As we all know, the primary duty of the heart is to pump blood that's to be used at all parts of the body.
That's the easiest definition we were given in primary school, and basically, that's what it is.
When a doctor or a nurse or anybody checks your blood pressure, they are really just checking the level of force with which the blood is being pumped through the walls of your arteries.
Look at it this way, imagine you have a kettle on a lit stove. The heat from the stove makes the water hot and the vapour starts coming out through the funnel part of the kettle. It comes out little at first, while the water is getting hot. Then, when the water gets to its boiling point, the vapour comes out with full force.
That's how I imagine high blood pressure. Too much blood moving all at once.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
There are 2 major causes of high blood pressure that have been observed.
The first is Primary High Blood Pressure.
This type of high blood pressure has no particular cause. The majority of individuals who have high blood pressure are under this category.
Although there is no proven reason given by scientists for why an individual or a set of individuals get older and their heart rate instinctively increases or reduces.
Some of the factors that could cause Primary high blood pressure are;
Age can cause a lot of changes within the body. A change in the kidney due to age or habit change can lead to the bodies inability to balance salts. This in turn can affect the heart, causing the blood pressure to increase.
Where there is no blame to be passed, we turn to the past.
Some people are born with the tendency to have high blood pressure. This could be caused by a genetic mutation passed down from parents to children.
A change in lifestyle, increase in body weight, lack of physical activity and others can lead to the risk of high blood pressure.
The next is the Secondary causes of high blood pressure.
Unlike the primary causes that can be anticipated and worked around, these causes are a lot riskier.
These secondary causes of high blood pressure occur more or less out of the blue and if they are not managed immediately can become fatal.
Some of the situations behind secondary high blood pressure are;
- Effect of medication
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Kidney disease
- Heart problems
- Thyroid problems
There are probably others to add to this list but we'll stop here for now.
Signs and symptoms of high blood pressure
The signs and symptoms of High blood pressure can be different in women, teens and children.
There are general symptoms like
- Nose bleeding
- Vomiting, etc
These symptoms occur when a person's blood pressure reaches 180/120 mm Hg.
Symptoms in Women
Women have been proven to be a lot more prone to have high blood pressure when they are pregnant.
They have also been proven to react differently to medications taken for birth control and during the stage of menopause.
On rare occasions, even menstruation could cause high blood pressure.
In pregnant women, some important symptoms to look out for that could be as a result of preeclampsia are;
- Abdominal pain
- Vision change
Symptoms in teenagers
Teenagers can develop high blood pressure due to bad feeding and physical habits, obesity and possible medical conditions.
Symptoms in babies
Babies are only prone to high blood pressures when they are born with heart or kidney problems. The symptoms are the same as those faced by pregnant women.
Medications for High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure medications can be quite picky. A medication working for one individual could have a pseudo effect on another.
The best way to get the perfect medication for this condition is through a proper diagnostic.
Depending on the cause of the high blood pressure, in some cases, a lifestyle change would do more benefit to sustain your health than medications ever will.
Simple lifestyle changes like exercise, the inclusion of fruits in your diet, regular hospital checkups, reduction of fatty food and salts, etc, could go a long way in curbing the effects of high blood pressure and possibly even eliminating it for good.
However, regardless of how free you are from high blood pressure, it's best advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle and still have regular hospital checkups.
Some medications that have proven to help manage high blood pressure are:
These drugs help the kidney remove excess fluid from your system High blood pressure can also be caused by high sodium levels and fluids within your system. So, these diuretics or water pills help flush the kidney by getting rid of these fluids through urins.
Diuretics can be likened to a bathroom water closet system.
Right after your business has been done, in this case, your business is the high fluids and sodium in your system, the diuretic is that button you press that lets out the water that sends them down the septic tank.
I'm pretty certain that's what flush typically means.
- Alpha-2 agonists
These drugs help the blood vessels to relax. They do this by changing the impulse that causes blood vessels to tighten, thereby reducing high blood pressure.
Alpha-2 agonists are more like a chill pill. Simply imagine this pill sitting out with your blood vessel on a cool night with a cold bottle of beer.
Alcohol is bad for you but just imagine.
- Calcium channel blockers
This also helps the blood vessels to relax. They do this by reducing the calcium that goes to the cardiac muscle of the heart. This in turn reduces the intense beating of the heart and the pressure of the heart.
Calcium Channel Blockers is also a chill pill that's more or less like a cock-blocker or a therapist. They reduce what you're getting too much of and give you a cold beer to chill.
This drug makes the heartbeat slower by reducing the amount of blood passing through the arteries with each beat. The drug also reduces possible hormones that could cause an increase in the pressure of the heart.
I can't consider Beta-blockers to be chill pills, they're more like necessary demons. Reducing the heartbeat too much can become risky. Thinking about the outcome of an overdose is terrifying.
Although there are quite a number of other drugs that can help in reducing high blood pressure, these are the ones worth mentioning for this article right now.
I write for therapy and pay.