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Blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes against the artery walls as it travels through the body. Like air in a balloon, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity—and just as too much air pressure can cause damage to a balloon, too much blood pressure can harm healthy arteries .Blood is pumped out of the heart into the blood vessels and around the body under a certain pressure. Blood pressure rises and falls with each heartbeat, and is recorded as two numbers written as one number above or in front the other .
Blood pressure is measured by two numbers—systolic pressure and diastolic pressure
what is Hypertension?
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. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is defined as a reading of 140/90 on three consecutive measurements at least six hours apart. The definition varies for pregnant women, where hypertension is defined as 140/90 on two consecutive measurements six hours apart. Consistently high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than it should and can damage the coronary arteries, the brain, the kidneys, and the eyes. Hypertension is a major cause of stroke. High blood pressure does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase blood pressure. 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. An elevation of the systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure increases the risk of developing heart (cardiac) disease, kidney (renal) disease, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis), eye damage, and stroke (brain damage). These complications of hypertension are often referred to as end-organ damage because damage to these organs is the end result of chronic (long duration) high blood pressure. For that reason, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is important so efforts can be made to normalize blood pressure and prevent complications.
What causes hypertension?
Though the exact causes of hypertension are usually unknown, there are several factors that have been highly associated with the condition. These include:
• Obesity or being overweight
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Lack of physical activity
• High levels of salt intake (sodium sensitivity)
• Insufficient calcium, potassium, and magnesium consumption
• Vitamin D deficiency
• High levels of alcohol consumption
• Medicines such as birth control pills
• Genetics and a family history of hypertension
• Chronic kidney disease
• Adrenal and thyroid problems or tumors
• The size and condition of the arteries
• The volume of fluid in the body
• The amount of blood pumped by the heart
• The condition of the kidneys and nervous system
• Levels of various hormones (eg, adrenaline, aldosterone)
• Having a parent or close relative with high blood pressure
How Does High Blood Pressure Affect the Body?
High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. The heart must pump harder and the arteries must carry blood that's moving under greater pressure. If high blood pressure continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may no longer work as well as they should. Other body organs, including the kidneys, eyes, and brain also may be affected. People can live with hypertension for many years without having any symptoms. That's why high blood pressure is often called "the silent killer." Though a person may not have any symptoms, it doesn't mean that the high blood pressure isn't affecting the body. Having high blood pressure puts a person at more risk for strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, loss of vision, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In rare cases, severe hypertension can sometimes cause headaches, visual changes, dizziness, nosebleeds, and nausea. A person who has high blood pressure and experiences any of these symptoms should be treated immediately
What is systolic blood pressure?
What is diastolic blood pressure?
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