By- O.C. Madu – ACCORDING to Medical dictionary high blood pressure is a condition in which a person’s blood pressure is persistently above normal.  Although, blood pressure varies from person to person and from time to time 140/90 or above is considered abnormal when measured.  While the person is at rest.  Normal blood pressure is about 120/80
The circulation of the blood begins primarily with the heart.  This is the pump that keeps the blood to all parts of the body, distributing this life-giving fluid to every cell.  After each vigorous contraction, the heart relaxes and momentarily rests.  At that instant, the aortic valve closes and the stream of blood rushes on through the aorta to all the other arteries of the body.  The walls of arteries are elastic.  They expand as they pass through them on their way to the smaller vessels.
You can feel this pulse wave by laying your finger lightly over the front of your wrist.   To keep the blood in circulation, it must be pumped under a certain amount of pressure, otherwise, it would all collect in the feet and none would reach the brain.   The pressure is provided by the heart during that split second when it is busy contracting.  At that instant, there is plenty of pressure within the heart, when it relaxes.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure?
Normal blood pressure is 120/80, but may go up to 140/80 and still be normal.  Anything above 140/90 tends toward hypertension, especially, if the pressure goes up to 180/120.  The upper figure is known as the systolic pressure, but it is the lower or diastolic pressure that gives the doctors the greatest concern.  The diastolic pressure should be maintained below 90.  If possible during the brief moment when the heart is at rest, the pressure in the arteries drops to around 70 or 80.  It remains there until the next heartbeat.
When once again, the pressure rises to 120, any tendency for the diastolic to remain at a higher level may indicate the beginning of high blood pressure.
How To Test For The High Blood Pressure
The doctor will wrap a blood pressure cuff around your arm, he begins to press on a rubbler bulb, this will inflate a rubber bag inside the cuff.
When the mercury or the pressure gauge reaches a certain height, the doctor will listen height, the doctor will listen carefully with his stethoscope.  The first sound he hears is the pulse wave as it passes under the pressure cuff.  This is the systolic or upper pressure.  The doctor will continue to listen until the sound completely disappears.  At this point, he registers the diastolic pressure.  They may look like this 120/70.  This will tell him a great deal if there is any question.
He will repeat the test several times.  He may even ask you to relax or perhaps to take a deep breaths.
Conditions That May Change High Pressure of Blood
Many different conditions may change the level of your pressure. Just the very act of having it makes some people nervous. This may raise the pressure higher than normal.
Emotional reaction will make a difference. In moments of fear or anger, the pressure may rise fifty to one hundred points above normal level.
Even eating a meal will make some difference.
During vigorous exercise, the pressure rises.
When a person is at rest the pressure falls to a basic level. All these fluctuations are perfectly normal. They occur in everyone.
There are several important mechanisms in the body all of which play their part in controlling the pressure.
The adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys. These produce a powerful hormone known as adrenalin. This chemical constricts the smaller blood vessels causing the pressure to rise. At the same time, it provides a fresh burst of energy to meet some emergency.
Another remarkable or gain, called the carotid sinus, is found in the neck. There is one on each side just below the angle of the jaw. These help in the controlling of blood flow and pressure. If for any reason, the blood pressure begin to fall, the effect is first noticed in this area. The carotid sinus flashes a message of alarm to the brain.
The brain then responds by ordering the tiny muscles in its walls of the arteriole to contract. This rapidly brings the pressure back to its former level. If the pressure tends to rise too high, the brain reverses the procedure. The arterioles relax and the pressure drops back to normal again.
What causes high blood pressure? The pressure may rise as a result of the brain or spinal cord disease. Infections of the kidneys tend to raise the blood pressure a times. Toxemia of pregnancy is another cause. But in the general majority of cases, we are still at a loss to explain why the pressure is elevated. What is going on is known but what makes it short to rise is still a mystery. This type, doctors refer as essential hypertension because is unknown. The process is rather slow. When it is rapid, it is called malignant hypertension (Andrew, 2000).
Most hypertensive patients have a background of strokes, heart disease, kidney ailment in their family history. This does not mean that all the children will suffer from high blood pressure, but such people should be extra careful. Young people from such families often have high blood pressure in the early twenties. As a result of hereditary factor.
Research shows that nervous factors certainly play a part. Merely immersing the hand of a hypertensive patient in ice cold water will rise his pressure for above the level of someone who does not have hypertension.
Essential hypertension research shows is due to a number of complex factors most of which are not well understood.
Other factors have been linked to the condition such as obesity, smoking, high level of salt in the diet, a high level of stress and excessive use of alcohol.
Warning signs of high blood pressure
The real problem of hypertension is not the level of the pressure, but, its effects on such organs as the heart, the brain, the eyes and kidney. The higher the pressure, the greater the damage is likely to be on these organs.
Effect on the heart
Nearly all patients with high blood pressure, will eventually develop hypertensive disease. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart must work. The extra work makes the muscle febre of the heart thick and strong elevated pressure produces changes in the coronary arteries as well. They tend to be partially blocked in certain areas. This cuts down its blood supply to the heart this results in the pains of angina pectoris. If one of the coronary arteries blocks up completely. The patient suffers from a true heart attack. Chronic failure may set in so, prolonged hypertension is bad for the heart.
Effect on the brain. High blood pressure frequently damages the brain, especially, in those who are older. A weekened vessel may rapture, causing extensive hemorrhage. This results in a complete paralysis on one side of the body. A more common type of injury arises from clot forming in one area of the brain paralysis occurs, the brain substance sisters and wastes away thoroughly lack of a normal blood supply.
This may be followed by a loss of memory and certain marked changes in the personality, all of which are usually permanent. Peace and joy.