High Blood Pressure
Facts about High blood pressure
What can cause high blood pressure? What are the symptoms?
Initially, there is no known cause for high blood pressure (hypertension). On the other hand, addition medical conditions such as heart or kidney conditions, can result in hypertension. However additional factors such as poor eating (fat, oil, salty foods), lack of exercise, and smoking can lead to hypertension.
Although, since high blood pressure is an internal condition, there is no physical symptoms, hence the nickname "the silent killer", because it can lead to fatal conditions, without showcasing any signs.
How to manage high blood pressure:
Some ways you can reduce hypertension is by maintaining a well balanced diet, exercising regularly, as well taking some medication. A few helpful medications are:
- Diuretics- Also known as water pills. These pills cause the kidneys to remove more salt and water from blood into the urine, resulting in blood pressure decrease.
- Beta Blockers- Reduce the work load by decreasing the heart rate and strength of contractions, causing the heart to pump slower, and more effectively.
How to know if you have high blood pressure?
- Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
- Pre-hypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
- Stage 1 High blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
- Stage 2 High blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
- High blood pressure in people over age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above
Normal blood pressure is from 120/80, however if the blood pressure was to exceed to 140/90, one will be diagnosed with a condition called "hypertension", or more likely known as high blood pressure. sympathetic input must decrease, while the parasympathetic input increases. By increasing the parasympathetic input, it decreases the cardiac output and the reduction of heart rate, thus the heart will be slower to pump blood. Therefore by decreasing the sympathetic input, and increasing the parasympathetic input, the heart rate also decreases.
Once the baroreceptors, which are stretch receptors found in the wall of all arteries of the neck and thorax; detect that the pressure of the blood is high, the cardio regulatory center of the medulla decreases the sympathetic input to the blood vessels. Henceforth causing "vasodilation", which decreases total peripheral resistance, and decreases the pressure of blood.
Connection to Biochemistry
Abnormalities, or dysregulation of biochemical pathways can contribute to hypertension. However, the molecular basis is unknown, for the reason being that elevations of blood pressure are the result of an unusual expression multiple genes.
High blood pressure is complex disease, because of a single identifiable cause, such as obesity, smoking, etc, or single gene mutation. Many factors that affect blood pressure would be salt intake, lipids, cholesterol metabolism, kidney disease, smoking, and lack of exercise.
One factor that affects blood pressure is resistance. Three sub-factors of resistance are the flexibility of the artery wall, artery diameter which increases to decrease blood pressure, and blood viscosity, which is the thickness of the blood cells. The thicker the blood cells, the more your blood pressure increases, due to the fact that your heart is pumping harder to push it through your arteries.
Can high blood pressure be inherited?
Epidemiological studies have shown that high blood pressure, also known as "hypertension" is indeed heritable.
Are there genes specific to high blood pressure?
Sources have shown that are over 150 genes that are potentially contributory to high blood pressure. Some of the genes include:
- 11-Beta hydroxysteriod dehydrogenase B1, B2
- Apolipoprotein A1, A2, C2,-C4
- Chloride-bicarbonate exchanger 1, 2, and 3,
- Endothelin 1,2, and 3
- Vascular endthelial growth factor A,B, C
- Your heart is responsible for pumping blood, while your ventricles are responsible for pushing out the blood, however the faster the ventricles push, the more blood the heart pumps, hence promoting hypertension. In time will begin to damage and weaken the artery wall, which can lead to stroke.
- Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
- Hypertension is inheritable.
- Some causes of hypertension are smoking, lack of exercise, although there is no known causes for hypertension, as well as no known symptom. Hence called the "silent killer", because it can lead to fatal conditions.
- There are genetic genes that are interlinked with high blood pressure.
- Some ways to manage high blood pressure are by maintaining a well balanced diet, exercise, and medication is needed.
- You can check your blood pressure at home, or in a clinic.
At home you can use the aneroid monitor, or a digital monitor. Or you can check in at the clinic, and check your blood pressure using the sphygmomanometer (commonly known as the blood pressure cuff)