What is Hypertension
Hypertension is a term used for high blood pressure. Blood pressure in every human being has two limits: upper limit called "systolic" and the lower limit called "diastolic". It is checked by an instrument called "sphygmomanometer" or blood pressure apparatus in plain language.
Systolic pressure occurs when the heart contracts to send blood to other parts of the body. In normal and healthy humans, this value should be around 120 mmHg in young people and up to 140 mmHg in elderly persons.
Diastolic pressure occurs when the heart expands to draw blood from the body. This value should normally be around 80 mmHg. Abnormal value can go up to 120 mmHg and even beyond. Any value above 85 mmHg is indicative of some sort of trouble with the system. There could be many reasons for a higher diastolic value. One of the reasons is atrophy of the heart.
The figure given below shows the range of blood pressure. In hypertension, diastolic pressure can rise to 110 mmHg and beyond. Similarly the systolic pressure can rise to 230 mmHg or more. In certain cases systolic pressure may be too high while diastolic pressure may be comparatively too low 220/70 (for example).
Hypertension is not restricted to any particular region, community, race or gender. It is found all over the world and is usually considered a past middle age problem but can occasionally occur in young persons also. High blood pressure in young persons is probably not a disease by itself but an indication of something wrong elsewhere calling for thorough investigations. In most cases, blood pressure does not remain the same the whole day. It fluctuates according to what has been eaten, physical activity and emotional state etc. In certain cases, blood pressure rises during rest but drops after the person wakes and starts moving around.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Usual symptom is heaviness in the head and feelings of outward pressure in the ears. Some get a reddish face or feel their face hot. These symptoms are a blessing in the sense that one gets to feel that there is something wrong and can go to a doctor for check up. On the contrary, some persons feel nothing abnormal. They may not feel even mild headache or heaviness. This no-feeling condition is dangerous. By the time they feel something, the blood pressure may have already reached an undesirable and dangerous limit. Pulse rate may or may not increase during high blood pressure condition.
Types of Hypertension
There are several types of hypertension but most common types are:
- Essential Hypertension
It is said to have no known cause and is the most common type.
- Secondary Hypertension
It is caused by other diseases such as diabetes or dysfunction of other organs kidneys. If the cause is removed, blood pressure usually returns to normal.
- Isolated Systolic Hypertension
In this type of hypertension difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure is too wide. Homeopathic medicines can cure this condition.