Blood is a crucial part of the circulatory system of the body. Pumped by the heart throughout the body by a network of arteries, veins and capillaries, it is a transportation medium responsible for various functions including the exchange of gases (Oxygen and carbon dioxide), delivering nutrients, carrying hormones(e.g: adrenaline) and antibodies as well as regulating body temperature.
The blood is required to flow with a certain difference of pressure in blood vessels in order to travel successfully between the heart and the body. Normal blood pressure is necessary for good health. The blood pressure is greater in the aorta- the largest artery -as it carries blood from the heart to the body. Whereas, the veins transport blood to the heart from the body at a lower pressure. It is measured by the force applied on the walls of the arteries as blood flows through. It is represented by two numbers. The numbers read:
-The Systolic Pressure: the higher number for the contraction of the heart.
-The Diastolic Pressure: the lower number for the brief relaxation in between heartbeats.
Normal Blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
If Blood Pressure drops below or elevates above normal, health is threatened.
High Blood Pressure is defined as an increased strain on the arteries during blood flow. It is also termed hypertension or silent killer as high blood pressure can sometimes happen without apparent symptoms and become fatal. According to the World Health Organization,1.13 billion of the global population has hypertension wherein the U.S alone, it includes 100 million Americans.
If the symptoms do occur they also vary in men and women due to hormones as well as ages. They can also indicate the presence of other medical problems.
However, common symptoms include:
-Sickness and vomiting
Hypertension is responsible for 5.7 million deaths annually. It is recommended to log Blood Pressure levels routinely and to consult a medical professional if the symptoms appear.
Hypertension is a result of multiple factors which ultimately add up to increase health risks. High Blood Pressure without identified cause is called primary hypertension and it is quite common (90%-95%)
Secondary Hypertension is rather severe. It occurs quickly and worsens over time. It can be caused by numerous conditions such as alcoholism, obesity, lack of exercise, loss of elasticity or narrowed artery walls, diabetes, kidney disease, disorder of adrenal glands as well as illegal drugs and side effects to medication.
Hypertension is also attributed to environmental, genetic, and physical changes. Similarly, a study found that African Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than Americans. Furthermore, women older than 55 and men older than 60 have a greater chance of getting hypertension.
Hypertension has several treatment methods.
Primary hypertension is usually treated by changing lifestyles and shifting to a healthier diet and regular exercise.
Secondary Hypertension treatment includes prescribed medication. Some medications include, Beta-Blockers-to slow heartbeat, Diuretic pills-to lower sodium levels by the function of kidneys, and Calcium channel blockers- blocking calcium from cardiac muscles.
Natural remedies include adopting a healthier diet, sleep and stress management, cutting back on alcohol consumption, and also reducing salt intake.