Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. This blood travels through the circulatory system to the organs and muscles of the body, carring the oxygen and nutrients they need to perform their functions. The force of the blood being pushed through the arteries causes pressure, which is generally measured in the artery of the upper arm, is the blood pressure. In every individuals, blood pressure normally goes up and down during the day and night, depending on a variety of factors, including activity level, diet, and emotions.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is described as having a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg. The first number is called the systolic blood pressure. The second number is called the diastolic blood pressure. Systolic pressure is measured when the heart beats, forcing blood through the arteries and putting maximum pressure against their walls. Diastolic pressure is measured when the heart relaxes between beats and fills with blood, and pressure against the artery walls drops. The blood pressure chart defined by the American Heart Association is as blow:
|Blood Pressure Category||Systolic (mm Hg)||Diastolic (mm Hg )|
|Hypertension Stage 1||140-159||90-99|
|Hypertension Stage 2||160-179||100-109|
|Hypertension Crisis||Higher than 180||Higher than 110|
Hypertension usually causes no symptoms in its early stages. Only regular checkups can detect it. About 46% f people with hypertension don’t know they have it. So hypertension is also called “the slient killer”. Sometimes people with serious hypertension may cause headache, dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain and shortness of breath. Besides epidemiological studies have repeatedly identified an important and independent risk relation between high blood pressure and various disorders including coronary heart disease, stoke, congestive heart failure, and renal insufficiency.
Most clients with hypertension need drug treatment. Non-drug measures can help some clients control their pressure without taking medication. More ofen, these measures maybe prescribed along with drug treatment because they are good for general health.
- Salt restriction. It’s usually not enough to control hypertension by itself, but in combination with medication, it is often helpful.
- Weight reduction. Some over-weight patients show a decrease in blood pressure when they lose the excess weight.
- Cholesterol restriction. Cholesterol levels aren’t directly associated with hypertension, but high cholesterol, coupled with high blood pressure, can damage arteries.
- Aerobic activities like walking, jogging, bicycling, or swimming can lower diastolic pressure in many clients.
- No smoking. Nicotine directly affect the heart and blood vessels, producing acute increases in blood pressure.
- Stress control. Training in relaxation techniques and use of biofeedback helps some patients better handle stressful life situations.
There are several types of drugs used to treat hypertension, including:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. They help relax blood vessels by blocking the formation of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels. Such as lisinopril, benazepril, captopril and others.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). They help relax blood vessels by blocking the action, not the formation, of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels.For example candesartan, losartan and others.
- Diuretics. They act on your kidneys to help the body eliminate sodium and water, then reducing blood volume. Such as isosorbide, chlorthalidone, indapamide, chlorothiazide, torsemide and so on.
- Beta-blockers. They reduce the workload on your heart and open your blood vessels, causing your heart to beat slower and with less force. For example acebutolol, atenolol and others.
- Calcium channel blockers. They help relax the muscles of your blood vessels. Some slow your heart rate. Amlodipine and diltiazem are in this kind.
- Renin inhibitors. They work by relaxing the muscle in artery walls and by therefore reducing the force of contraction of heart muscle.