Hypertension or high blood pressure is the amount of pressure exerted by the blood flow against the walls of the artery. So if a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure that means that the walls in his circulatory system (arteries) are constantly receiving too much of pressure. The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood throughout our body all the time as long as we are alive. Blood which is depleted of oxygen is pumped towards the heart, where it is replenished of its oxygen contents. The re-oxygenated blood is then pumped by the heart all over the body to supply vital nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and cells that controls our metabolic activities. This pumping of the blood creates- blood pressure.
When doctor’s measure blood pressure, they check two types of pressures:
The blood pressure is measured with the help of blood pressure meter and a stethoscope.
The systolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart contracts, which happens when the left ventricle of the heart pumps the blood out into our arteries. The diastolic pressure is the blood pressure between the heartbeats, when the heart is resting and dilating. When normal blood pressure is measured the figure appears first with a larger number followed by a smaller number and are measured in ‘mmHg’. While our normal blood pressure is anywhere between 90-119 mmHg for systolic and 60-79 mmHg for diastolic, anyone who has a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher for a sustained period of time is considered suffering from hypertension related problems.
The causes of high blood pressure are divided into two categories:
These are some of the strong evidence linking some risk factors to the onset of developing this condition:
To confirm that a patient is suffering from high blood pressure, one pressure reading is not enough to diagnose hypertension in the patient. As blood pressure can vary though out the day, a doctor may register a spike in the blood pressure reading in a patient, even for temporary stress or what he may have eaten that day.
So to determine hypertension several readings are taken over a set period, before a diagnosis is confirmed.