Blood pressure can be defined as the pressure or force that is applied against the artery walls as blood is carried through the circulatory system. It is recorded as a measurement of this force in relation to the heart’s pumping activity, and is measured in millimeters of mercury. The top number, systolic pressure is the measurement of the pressure that occurs when the heart contracts of beats. The bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is the measurement recorded between beats, while the heart is at rest.
Causes of Primary Hypertension
Lack of physical activity: Most of the causes for primary hypertension are caused by the lifestyle factor. The lack of physical activity could, first of all, increase cholesterol levels. Rising cholesterol levels narrows the blood vessel, thus increasing the pressure of blood flow – hypertension.
Adrenal tumors that are causes of secondary hypertension are pheochromocytoma, primary aldosteronism, and Cushing’s syndrome. The last two types of adrenal tumors require complicated treatment, which unfortunately is not always effective in lowering blood pressure while removal of the pheochromocytoma has a better chance of treating hypertension.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is only determined through a blood pressure measurement equipment and reads the systolic and diastolic of the blood. There is actually no identified sign of hypertension; rather, it varies from one person to another. Some people report to have experienced headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurring of vision and facial flushing.
Other symptoms such as fatigue, nervousness, palpitations, racing or irregular heartbeats, chest pain suggest hypertension caused by other conditions. Bleeding in the retina, also known as retinal hemorrhage, or from the nose (Epistaxis) may be indicative of high blood pressure. Cramping in the leg while walking, excess perspiration, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, shortness of breath and restlessness are other possible symptoms of hypertension. In rare cases, the high blood pressure may cause heart attacks, kidney failure or brain swelling, which can lead to drowsiness and coma. Disturbed levels of consciousness such as sleepiness and even seizures in severe cases of hypertension, may occur.
Treatment of Hypertension
Drugs used in the treatment of hypertension include thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers. The newer ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers were promoted as being better for the treatment of hypertension than the older thiazide diuretics and beta blockers, however this was mostly marketing hype since the newer drugs were on patent and made more money for the drug companies. However the studies showed that, at least compared to thiazide diuretics, the newer drugs weren’t as good, even they cost much more.
Thiazide diuretics. These medications act on your kidneys to help your body eliminate sodium and water, reducing blood volume. Thiazide diuretics are often the first — but not the only — choice in high blood pressure medications. Still, diuretics are often not prescribed. If you’re not taking a diuretic and your blood pressure remains high, talk to your doctor about adding one or replacing a drug you currently take with a diuretic.