“Ancient The top number, the systolic blood pressure

“Ancient historical records as far back as in
2600 BC report that acupuncture, venesection and bleeding by leeches were the
sole means of treating what was called ‘hard pulse disease’ (Esunge 621).”
Today in modern medicine we identify hypertension as high blood pressure, meaning there is an elevation of blood
pressure (BP) greater than 140/90 mm Hg. The top number, the systolic blood
pressure represents the arterial pressure when the heart is contracting. The
lower number, the diastolic blood pressure denotes the arterials pressure when
the heart is relaxing. The guidelines that classify our blood pressure have
shown that even moderately high blood pressure can significantly increase the
risk of developing vascular complications. According to Mayo Clinic
hypertension effects on your body may include but are not limited to: damaged
and narrowed arteries, aneurysms, coronary artery disease, stroke, and kidney
failure.

            When
it comes to the way hypertension develops there are a number of different factors.
Such as: cardiac output, blood volume, and resistance. Cardiac output is the
amount of blood the ventricles push out of the heart each minute. As the
cardiac output increases blood pressure increases. The second factor affecting
blood pressure is blood volume, which is described as the total amount of blood
in your body; as the blood volume increases blood pressure increases. The third
factor that affects blood pressure is resistance, which is anything working
against the blood flow through the arteries. There are several underlying factors
that contribute to resistance; one of which is the flexibility of the artery
wall. In a healthy individual the arteries expand very well with each heart
beat to help reduce blood pressure on the wall. The main contributing factors
to high blood pressure is increased arteriolar vasoconstriction. This is
because the diameter size of the arterial wall is decreasing making it more
difficult for the blood to flow to the destinations that it needs to go to. In
addition to reduced diameter size another resistance factor is blood viscosity.
If there is an increase in particles such as protein and fat this will result
in an increase in viscosity. The heart will then increase the force that is
exerted on the arteries when there is a higher blood viscosity.

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Hypertension
is labeled as the silent killer, this
is due its asymptomatic effect; but over time complications will arise and if
unmanaged secondary complications may arise. High blood pressure will damage
the walls of the arteries causing them to become weak and tear. Scar tissue
eventually develops creating crevasses where particles of fat, cholesterol, and
platelets will eventually enter and cause plaque buildup. The arteries will
then narrow resulting in inadequate blood flow. Ultimately, the minimized blood
flow can lead to aneurysms, vision loss, heart attacks, and kidney disease. Increasing
hypertension risk factors include all, but are not limited to: obesity, alcohol
use, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and an excessive sodium consumption.

 High blood pressure that is not caused by another condition or
disease is defined as primary/essential hypertension whereas if it occurs
because of another condition it is called secondary hypertension. Essential
hypertension accounts for 90% of all causes of hypertension (3).
Individuals who have high blood pressure

According
to the American Heart Association genetic factors also play a role in
hypertension. Where research has found that there may be a gene in African
Americans making them more sensitive to salt.

Correspondingly,
through research in molecular determinants of hypertension has changed the
study of hypertension by identifying specific genes for blood pressure variance
(2). What has been identified is that there is no single gene that plays a
major role, but rather many genes which collectively react to environmental
stimuli resulting to the contributing factors of hypertension. Some of these
genes correspond to the body’s ability to regulate salt and water handling. The
pathophysiological effects of hypertension lie at the cellular level in the
blood vessel wall, which intimately involves the function and interaction of
the endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. Many pathophysiological
factors have shown the mechanism of essential hypertension such as “increased
sympathetic nervous system activity, over production of sodium-retaining
hormones and vasoconstrictors, increased or inappropriate renin secretion;
resulting in an increased production of angiotensin II and aldosterone” (4).

Types:

According
to the natural medicines comprehensive database when the heart starts to fail,
the body tries to compensate. Specifically, the adrenergic system will take
over as it will maintain the cardiac output and norepinephrine levels will
increase. Beta blockers (also known as beta-adrenergic agents) are drugs that
inhibit norepinephrine and epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). These are
the hormones that trigger our body’s “fight or flight” response. When
inhibited, the heart rate will slow down resulting in a decreased force
production by the heart when pumping blood. Beta blockers also dilate the blood
flow to improve blood flow. We may recognize these drugs through their generic
names: Acebutolol, Atenolol, Timolol, Propranolol, Bisoprolol, etc.

Clinical
studies include the use of L-arginine, an amino acid being used to as a
treatment for high blood pressure. In the body L-arginine is converted to the
regulatory compound nitic oxide. Nitric oxide expands the blood vessels which
increases blood flow thus lowering blood pressure. 

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