Why is High Blood Pressure a Health Concern?

Tess Thompson



The body is a complicated and complex system of reciprocal actions and reactions. Each of the body systems supplements and complements each other enabling the body to function properly without any signs of disease.

However, a seemingly small condition like the pressure at which the blood flows through the vascular system is significant. It is important that the blood pressure remain within the normal ranges that science has been able to determine. A normal healthy adult should have a blood pressure of 130/90 mmHg. Minor fluctuations in blood pressure due to exercise or stress are normal. However, blood pressure that remains high constantly is a cause of concern.

The vascular system is a complex system of arteries, veins and capillaries spread throughout the body like the branches of a tree. When the heart pumps blood into the main vessels it emerges with a pressure that is enough to carry the blood to the farthest corners of the body. It is this pressure that is instrumental in supplying oxygen-rich blood to different organs - the brain, kidneys, liver and the rest.

High blood pressure or hypertension occurs due to vasoconstriction, decrease in the diameter of blood vessels or an underlying disorder. When the blood is unable to flow freely, it exerts a higher pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. To accomplish this, the heart has to work harder than it normally should. In certain cases, distant organs are unable to get the requisite supply of aerated blood and therefore become oxygen-depleted.

Chronic high blood pressure may affect the blood vessels and cause peripheral arterial diseases like aneurysms, a cardiovascular disease characterized by a saclike widening of an artery resulting from weakening of the artery wall. Persistent high blood pressure leads to the hearts inability to pump enough blood. Congestion in the tissues can therefore cause congestive heart failure. Chronic high blood pressure may also lead to a stroke, which may be:

  • A brief episode in which the brain gets insufficient blood supply. This is termed as a minor stroke and in medical terminology known as transient ischemic attack.
  • A sudden loss of consciousness resulting from the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel that leads to lack of oxygen in the brain.

Hypertension is often termed as a silent killer. Treatment with high blood pressure medications can sometimes become a life time treatment. Natural remedies for high blood pressure that involve a natural and active lifestyle, a diet that is low on fats and carbohydrates and stress free living can help in the prevention and management of high blood pressure.

References:
http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/peds_adolescent/hbpa.cfm

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