HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, commonly referred to as HYPERTENSION in the Medical Community, is an awesome disease which affects every human being on Planet Earth.
The reason it affects every Human Being, at one time or another, is because every person requires high blood pressure whenever he does something that requires strong emotions or strong physical effort.
Without the use of high blood pressure, we could not fight or work hard or even have sex. The pressure is needed to drive blood into the intracellular spaces so that oxygen and nutrients can be delivered to the cells and waste products removed. These are the basic functions of all living cells. Even worms need high blood pressure whenever they are active.
However, when blood pressure is Super High or high for prolonged periods of time then bad things happen.
SUPER-HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Every now and then, due to extreme physical effort, or extreme emotions, our blood pressure may go Super-High! By that, I mean the Systolic Pressure is greater than 220 and/or the Diastolic Pressure greater than 140. When this happens a Stroke may occur. This happens every so often to athletes or to ordinary people under extra-ordinary conditions.
If you are under extreme duress and you suddenly develop a headache, stop what you are doing! Whatever you are doing may be important, but not important enough to die from a stroke.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AS A DISEASE
Most of the Planet’s population does not suffer from sustained high blood pressure. Yet, there are many people who develop sustained high blood pressure and, subsequently, develop arterial disease which can affect their heart, their kidneys or their brain.
The Japanese, at one period of time, developed so much sustained high blood pressure, that they were known as The Land of the Strokes! The reason for this epidemic of high blood pressure and strokes was the Japanese’s desire to coat all their food in Soy Sauce, a sauce which is loaded with salt or Sodium. The Sodium retained water in the body and thereby created high blood pressure. After years of high blood pressure, the Japanese began to suffer strokes.
Eventually, the Japanese medical community convinced their population to reduce their use of high sodium soy sauce and the problem was almost fixed. (I say almost, because there are many Japanese (and Chinese) who love soy sauce so much they don’t care about their health, until they have a stroke (and then it’s too late.)
Sustained High Blood Pressure ruins your arteries. It either causes the accumulation of fatty plaques in the walls of the arteries which can cause blockages that prevent blood from reaching important organs such as the heart, the kidneys or the brain, or it can thin out the arterial walls causing eventual rupture and stroke or heart attack.
Sustained High Blood Pressure can also slowly destroy cells that are necessary for the functioning of these three major organs: the Heart, the Brain or the Kidneys. When this happens, we see dementia in the brain; Heart Failure in the heart; and, Kidney Failure with the kidneys.
It is quite obvious that Super High Blood Pressure, or Sustained High Blood Pressure are both conditions that we want to avoid. If we cannot avoid these conditions, they must be treated!
CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
The Medical Community of Planet Earth knows most of the causes of high blood pressure. But, we do not know all of the causes! In fact, the cause of high blood pressure which affects most of the people on Planet Earth is unknown!
The most common type of sustained high blood pressure is known as Essential Hypertension. The cause of Essential Hypertension is a mystery! Fortunately, we do know how to treat most cases of Essential Hypertension. But, we do not know how to treat every case, and many of these poor patients die young.
The worst type of Essential Hypertension is MALIGNANT HYPERTENSION. MALIGNANT HYPERTENSION can cause death within weeks!
Here is an excerpt concerning Malignant Hypertension from eMedicine.com:
MALIGNANT HYPERTENSION FREQUENCY
Up to 1% of patients with essential hypertension develop malignant hypertension. The average age at diagnosis is 40 years, and men are affected more often than women. People who smoke cigarettes, black people, and patients with secondary hypertension are at higher risk than the general population.
DEATH FROM MALIGNANT HYPERTENSION
Prior to effective therapy, life expectancy was less than 2 years, with most deaths resulting from stroke, renal failure, or heart failure. The survival rate at 1 year was less than 25% and at 5 years was less than 1%. With current therapy, including dialysis, the survival rate at 1 year is greater than 90% and at 5 years is 80%.
As you can see, you really do not want to develop this form of high blood pressure. Stop smoking and make sure your blood pressure is under control.
THE UNDERLYING MECHANISMS OF ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION
Although we do not know the exact cause of Essential Hypertension, we do know about most of the mechanisms that are contained in this disease. Our blood stream is like any other hydraulic system on Planet Earth.
We have a Pump, which pushes blood through the arterial tubes running to every cell in our body. That Pump is the Heart. Pump too fast or too long and the blood pressure goes up.
We know that the Volume of Blood in the arteries is extremely important. Too much volume increases the blood pressure. And, we know that the Arterial Walls are made with muscle fibers. If these muscle fibers contract the blood pressure goes up.
In most people with Essential Hypertension, these fibers are in a constant state of tension. The cause of such tension resides in a complex pathway called the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS).
Here is a brief overview of RAS from Wikipedia:
When blood volume is low, the kidneys secrete RENIN. Renin stimulates the production of angiotensin. Angiotensin causes blood vessels to constrict, resulting in increased blood pressure. Angiotensin also stimulates the secretion of the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. Aldosterone causes the tubules of the kidneys to increase the re-absorption of sodium and water into the blood. This increases the volume of fluid in the body, which also increases blood pressure.
If the RENIN-angiotensin-aldosterone system is too active, blood pressure will be too high. There are many drugs that interrupt different steps in this system to lower blood pressure. These drugs are one of the main ways to control high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure, kidney failure, and harmful effects of diabetes.
As can easily be seen, this area of high blood pressure is amazingly complex.
HOWEVER, THE UNDERLYING PURPOSE OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IS SURVIVAL OF THE INDIVIDUAL.
In Nature, the survival of the individual is first and foremost. Without such survival, Life would cease to be present in the Universe. A minimum amount of blood pressure is necessary for the heart to pump blood to the cells. When that minimum pressure is lacking, due to low volume. (The most common cause in nature. An animal is wounded from trauma or attack and bleeds. This reduces volume. No volume, goodbye!)
In order to maintain pressure with low volume, the arteries must contract. They do so under the control of the RAS System. In this way, the animal survives.
We can see that there are three major forces controlling blood pressure:
FORCE ONE: THE HEART. THE RATE (SPEED) OF THE HEART PUMPING. THE FORCE (CONTRACTION) OF THE HEART AS A MUSCULAR PUMP.
FORCE TWO: BLOOD VOLUME THE VOLUME OF BLOOD IS MAINTAINED BY THE LEVEL OF SODIUM, WHICH ATTRACTS WATER. THE FUNCTIONING OF THE KIDNEYS, WHICH CAN RETAIN OR LOSE WATER.
FORCE THREE: VASCULAR CONTRACTION THE ARTERIES CAN CONTRACT OR RELAX. THE VEINS CANÂ ALSOÂ CONTRACT OR RELAX.
Add up the three forces and you will have blood pressure.
TREATMENT OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
The treatment of High Blood Pressure focuses on the three forces listed above. In order to reduce high blood pressure, we want to:
- Reduce the rate and force of the Heart.
- Reduce the volume of blood.
- Reduce the intensity of the vascular contractions.
MEDICINES USED IN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
- To reduce the heart rate and heart force.
- Beta Blockers
The names of these drugs end in LOL, as seen below:
Non Selective Beta Blockers List
Cardioselective Beta Blockers List
Alpha and Beta Blockers List
There are many BETA BLOCKERS, as can be seen. They are very popular with doctors, and if you have High Blood Pressure, you are probably taking one of them.
2.TO REDUCE BLOOD VOLUME
Most Lay People or patients call these medications, Water Pills.
In the medical community, they are called: Diuretics. They basically cause the kidneys to release more water than usual by interfering with Sodium re-absorption. They are the first line of defense in High Blood Pressure.
HERE IS A SHORT LIST
|Aldactazide||spironolactone and hydrochlorothiazide|
|Dyazide||hydroclorothiazide and triamterene|
The most common Water Pill is “Hydrochlorothiazide” (HCTZ) and it is used like “Water” to excrete “Water.”
3.TO REDUCE THE CONTRACTION OF THE ARTERIES
This area is complex, because the causes are complex.
ACE INHIBITORS-– Most of these end in PRIL:
Benazepril (Lotensin), Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Vasotec, also sold as Vaseretic), Fosinopril (Monopril), Lisinopril (Prinivil, also sold as Zestril), Moexipril (Univasc), Quinapril (Accupril), Ramipril (Altace), Trandolapril (Mavik).
CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS—Most end in PINE:
Amlodipine (Norvasc, also sold as Caduet and Lotrel), Diltiazem (Cardizem, also sold as Dilacor and Tiazac), Felodipine (Plendil), Isradipine (DynaCirc), Nicardipine (Cardene), Nifedipine (Procardia XL, also sold as Adalat), Nisoldipine (Sular), Verapamil.
ANGIOTENSIN II BLOCKERS—Most end in TAN:
As can be seen above, the pharmaceutical Industry has created hundreds of drugs to handle High Blood Pressure.
The reason for this activity is that High Blood Pressure is almost universal in attacking human beings and there is immense profit in its treatment.
Many doctors specialize in the treatment of High Blood Pressure, and every doctor must know more than the bare rudiments of this disease. AND YET, many people do not suffer from High Blood Pressure. Most people who suffer from High Blood Pressure are elderly.
It used to be called Hardening of the Arteries as though an artery had to harden with age.
But, Arteries do not harden with age! Arteries lose some of their elastic fiber with aging, but there is enough left to maintain a normal blood pressure.
Those elderly people who reduce their caloric intake (eat less) and exercise, avoid High Blood Pressure. In addition, if they drink wine daily and have a good relationship with God and the Universe, they generally do not have the anxiety associated with aging. High Blood Pressure is mostly a curse of Civilization.
It is not known in the Animal Kingdom that exists apart cities and industrial areas. Mankind, because of the Population Explosion and an almost universal desire to have luxury in every area, has produced a disease that need not be present.
If you have High Blood Pressure, lose weight, exercise and drink a little wine or meditate. There is a good chance you may eliminate or control it. If not, see your friendly doctor.
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