Heart Disease “Blood Pressure”

Subject: ⚗️ Science
Type: Descriptive Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 1901
Topics: 🦠 Biology, Disease, Health, Medicine
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Introduction

The heart is a body organ which consists mainly of muscles in animals including human beings which is the one responsible for the pumping of blood through the blood vessels. It can be said to be one of the most vital organs of the body. The heart just like the other body organs is prone to diseases which are commonly referred to as cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure is one of the common diseases associated with the heart. This discussion looks at blood pressure as a heart disease, its causes, effects, diagnosis, prevention and cure.

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Blood Pressure

The transportation of blood around the body is carried out through the blood vessels that include arteries, veins and capillaries which are distributed around the body and it’s aided by the pumping action of the heart. Blood pressure can be defined as the strength of the blood exerted on the walls of the blood vessels. High blood pressure which is usually referred to as hypertension occurs when the pressure of the force the blooding is exerting on the walls is too high. Normally, blood pressure rise is directly proportional to age and body size meaning the older and bigger an individual gets, the higher the blood pressure increases (Fahey, Murphy, & Hart, 2004, p. 10). Infants usually have low blood pressure which is normal for new born while older teens have blood pressure level similar to adults.  Abnormal blood pressure is defined as the blood pressure of an individual being higher than 120/80mmHg (normal readings of blood pressure in adults). If HBP is left uncontrolled it can lead to health complications like heart failure, loss of eye sight and diseases associated with the kidney.

Stages Systolic

(high number)

Diastolic

(low number)

Pre-hypertension 120-130 OR 80-89
HBP stage 1 140-159 OR 90-99
HBP stage 2 160 or higher OR 100 or higher

Fig.1: a table showing stages of high blood pressure (HBP) in adults. 

Individuals who exhibit a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg for a period of time is diagnosed to be suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension. Blood pressure is categorised into five broad categories:

  • Hypotension (LBP):- systolic equal or less than 90mmHg and/or diastolic equal or less than 60mmHg.
  • Normal: – systolic ranging between 90-119 mmHg and / or diastolic ranging between 60-79 mmHg.
  • Pre-hypertension:- systolic between 120-139 mmHg and/or diastolic between 80-89 mmHg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: – systolic ranging 140-159mmHg and/or diastolic ranging 90-99mmHg. 
  • Stage 2 hypertension: – systolic above 160 mmHg and/or Diastolic above 100 mmHg.

Causes of high blood pressure

The causes of high blood pressure are not been well defined though it is associated with conditions like acute stress and over exercising. In the body physiology, experiencing short stints of high blood pressure is termed to be normal though if one experiences systolic readings of 180mmHg and above or diastolic of 110mmHg and higher warrants medical care (Markus MacGill, 2016, p. 2).  

When discussing the causes of high blood pressure, there are two broad categories of which it is categorised into: essential HPB or the primary high blood pressure of which its causes have not yet been identified and there is secondary HBP where the causes are underlying like an effect from a drug or complications from kidney diseases (Christian Nordqvist, 2017).  Some of the causes for essential HPB include age as one gets older the risks of high blood pressure increase. There is also the case of family history where it can be said to be genetic. Temperatures also significantly affect blood pressure as studies show that blood pressure is low on high temperatures and high on low temperatures. Being obese and overweight increases the chances of hypertension compared to having normal weight. Creative behaviours like smoking and intake of alcohol can also lead to hypertension. When one smokes, the blood vessels tend to narrow and this consequently leads to increased blood pressure. Individuals who drink regularly exhibit systolic blood pressure higher with 7 mmHg (Christian Nordqvist, 2017).  High salt consumption, taking food with high fat, mental stress, diabetes and psoriasis are also associated with cases of hypertension.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Symptoms of hypertension are usually experienced when it reaches around 180/110mmHg. The symptoms include:

  • Headaches which last for days.
  • Feeling of like vomiting (nausea) and even vomiting.
  • Light-headedness and dizziness.
  • Unclear vision.
  • Bleeding from the nose.
  • Increased heatbeats.
  • Experiencing short breaths.

These are the common symptoms of high blood pressure and if ignored can lead to complications like:

  • Stroke where the blood floes and blocks or raptures an artery in the brain leading to death of brain cells.
  •  Heart attack and failure.
  •  Clots in the blood.
  •  Metabolic syndromes which include the waistline becoming enlarged, HDL levels in the blood getting low and insulin levels increasing.
  • Cognitive and memory trouble.
  • Kidney diseases leading to kidney failure. 
  • Aneurysm which is a protuberance on the walls of the vein, artery or the heart which weakens the wall making it to rupture.

Diagnosing high blood pressure

The diagnosis of HBP is usually made through the measuring of the blood pressure of the patient using a sphygmomanometer. Others include:

  • Urine and blood tests where the causes of the hypertension may be due to high cholesterol, potassium levels or kidney infections. Presence of proteins and blood show kidney infection while high glucose level shows diabetes.
  • Exercise stress test which involves the patient exercising while measurements are taken.
  • Holter monitoring, where the patient is monitored for 24 hours on the activities of the heart.
  • EKG or the ECG (electrocardiogram).
  • Echocardiogram and where a device using ultrasound waves helps show heart motion enabling monitoring and detection.

ECG or EKG

An electrocardiogram test is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart so as to show whether is working normally. It usually records the rhythm of the heart on a moving strip of paper or on a screen. This procedure is important as it helps decipher if blood pressure has done any damage to the heart or the blood vessels. The EKG is able to determine whether there is cholesterol clogging blood supply, a heart attack in the past, if the heart is enlarged at one side and if there are abnormal rhythms of the heart.

This test is usually painless and involves an electrocardiograph machine being attached to the skin on the arms, legs and chest with aid of sticky patches using leads. The leads pick up signals from the heart and convey it to the machine which prints it on a paper or display on a screen. The EKG is of three types: 

  • Resting ECG where it determines whether the heart is working well at rest.
  • Exercise ECG to understand how the heart reacts to being strained.
  • 24-hour ECG where one is monitored for the whole day.

These tests are playing an important role on the matters affecting the heart. They are able to distinctively outline the conditions of the heart at different states (either at rest or exercise) and determine whether it is functioning well. The process is crucial because it does conclusive diagnosis and therefore the readings are usually correct and accurate and is one of the main experiments that can help diagnose complications related to the heart.

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Role of EKG/ healthcare technicians

EKG or the healthcare technicians are persons who are employed in healthcare facilities to assist doctors and technologists and their field of specialization is electrocardiogram (EKG) testing for patients. They are the ones who control the EKG machines by making certain that it is well linked and attached, observe the readings and put down the results during an EKG examination or procedure. They are the ones who carry out the stress test where they hook up the patient on the ECG machine and monitor them as they exercise to record the behaviour of the heart. They also administer the Holster monitoring for 24 hours monitoring of the patient.

Treatment and prevention of high blood pressure

High blood pressure can be termed to be dangerous because of the medical conditions it leads to are mostly fatal. This calls for measure for treating and controlling it. The main goal for the treatment is to make sure that the blood pressure remains normal and prevent the occurrence of these conditions. The most effective treatment and prevention for HBP is the change of lifestyle adapting to healthy ways of living and exercise. Modification of lifestyle also referred to as non-pharmacologic therapy plays a major role in hypertension treatment and prevention.

Some of the ways in treatment and prevention of hypertension include increasing physical activities. Being involved in physical exercise help in lowering of blood pressure by facilitating loss of excessive body fats and consequently body weight. Reduction in the intake of salt (sodium chloride or table salt) also helps in treatment and prevention of hypertension. Ingesting salt in large quantities has drastic effects on the blood pressure levels (Appel, 2003).  Research has shown that a reduction in the intake of sodium can counter hypertension, smooth the progress of hypertension management in aged persons who are on medication and also reduce the chances of cardiovascular attacks in obese individuals. 

Upholding a body weight which is healthy is also crucial as portrayed by clinical trials that have shown that keeping weight is associated with HBP. The study points that the standard systolic and diastolic reduction is around 1.6/1.1 mmHg per kilogram of weight shed (Appel, 2003). For the people who take alcohol should do it with moderation as alcohol has been pointed out as one of the main causes of increased blood pressure in adults who take alcohol. The recommended intake should be not more than two drinks per day for men and one drink for women. Increased potassium intake is also crucial for hypertension prevention.  This is due to the fact that increased levels of potassium have been scientifically associated with decreased or low blood pressure. For instance, a trial carried out indicated that a dose of 60-120mmol/d of potassium (supplemental) consequently reduced  systolic and diastolic blood pressures by 4.4 and 2.5 mmHg in those with hypertension and by 1.8 and 1.0mmHg in those without the condition (Appel, 2003). Consumption of diet that includes fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products is also crucial in reduction of hypertension. These products contain nutrients that help reduce and control blood pressure.

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Conclusion

High blood pressure or hypertension is a worldwide problem which is associated with a large population. The main reason being that the condition is a lifestyle disease that in the past few days has been on the rise due to feeding habits and the way people have changed their life’s to more dormant ones due to use of technological advancements. It is of importance that everybody should understand about the condition, what causes it and how to prevent it. Changing the way we eat and how we exercise can play a crucial role in ensuring that people stay healthy and hypertension free.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Appel, L. J. (2003). Lifestyle Modification as a Means to Prevent and Treat High Blood Pressure. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 14(90002), 99S-102. 
  2. Christian Nordqvist. (2017). High blood pressure: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. Medical News Today
  3. Fahey, T., Murphy, D., & Hart, J. T. (2004). High blood pressure. London: Class.
  4. Markus MacGill. (2016). Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments. Medical News Today
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