Monday, January 14, 2013

Hypertension is a chronic condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is constantly above the normally acceptable range. It is also known as the silent killer because of the absence of symptoms in the majority of people who have hypertension.

Hypertension can be classified as primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is a kind of hypertension that arises from everyday life as the body undergoes the process of adaptation to the environment and aging. Factors such as the certain physical environments, dietary intake and sedentary lifestyle contribute to its development. Primary hypertension is also known as essential hypertension. Secondary hypertension, by contrast, is a result of a bodily disorder and may arise due to certain drugs and medications.

Primary hypertension has four stages. The stages are categorized according to the blood pressure reading obtained from a person. The intention of defining different stages is to provide medical personnel with guidelines for whether, when and how vigorously to attempt corrective intervention such as medication or lifestyle changes.

 A reading of 120 – 139 mmhg (millimiters of mercury) for systolic and 80-89 mmhg for diastolic means that the person is in the prehypertension stage, a reading of 140 – 159 mmhg for systolic and 90-99 mmhg for diastolic means stage 1 of hypertension, a reading of 160 mmhg for systolic and 100 mmhg for diastolic means stage 2 of hypertension and a reading of 180 mmhg for systolic and 110 mmhg for diastolic means that the individual is in hypertensive crisis.

Secondary hypertension as noted above is a result of a bodily disorder or from certain drugs and medications. Examples of body disorders and conditions which can give rise to secondary hypertension include kidney diseases, tumors of the adrenal glands, Cushing’s syndrome (hypercortisolism), imbalances in the thyroid glands secretion, obesity and coarctation of the aorta (narrowing of the aorta). Drugs such as MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), TCA (tricyclic antidepressant), amphetamines, ephedra, corticosteroids, epoetin, PPA (phenylpropanolamine) and herbal remedies also can elevate blood pressure sometimes to a damaging level.

You can read more about hypertension in my books : Blood Pressure Management : Hypertension and Hypotension  A Guide for Patients, Nurses and other Healthcare Professionals ( Available at; link : ). Managing Blood Pressure Effectively  A Guide for Well Informed Patients, Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals ( Available at; link : ). Both books are downloadable as ebooks.

See you next time.

Solomon Barroa  R.N.
Home Health Nurse and Medical Author

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