Your Body

High Blood Pressure

Many people affected by high blood pressure (hypertension) do not initially experience any symptoms and are therefore not aware of any disease. This is what makes hypertension so dangerous. Because the permanently high blood pressure damages the organism. Today it is considered a major risk factor for heart attacks or strokes.

What is high blood pressure?

If you carry out a routine medical examination, your blood pressure is also measured regularly. But what exactly is measured? Our blood circulates in the body and supplies organs and cells with oxygen and nutrients via the blood vessels. At the same time, carbon dioxide and metabolic products are removed. Our heart is responsible for regulating blood circulation. In this continuous flow, the blood is "pressed" through the vessels, so to speak, which is called blood pressure. This is measured in millimetres of mercury column (mmHg) and determined on the basis of two values: A first, higher value (110-130 mmHg) and a second, lower value (80-89 mmHg). The higher value, also called systolic blood pressure, occurs when the heart contracts and blood is pumped into the arteries. Then the heart relaxes and the pressure slowly decreases to a lower level, diastolic blood pressure. Depending on the value, blood pressure can be divided into classes that indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international experts, hypertension can occur in the following forms: Essential hypertension is not an underlying disease. In this case, the doctor cannot determine any organic causes. It is also referred to as primary hypertension and occurs particularly frequently. The doctor can diagnose secondary hypertension with a clear cause. This can be caused by organic diseases or medication. However, it can also occur during pregnancy. In most cases, the cause is a disease of the kidneys or the hormone system. Another form of hypertension, isolated clinical hypertension, can also be observed. When measured in a doctor's office or clinic, the values are higher than when measured by the patient himself at home. This form, colloquially referred to as white coat hypertension, can occur whenever the patient is particularly excited when in contact with medical personnel. In these cases, long-term blood pressure measurement is a means of detecting a possibly elevated blood pressure value under everyday stress.


 

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international experts, hypertension can occur in the following forms: Essential hypertension is not an underlying disease. In this case, the doctor cannot determine any organic causes. It is also referred to as primary hypertension and occurs particularly frequently. The doctor can diagnose secondary hypertension with a clear cause. This can be caused by organic diseases or medication. However, it can also occur during pregnancy. In most cases, the cause is a disease of the kidneys or the hormone system. Another form of hypertension, isolated clinical hypertension, can also be observed. When measured in a doctor's office or clinic, the values are higher than when measured by the patient himself at home. This form, colloquially referred to as white coat hypertension, can occur whenever the patient is particularly excited when in contact with medical personnel. In these cases, long-term blood pressure measurement is a means of detecting a possibly elevated blood pressure value under everyday stress.

 

 

 

Risk factors for elevated blood pressure

Overweight is one of the main risk factors. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is recommended for determining your "healthy" body weight. You should make sure that it is between 20 and 25 for men and between 19 and 24 for women. Calculation: body weight (in kg) divided by height (in m) to the square. This is rounded up or down.



 

 

Smoking leads to the absorption of nicotine into the blood, the blood vessels constrict and blood pressure rises immediately.

Stress occurs in acute situations of pressure. The release of the stress hormones adrenaline and no adrenaline constricts the blood vessels and increases blood pressure. Permanent stress therefore poses a high risk to health.

 

 

Table salt as an excess in the body can result in an increased amount of blood in the arteries and increased blood pressure.

Elevated blood lipid levels mean that lipid cholesterol, which is important for the cells, is present in the blood in too high a quantity. This leads to deposits in the blood, which can lead to arteriosclerosis and thus to increased blood pressure.  

Pregnancy can lead to high blood pressure in women. The exact causes have not been conclusively clarified. A slight increase may be due to the fact that about 40 percent more blood flows in the bloodstream of a pregnant woman. The increase in blood volume leads to increased pressure on the blood vessels.

Age causes the body to become less flexible. The blood vessels are less flexible, so that blood pressure often rises with age.

Diabetes is a risk factor for high blood pressure on the one hand, but can also be a secondary disease on the other.

Kidney damage is usually the cause of secondary hypertension. If the function of a kidney is disturbed, this leads to changes in blood pressure. This is primarily controlled by the release of kidney hormones.

 

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