Why High Blood Pressure is called the silent killer?
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Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because we generally do not experience any symptoms. Some individuals may however experience headaches, nausea and or bleeding. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension can lead to strokes or a heart attack if not treated.
Blood Pressure is the pressure or force of blood against the walls of blood vessels as it circulates throughout the body. Blood Pressure is most usually measured against the brachial artery of the arm. This is expressed by two numbers, systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the artery when the heart contracts. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the artery when the heart relaxes between beats.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is called the “silent killer” for the reason that very, very few people know when their blood pressure goes up. Well, you do until you don’t. Many women and men get diagnosed with high blood pressure in their 50s. But, there are some people who drink a lot of alcohol in their 20s and 30s and their blood pressure is rather far above the ground. This tends to run in families. They don’t even know they have high blood pressure because they never go to a doctor until they are 30 or 40. They might have had untouched high blood pressure for 10 years. And high blood pressure is very treatable.
- High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is when systolic blood pressure is at or above 140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure is at or above 90 mmHg
- High Blood Pressure or Hypertension for individuals with Diabetes or chronic kidney illness is when systolic is at or above 130mmHg and diastolic is at or above 80 mmHg (1)
- Optimal Blood Pressure is when systolic is below 120mmHg and diastolic is below 80mmHg
- Normal Blood Pressure is when systolic is less than 130 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure is less than 85mmHg
- Normal High Blood Pressure is when systolic blood pressure is 130- 139mmHg and or diastolic blood pressure 85mmHg-89mmHg
When there is no identifiable reason for high blood pressure it is called primary hypertension. This means that hypertension tends to develop gradually over the years. When there is an underlying situation that causes the high blood pressure this is referred to as secondary hypertension. Some of the situation which reasons this includes;
- Thyroid Problems
- Congenital defects within blood vessels
- Certain medications
- Obstructive sleep Apnea
- Kidney Problems
- Adrenal gland tumours
- Illegal drugs including cocaine, amphetamines
- Alcohol abuse including chronic alcoholism (2)
Uncontrolled Hypertension or High Blood Pressure can lead to (3):
- Heart Attack or Stroke: high blood pressure can reason hardening and thickening of the arteries
- Aneurism: enlarged blood pressure can reason your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurism, if this ruptures it is life threatening
- Heart Failure: high blood pressure reasons your heart muscle to work harder which thickens the muscle. Eventually the thickened muscle has hard time pumping enough blood for your body which can lead to heart failure
Weakened and Narrowed Blood Vessels in Your Kidneys: when the force of blood flow is high, blood vessels stretch so blood flows more simply. Eventually the stretching scars and weakens blood vessels in the kidneys. If kidney blood vessels are injured, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluids from the body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels may raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous and repetitive cycle. High Blood Pressure is the second leading reason of kidney failure behind Diabetes.
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