High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

Blood Pressure (BP) is required for the heart to pump the blood for circulation across the body. When this blood pressure is above the normal limit, we call this condition High Blood pressure. It is also called hyper tension. Normal Blood pressure varies from 100-120 mmHg for systolic pressure & less than 85 mmHg for diastolic Pressure. Systolic please, is the pressure in the blood vessel when the heart pumps/contracts. While, Diastolic pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes. So normal BP is less than 120/80 mmHg. While high blood pressure is 140/90 or above.

The types of Hyper Tension/HBP

There are two types of hyper tension.

  • Primary hyper tension: 90% of patients have Primary Blood Pressure. Primary hyper tension can be hereditary or have no past history that would result in high blood pressure.
  • Secondary hyper tension: About 10% of HBP patients have secondary hyper tension. This primarily occurs due a disease already ailing the patient. This could be in due to diabetes, disease in the kidney, kidney arteries, thyroid, endocrine, aorta, adrenal gland. Unless the underlying disease causing the HBP is treated, HPB can not be controlled.

How does High Blood Pressure affects your body?

High blood pressure puts additional stress to the arteries, arteries provide pure nourishing blood supply to each and ever part of the human body. As the pressure in the arteries increases, the stress on the artery walls increases considerably. Due to the stress the walls become thicker, while the lumen (opening of the artery) becomes narrow. This narrowing reduces the blood supply in that region of body.

  • If the blood supply in the brain artery patient can have clot formation or bleeding in the brain which could eventually lead to stroke or paralysis.
  • Similarly, HBP can damage the arteries of the eyes leading to sudden blindness, diminished vision,
  • If the artery of the heart is affected, patient can suffer from heart attack. The heart muscles thicken leading to hypertrophy, in later stages the heart can dilate and lead to heart failure.
  • If the kidney arteries are also thicken, the blood supply to the kidney reduces. As the supply reduces the size of the kidney and its functioning reduces significantly. If not treated in time could lead to kidney failure. The patient may require dialysis.
  • If the arteries of the leg get blocked, blood supply to the leg is hampered. This could lead to peripheral vascular disease. In some cases the blood supply is completely cut off the leg in which case the leg has to be amputated.

These complications can occur if one does not keep control on the blood pressure. However, if you keep the blood pressure in check with medication and maintain your blood pressure you can live a perfectly normal life. There would be no difference between a normal person and person with HPB as long as the HPB is kept in control.