Our hearts pump blood in our bodies with the help of blood vessels in the body’s circulatory system. This is a necessary function as our cells and tissues need the oxygen and various nutrients transported in the blood to survive and carry out their different physiological functions. Waste products of the cells and tissues are also transported away from them by blood. For these reasons, blood circulation must be kept at an optimal rate in our bodies. For blood to keep on circulating to the body’s various parts, the heart has to pump them at a sufficient pressure level. The normal blood pressure is around 120mm of mercury for the systolic phase and 80 mm of mercury for the diastolic phase. However, due to various reasons, sometimes the pressure can become too high with some adverse effects. Below, we will look at some of the factors that can cause blood pressure to become too high and the possible symptoms observed in high blood pressure.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
To better understand the various causes of high blood pressure, let’s look at an illustration of how blood pressure is generated. Think of the heart as a kind of pumping machine that pumps water (blood) into pipes (blood vessels). If the pumping engine (heart) were to work with much force or the lines become narrower, the water(blood) would come out at the other end at tremendous pressure. If the pipes became wider or the pump became weaker, the water(blood) would come out with lesser pressure at the end of the lines. There, that’s an illustration that works for the situation. So let’s look at some causes of high blood pressure.
Smoking not only has adverse effects on the lungs, but it also affects the blood vessels. It causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, thereby causing the blood pressure to become higher.
Being overweight is linked with high blood pressure. This is because it is associated with increased atherosclerosis in the blood vessels. Atherosclerosis – caused by a buildup of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessel, causes the lumen of blood vessels to become narrower, thereby increasing blood pressure.
High Salt Diet
High amounts of salt in the diet can lead to excess salt and water retention in the blood. This increases the volume of blood and consequently the force with which it flows. In turn, this causes the blood pressure to become higher.
A form of hypertension called essential hypertension often develops in older people. The underlying cause is not well known.
Excessive stress levels can lead to hypertension. This can be due to the various hormones released in times of stress, which affect increasing salt and water retention and vasoconstriction. Other causes of high blood pressure include:
● Lack of exercise
● Chronic kidney disease
● Endocrine disorders
● Sleep apnea
Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Sometimes high blood pressure doesn’t carry any noticeable symptoms. However, even at that, it can still cause damage to the body’s organs. Some of the evident signs of high blood pressure when they occur include:
● Excessive sweating
● Sleep issues
● Dizzy spells