Blood Pressure | High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes

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Blood Pressure | High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes & Prevention

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure applied by moving blood against blood vessel walls. Most of this pressure is caused by the heart's work of pumping blood through the body circulatory system. When the term "blood pressure" is used without qualification, it refers to the pressure in the major arteries. When measuring blood pressure, the ratio of diastolic pressure, the lowest pressure between two heartbeat to systolic pressure, or the maximum pressure during one heartbeat, is commonly used. Blood Pressure is expressed as a millimetre of mercury (mmHg) above the air pressure in the immediate vicinity.

One of the important signs that medical professionals take into account when evaluating a patient's health is blood pressure, along with respiratory rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature. Adults typically have a resting blood pressure of 120/80 mmHg, which is defined as having a systolic pressure of 16 kPa (16 mmHg) and a diastolic pressure of 11 kPa (8 mmHg). Since 1975, the age-standardized global average blood pressure has roughly been 127/79 mmHg for men and 122/77 mmHg for women; however, these average values conceal widely divergent regional trends.

In the past, a medical professional would squeeze the artery in one arm closer to the heart while auscultating (listening for disturbances in the artery) with an aneroid gauge or a mercury-tube sphygmomanometer. The gold standard of accuracy for non-invasive blood pressure readings in clinics is still largely regarded as auscultation. Although cost, ease of use, and application to ambulatory blood pressure or home blood pressure measures have also had an impact on this trend, semi-automated approaches have become more popular, partly due to worries about potential mercury toxicity.

Modern devices validated to international standards achieve an average difference between two standardised reading methods of 5 mm Hg or less, and a standard deviation of less than 8 mm Hg. Early automated alternatives to mercury-tube sphygmomanometers were frequently seriously inaccurate. The majority of these semi-automated techniques use oscillometry to measure blood pressure (in this measurement by a pressure transducer in the cuff of the device of small oscillations of intra cuff pressure accompanying heartbeat induced changes in the volume of each pulse generated by heart).

The patient's situation, mental state, activity level, and relative health or illness status all affect blood pressure, as do cardiac output, systemic vascular resistance, blood volume, and arterial stiffness. Baroreceptors, which function through the brain to affect the neurological and endocrine systems, control blood pressure in the short term.

Blood pressure that is regularly too high or too low is referred to as hypertension, whereas normal blood pressure is referred to as normotension. Both hypertension and hypotension have numerous underlying causes and can manifest gradually over time or suddenly. Long-term hypertension raises the risk of various illnesses, such as renal failure, heart disease, and stroke. More people than long-term hypotension experience long-term hypertension.

Normal and abnormal Blood Pressure

Blood Pressures Chart 

systolic: less than 120 mm Hg

diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg

Normal Range

systolic: 120–129 mm Hg

diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg


systolic: 130 mm Hg or higher

diastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher

High blood pressure (hypertension

Generally speaking, arterial pressure in the systemic circulation is referred to as blood pressure. The monitoring of pressures in the pulmonary vessels and venous system, however, is crucial to intensive care medicine but necessitates invasive pressure measurement using a catheter.

The vascular pressure in a vein or in the heart's atria is referred to as venous pressure. With typical readings of 5 mmHg in the right atrium and 8 mmHg in the left atrium, it is significantly lower than arterial pressure.

Variants of venous pressure include:

Right ventricular end diastolic volume is mostly determined by central venous pressure, which approximates right atrial pressure well. (However, there may occasionally be exceptions.)

The pressure over the venous system that is inadvertently observed is known as the jugular venous pressure (JVP). It can help distinguish between various types of heart and lung diseases.

The blood pressure inside the portal vein is known as the portal venous pressure. Normal ranges are 5 to 10 mmHg.

Pulmonary Pressure

At rest, the pulmonary artery normally has a pressure of about 15 mmHg.

Pulmonary hypertension, which develops when there is an increase in blood pressure in the capillaries of the lung, can result in pulmonary edoema and interstitial edoema at pressures exceeding 20 and 25 mmHg, respectively.

Mean Systemic Pressure

Blood pressure decreases when the heart stops, but it never reaches zero. The term "mean systemic pressure" or "mean circulatory filling pressure" refers to the pressure that remains after the heart has stopped beating and the blood has been redistributed throughout the circulation; this pressure is normally proximally ~7mm Hg.

Disorders of Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, low blood pressure, and blood pressure that fluctuates excessively or unnecessarily are all symptoms of blood pressure management disorders.

High Blood Pressure

Regardless of the usual blood pressure level, with an increased risk of dementia, small vessel disease of the brain, and cardiovascular disease. Clinical trials have recently provided data connecting blood pressure variations to death, stroke, heart failure, and cardiac abnormalities that may lead to heart failure. These findings have raised the question of whether treating excessive blood pressure volatility in older persons with normotension as well. There is some evidence that various antihypertensive medications have different effects on blood pressure variability; however, whether these differences translate to benefits in outcome is uncertain. Older people and people who have taken blood pressure medications are more likely to exhibit larger fluctuations in pressure.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Most people with high blood pressure don't exhibit any symptoms, even when their blood pressure measurements are dangerously high. You may have high blood pressure for years without noticing any symptoms.

Some people have these Systems:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Nosebleeds

These symptoms are general, though. These problems typically don't show up until high blood pressure has gotten to the point where it's dangerous or life threatening.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

The amount of blood the heart pumps and the difficulty of the blood's passage through the arteries both affect blood pressure. Blood pressure rises as the heart pumps more blood and as the arteries become more constricted.

The two basic types of high blood pressure are as follows.

Primary hypertension or essential hypertension

For the vast majority of adults, there is no known reason for high blood pressure. Primary hypertension or essential hypertension are the terms used to describe this form of excessive blood pressure. It typically it's takes many years to grow gradually. Atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries, raises the risk of high blood pressure & threatening of life.

Subsequent hypertension

Such high blood pressure is brought on by an underlying illness. It frequently manifests suddenly and raises blood pressure more than primary hypertension does. The following conditions and medications might cause secondary hypertension:

  • Adrenal gland tumours
  • birth-related blood vessel issues, commonly known as congenital heart defects
  • prescription medications such as birth control pills, painkillers, and cough and cold remedies
  • illicit substances like cocaine and amphetamines
  • kidney illness
  • Obstructive snoring
  • thyroid issues

Sometimes blood pressure rises simply from receiving a physical. We refer to this as life style gain hypertension.

When to see a doctor

Screening for high blood pressure is a crucial component of general healthcare. Your age and general health will determine how frequently you should have your blood pressure tested.

Beginning at the age of 18, request a blood pressure check from your doctor at least every two years. Ask for a yearly blood pressure check if you are 40 years of age or older, or if you are between the ages of 18 and 39 and have a high risk of developing high blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure or other heart disease risk factors, your healthcare professional could advise getting your blood pressure checked more frequently.

As part of their regular exams, children three years old and older may have their blood pressure checked.

If you don't see a doctor on a regular basis, you might be able to get a free blood pressure check at a health resource fair or another place in your neighbourhood. Additionally, several shops and pharmacies have free blood pressure equipment. The correct cuff size and proper machine usage are just two factors that affect how accurate these machines are. Obtain instructions about using public blood pressure monitors from your healthcare physician.

High Blood Pressure Prevention

Making lifestyle modifications can help many people with high blood pressure bring their levels into a healthy range or maintain them there. Consult your medical staff about it. 

The following steps may help to regulate your blood pressure normally:

  • doing 150 minutes or more of exercise per week (about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week)
  • No Smoking 
  • maintaining a balanced diet and abstaining from alcohol and sodium (salt)
  • maintaining a healthy weight.
  • controlling stress

Study up on methods for controlling and preventing high blood pressure.

Some persons with high blood pressure need to take medication to regulate their blood pressure in addition to adopting beneficial lifestyle changes. Find out more about blood pressure medications.

If you believe you have high blood pressure or if you have been told you have high blood pressure but it is not under control, speak with your medical team straight away.

You may help defend yourself against heart disease and stroke, sometimes referred to as cardiovascular disease, by taking steps to lower your blood pressure (CVD).

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

Blood Pressure Physiology

Blood pressure fluctuates between a maximum (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) pressure with each heartbeat. The heart's pumping function is primarily responsible for maintaining blood pressure in the circulatory system. However, osmotic regulation from the kidney and neural regulation from the brain (see Hypertension and the brain) are also involved in controlling blood pressure. The circulation of blood is driven by variations in mean blood pressure. Mean blood flow is affected by both blood pressure and the blood vessels' ability to resist flow. The mean blood pressure falls as the blood circulates away from the heart through arteries and capillaries due to viscous energy losses in the absence of hydrostatic influences (such as standing still). The average blood pressure decreases throughout the entire circulatory system, however it mostly happens along the small arteries and arterioles. Although capillaries exhibit some transmitted pulsatility, pulsatility also declines in the smaller components of the arterial circulation.

Hydrostatic forces from gravity, such as those experienced when standing, as well as breathing and blood pressure pumping from the contraction of skeletal muscles all have an impact on blood pressure, particularly in the veins.

Blood Pressure Regulation

The increase in Na+ reabsorption brought on by the macula densa drives water to enter via osmosis, ultimately increasing plasma volume. Furthermore, the afferent arterioles constrict as a result of the macula densa's production of adenosine.

Juxtaglomerular cells produce renin as soon as they detect a drop in blood pressure.

Angiotensinogen (inactive form) is transformed into angiotensin I by renin (active form).

Angiotensin I travels through the bloodstream until it reaches the capillaries in the lungs, where it is changed into angiotensin II by the action of the enzyme angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).

Angiotensin II is a vasoconstrictor that raises preload and blood flow to the heart, which in turn raises cardiac output.

Additionally, the secretion of aldosterone from the adrenal glands is increased by angiotensin II.

The distal convoluted tubule of the nephron's reabsorption of Na+ and H2O is further increased by aldosterone.

ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists, sometimes referred to as angiotensin receptor blockers, are currently used to pharmacologically target the RAS (ARBs). 

Spironolactone, an aldosterone antagonist, specifically targets the aldosterone system. Diuretics may target fluid retention; their ability to lower blood pressure is a result of how they affect blood volume.

The baroreceptor reflex is typically not targeted in hypertension because if it were, people could faint and have orthostatic hypotension.

Measurement of Blood Pressure

The most popular way to measure arterial pressure is with a sphygmomanometer, which reflects blood pressure through auscultation by measuring the height of a mercury column or an aneroid gauge. The oscillometric approach is the foundation of the most widely used automated blood pressure measuring methodology. Since 1981, fully automated oscillometric measurement has been possible. This idea has recently been used to smartphone blood pressure monitoring. Invasive pressure measurement, which involves puncturing the artery wall to collect the reading, is significantly less common and is only performed in a hospital setting. New techniques are currently being investigated to measure blood pressure without puncturing the artery wall or exerting any pressure on the patient. These techniques, often known as cuffless measures, pave the way for blood pressure monitors that are more acceptable and comfortable. One illustration is a wrist-worn cuffless blood pressure monitor that merely makes use of optical sensors.

Terminal digit preference is a typical issue in American offices when measuring blood pressure. According to one study, 10% to 20% of recorded measures should have ended in zero "without bias," but 40% of recorded measurements did. Consequently, resolving digit preference is a crucial issue for raising the accuracy of blood pressure measurement.


  • High blood pressure is life-threatening, and you must consult a doctor for a better diagnosis and treatment.
  • The measurement of blood pressure is one of the primary procedures in clinical medicine to diagnose illness.
  • The main causes of misleading readings should be highlighted during training.
  • All those who measure blood pressure should be assessed properly on the practical aspects of the procedure.
  • Defective or inappropriate equipment must not be used for measurement of BP. A phased maintenance programme is essential and inexpensive to stop misleading readings.
  • A maintenance programme should be defined for each clinical area where blood pressure measurements are made for diagnosis.
  • Mercury sphygmomanometers will eventually be replaced by automated equipment. 
  • The accuracy of such devices needs to be independently validated.
  • The method of measuring blood pressure in specific populations, such as youngsters, the obese, the elderly, and pregnant women, requires special care.
  • It is necessary to consult a doctor if you feel you have High Blood Pressure.
  • Changes in lifestyle may help to regulate blood pressure normally.

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