Cardiovascular Diseases

Blood pressure:
It is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries, so that the arteries transmit blood from the heart to the rest of the body, and the person's blood pressure changes throughout the day according to his activity.
The body's organs need oxygen-laden blood in order to do its work and to survive. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of blood vessels, which includes arteries, veins, and capillaries. This pressure is the result of two forces:
  • The first force (systolic pressure) is the pressure in the arteries produced when the heart contracts (at the time of the heartbeat).
  • The second force (diastolic pressure) refers to the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes between heartbeats.
It means that blood pressure is higher than normal, so the higher the blood pressure levels, the higher the risk of other health problems (such as: heart disease, heart attack, and stroke). When blood pressure is too high for a long time, it damages the blood vessels as harmful cholesterol begins to accumulate on the arterial walls, this increases the circulatory workload while reducing its efficiency.

Classification of blood pressure readings:
blood pressure class
Systolic (upper number)
mm Hg
Diastolic (bottom number)
mm Hg
Ideal blood pressure
Less than 120
Less than 80
Prehypertension stage
High blood pressure (stage 1)
High blood pressure (stage 2)
High blood pressure (stage 3)
   over 180 
Above 110

High blood pressure is caused by unhealthy lifestyle aspects (such as not getting enough regular physical activity), where certain health conditions can also lead to high blood pressure, such as:

  • Some kidney or hormone problems.
  • Diabetes.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Sleep Apnea.
  • Having a congenital defect in the blood vessels since birth.
  • Some types of medicines (e.g.: Contraceptive pills).
  • Taking drugs.
  • High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy.

Risk factors:

  • Heredity.
  • Getting old.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • An unhealthy diet with too much salt.
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity.

Most people with high blood pressure do not have any signs or symptoms, even if their blood pressure readings are dangerously high, but some may experience:

  • Headache.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Vision changes.
  • Ringing in the ears.

Severe high blood pressure can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.

High blood pressure can cause serious damage to the heart due to excessive hardening of the arteries, which reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, leading to:

  • Pain in chest.
  • Heart attack.
  • Heart failure.

Decreased blood oxygen flow to the brain and kidneys also leads to:

  • Stroke.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Loss of vision (blindness).

Diagnosis is made by the doctor by measuring blood pressure and recording its levels in two or three separate visits to confirm the diagnosis. Family history and medical history are also taken, blood pressure readings are followed up, laboratory analysis are performed, and tests are performed to rule out any cause or risk factor for high blood pressure.

Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure to a normal range or maintain pressure readings in the normal range by making lifestyle changes:

  • Exercising for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week).
  • Following a healthy eating pattern, reducing salt in meals to less than 5 grams (such as the DASH diet).
  • Stop smoking.
  • Control stress and anxiety.

Some people with high blood pressure may need to take medications to control their blood pressure, which are prescribed by a doctor.

A healthy lifestyle is one of the most important ways to prevent and control blood pressure, as it includes:

  • Doing physical activity.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Adopting a healthy diet by reducing salt in meals and limiting the intake of foods rich in saturated fats and trans fats (following the DASH diet).
  • Control anxiety and stress.
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Reducing caffeine intake.

Last Update : 24 August 2023 10:34 AM
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