപ്രായങ്ങളും നിര്‍ദ്ദേശങ്ങളും ഇവിടെ പങ്കുവെക്കാന്‍ മറക്കരുതേ....