In order to understand blood pressure, it is important to understand what we mean by the word arteries.
Arteries are pipes which carry purified blood from the heart to the various parts of the body.
In normal human beings, purified blood fills and distends the arteries and stretches their walls. Blood pressure is the force or thrust caused by the blood on the walls of the arteries.
Blood pressure is said to be high when the force or thrust on the walls caused by the blood is higher than normal. The various stages of hypertension are summarized below.
Many people who suffer from high blood pressure are apparently healthy and gave no complaints whatsoever. Quite a large number of these subjects are diagnosed incidentally when they visit a doctor for an unrelated illness, for example, common cold. The less fortunate ones are diagnosed to be having high blood pressure when they get admitted to a hospital for a serious complication such as a heart attack.
Many people are apprehensive when they enter the doctor’s chamber. Mental tension can give rise to wrong blood pressure readings. It is better to get a friend or a relative to measure the blood pressure at home when the patient is fully relaxed.
Of course you can know your correct blood pressure. You can take the help of 24 hours Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring. This is a small machine which measures the blood pressure at fixed intervals for 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hour period, the machine has got to be connected to a computer with the help of an electrical cable to transfer its data. The computer will tell you your maximum, minimum, and average blood pressure.
The cause of high blood pressure is not known in a large number of people. Quite a few of them have first degree relatives who suffer from high blood pressure. It is believed that it is caused by some abnormal DNA sequence that affects the members of these families.
High blood pressure is more frequently found in people who abuse tobacco and/or alcohol, who are obese, and who take excessive amounts of common salt in their diet.
Less common causes of high blood pressure are kidney diseases (such as glomerulonephritis) and tumors (such as pheochromocytoma).
Left untreated, patients who have high blood pressure may have one or more complications, such as a heart attack, a brain stroke, kidney failure, or bleeding in the retina. However if these patients can be persuaded to take proper and regular treatment, they will have a better outlook for good health and a bigger lifespan.
All the medicines prescribed by us for high blood pressure have a finite life-span, for example 12 to 24 hours. This means that they will have to be taken once or twice a day. If a patient takes the tablets at greater-than-recommended intervals, the blood pressure will shoot up during these gaps. This can be hazardous to their health.
Many patients who are found to have high blood pressure have associated diseases such as diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease. Others may not have any other disease, but may possess risk factors such as high blood cholesterol which may result in heart attack and/or brain stroke in the future. Our investigations are targeted to find out these associated diseases and/or risk factors for better clinical results.
Investigations have to be individualized depending on the clinical background of the subject. However, these are some of the common tests prescribed by most doctors: blood sugar, complete blood cell count, creatinine, sodium, potassium, thyroid stimulating hormone, lipid profile, SGPT, urine routine & microscopy, ECG, echocardiography, uric acid, and urine albumin/creatinine ratio.
The information given in this article is for the general knowledge of the members of the public. This is not intended to be a guideline for treatment by the patients or their doctors. No responsibility will be taken for acts of commission or omission caused by treatment using the information provided here.