High Blood Pressure
Understand and Prevent High Blood Pressure
(Contents) High Blood Pressure
2. Blood pressure and high blood pressure
(1) High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (BD) is the most common continuing medical condition seen by family doctors.
At just what measurement 'normal' blood pressure becomes 'high' blood pressure that justifies action being taken to reduce it is still a subject for professional argument among doctors (although most now agree on a pressure of somewhere around 160/90 mmHg).
Whatever the definition, the numbers of people needing some sort of treatment for high blood pressure include at least 10% of any large group of adults, up to 33% of poorer city adults, and about 50% of all people over 65 years of age - a lot of people.
(2) High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure (BP)?
High BP is not an illness or disease – rather it is a risk marker for illnesses that you wish to avoid. These include stroke, heart attacks, kidney problems and other problems affecting the circulatory system (blood circulation). Most people who have high BP do not have any symptoms. However, not having symptoms does not imply that you are not at risk of having any of the potentially harmful consequences of having high BP. The risk of suffering complications from having high BP can be reduced by either nondrug or drug treatments or by both.
What types of high BP are there?
(3) High Blood Pressure
Low Blood pressure and High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is needed to maintain circulation in your body so that oxygen and other nutrients can be transported to your cells. When your blood pressure is too high, it can damage the tissues and cells in your body.
About blood pressure in general
I don’t think I’d ever thought about blood being under pressure before I was told I had high blood pressure. Why should blood be under pressure?
The function of blood is to transport materials around the body, mainly to take oxygen and food substances to body cells to keep them alive and well, and to remove their waste products such as carbon dioxide. If your bloods were not under some pressure, it would just stay where it is, stagnant, neither nourishing nor cleansing the cells of your body, so that within about 7 minutes first they and then you would die.
How does blood move around the body?
(4) High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, as will be discussed later in this chapter, is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Having high blood pressure generally causes no symptoms for most people. It is only in the very rare situation of ‘malignant’ high blood pressure that symptoms may occur, usually in the form of headaches.
Do people with high BP feel any different from people with normal BP?