Blood pressure depends on two factors - the amount of blood pumped by heart and blood flow easiness through the arteries. On that basis it may conclude that if the arteries are narrow, blood flow through them is weaker, which causes high blood pressure. Most people will have a problem with high blood pressure as a consequence of aging. Many of them won’t feel any discomfort. However, most will feel headaches, dizziness or even bleeding from the nose which can be life-threatening. Given that hypertension can lead to serious health disorders such as heart attack and stroke, if any of the symptoms are noticed it is necessary to visit a doctor who will determine appropriate therapy for lowering blood pressure.
Blood pressure should be controlled every 2 years starting from the age of 20. If the existence of cardiovascular diseases and problem with high blood pressure are established, these controls should be more frequent. However, if blood pressure is not reached alarmingly high levels, there is no need for going to the doctor. High blood pressure in such cases will be regulated by already existing prescribed therapy. Also, blood pressure can be controlled independently with apparatus for measuring blood pressure that can be purchased in pharmacies. However, if there is suspect that there is a problem of hypertension it is better to measure blood pressure in the medical institution since purchased appliances can often give a false result. Hypertension can be primary and secondary. In the first case, the exact causes of high blood pressure can not be precisely determined.
The majority of patients suffer from this type of hypertension which is gradually developing as years go by. In the second case, hypertension is caused by the presence of certain medical conditions such as: cancer of the adrenal gland, abnormalities in the size and functioning of the kidneys, congenital heart defects, the use of certain substances (pills contraceptives, medicines for cold, pain killers, cocaine, amphetamines). Secondary hypertension occurs suddenly and has a higher value than the primary. If blood pressure is consistently high and if during longer time failing to lower, it can lead to serious complications such as:
- Arteriosclerosis - hardening and thickening of the arteries can cause a heart attack and stroke.
- Aneurysm - occurs as a result of the blood vessels weakening and the formation of protrusions. Shooting aneurysm is life threatening.
- Heart failure - narrowed blood vessels impede the pumping blood by heart, which gradually leads to a thickening of the heart muscle. This causes difficulties in providing the necessary amount of blood to the body, which can lead to heart failure.
- Blocked or ruptured blood vessels in the brain - hypertension slows the blood flow to the brain causing inflammation of the arteries, which increases the risk of stroke.
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in the kidneys - interfere with normal functioning kidneys.
- Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes - it can lead to vision loss.
- Metabolic syndrome - includes a set of metabolic disorders such as increased waist circumference, high triglycerides, low / high density of lipoprotein, "good" cholesterol, high blood pressure and a high level of insulin. Depending on the amount in which these disturbances occur, increases possibility of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
- Problems with memory or reasoning - these problems are manifested in the reduced ability of thinking, memorizing and remembering.