Blood pressure can be described as the force with which the blood pushes through the artery walls through the body. Blood in the arteries fills the arteries up to a certain extent implying that too much blood pressure can cause damages to the artery. Blood pressure is measured using two methods that are systolic pressure which refers to the pressure in the arterial system at its highest. Diastolic pressure on the other hand refers to arterial pressure at its lowest. The measure of blood pressure hence appears as two numbers where the upper number is the systolic pressure while the lower number is diastolic pressure.

The heart pushes blood with enough force into arteries to ensure that it reaches all tissues and organs in the body.  Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood on the walls of arteries during when it circulates in the body. In healthy human beings, the systemic arterial blood flows at a pressure of 120/80 mm Hg (Prudence & Stephen, 2006). If the blood pressure exceeds 120/80 mm Hg then an individual experiences a condition known as hypertension. Hypertension is defined as a cardiac long-lasting medical condition that is characterized increased arterial blood pressure (Rubin, 2009). Therefore hypertension describes high blood pressure in an individual's blood circulatory system. Hypertension is normally classified into primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is also referred to as essential hypertension and is defined as high blood pressure whose medical causes have not been found. About 95 percent of hypertension cases consist of primary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is the high blood pressure that is induced by those conditions which affect arteries, endocrine system, heart, or kidneys, and it constitutes of about 5 percent cases (Boutzale, 2003). Increased arterial blood pressure shortens the life expectance of human beings.

What Is Hypertension?

Hypertension refers to the reading of 140/90 on three consecutive measurement at least six hours part. The definition of the term varies from one individual where in the case of pregnant mothers; it is defined as 140/90 on two consecutive measures six hours apart. Hypertension leads to the heart working harder than it should be which can lead to the damage of the coronary arteries, the brain and the kidney. Hypertension has been found to be a major cause of stroke.

Types of Hypertension

Hypertension can either be classified as primary hypertension or secondary hypertension. The origin of primary hypertension is highly associated with lifestyle. According to Gibson, this type of hypertension is responsible for up to 90% of all diagnosed hypertension and are treated using stress management techniques, proper medication, increasing physical activities and diet changes (Gibson, 2009). The cause of primary hypertension is as a result of preexisting medical conditions such as congestion of the heart and damages to the endocrine system.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) appears in healthy women during the 20th week of pregnancy. The occurrence of this type of hypertension commonly occurs in obese or overweight women. PIH is characterized by water retention in the body and protein in the urine. Medical practitioners have found out that 5% of all PIH cases progress to preeclampsia. This condition is characterized by loss of appetite, dizziness, visual disturbance, abdominal pains and headaches. Preeclampsia affects the blood system and the kidney as well as other organs. PIH has been found to disappear a few weeks after birth.

Causes of Hypertension

The specific cause of hypertension is not known, but there are many risk factors associated with hypertension. It has been found that there are those factors that cannot be altered while trying to control hypertension. They include age, socioeconomic status, race, gender, and heredity. Also there are those factors that can be altered, for instance obesity, alcohol use, sodium sensitivity, use of birth control pills, medications, and physical inactivity (Boutzale, 2003). The Hypertension for Vicki is believed to have been caused by either of these factors excluding physical inactivity, and obesity because she was involved in frequent travel and that she used to eat at the fast food restaurant. The older an individual is, the greater the probability that he or she will suffer from high blood pressure and this is attributed to the hardening of arteries which is referred to as arteriosclerosis. Vick being 42 years old, she can be considered to experience this hardening of arteries and therefore increased blood pressure. Race is also believed to contribute into hypertension, such that an African American individual is at a higher risk to develop hypertension than Caucasians (AHT Force, 2006). There is a possibility that Vick developed hypertension because she is an African American - the race that is at an increased risk. Other factors like obesity lead to constriction of blood vessels especially arteries such that additional force is needed to push blood in the circulatory system. Elevated blood pressure is associated with a number of symptoms.

Pre4wcription drugs and other over the counter drugs have been found to cause hypertension. An example of these is corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs which have been closely associated with increased hypertension cases in most organ transplant recipients (Anderson, Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary). Other drugs found to increase the occurrence of hypertension in the body are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) since some of their properties such as antiprostaglandin affect the kidney.

Other causes of hypertension include tobacco products where the nicotine contained n these products increase the blood pressure in the body. Medical researchers have not established a direct connection between caffeine and chronic hypertension. However, caffeine intake can cause acute increase in blood pressure. Hypertension is also caused by chronic use of alcohol. According to recent research, 30 to 60% of alcoholics have hypertension. 5% of all hypertension cases are also as a result of alcohol consumption.

Don't wait until tomorrow!

You can use our chat service now for more immediate answers. Contact us anytime to discuss the details of the order

Place an order

Symptoms of hypertension

When the blood pressure is not markedly elevated, the affected individuals do not experience any symptom. This condition is therefore labeled as a silent killer disease. The symptoms like headache, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and chest pain, blurred vision, and dizziness (AHT Force, 2006). Most of the people with high blood pressure usually do not realize until the blood pressure is measured. It is usual that most people do not go for medical care earlier while the condition has not markedly developed. Chronic hypertension results into organ damage and the victims experience the symptoms of the damaged organs. Types of organ damage that are common in human population include kidney failure, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, eye damage with blurred vision, aneurysms, and peripheral arterial disease that bring about leg pain (AHT Force, 2006).

Diet and Hypertension

Sodium intake is ranked fourth as the lifestyle factor that is closely associated with hypertension. An estimated half of the people has been found to be sodium sensitive. This can be attributed to the fact that excessive sodium consumption tends to increase blood pressure in the body. There are various ways that one can limit sodium intake in the body. One such way is by check food labels for sodium content. Another way is by choosing unprocessed food as well as limiting processed meats and cheese. Another protective strategy is by limiting consumption of salty snacks and other condiments of food that may be high in sodium.

Treatment of hypertension

Controlling of high blood pressure is a challenge that can last throughout the life of a victim. Hypertension that is caused by obesity or physical inactivity can be controlled by feeding on a diet with less fats  and at the same time the overweight individual must be physically active. Some medications are taken to reduce body weight but due to research it has been found that some of these medications may also increase blood pressure even more and therefore care should be taken when using weight loss medications (AHT Force, 2006).


With regards to this, Vicki being diagnosed with hypertension can be attributed to two factors. One factor is that of her age. This is because; most of the sodium sensitive individuals fall under the age bracket of 40 to 70 years of age. The other factor is as a result of Vicki taking most of her meals form fast food restaurants. This implies that at most instances, she hardly checks the food labels for sodium content. Fast foods also contain high fat content which is one of the factors that increase the blood pressure in the body.

Calculate the Price of Your Paper

300 words

Related essays

  1. Veterans Healthcare Benefits
  2. The Spinal Cord
  3. CAT and MRI Scan
  4. The Pathophysiology of Cancer
Discount applied successfully