How does blood move through blood vessels?
A doctor can compare the work of the heart with the work of the pump. During the heart's contraction, the blood enters the aorta, then - in the arteries, arterioles, and capillaries, and then through the system of venules and veins returns to the heart. A healthy blood supply to all human body organs is guaranteed by the body's cardiovascular system's smooth functioning. Among the main parameters that reflect the state of the cardiovascular system is essential to blood pressure.
What is blood pressure?
Blood tension is the force with which blood presses on the walls of arteries. Systolic blood pressure corresponds to the stress during heart contraction (systole), diastolic blood pressure - at the heart's relaxation (diastole).
Usually, blood pressure is measured using a device called a tonometer. In clinical practice for the diagnosis of hypertension, use indicators of blood pressure in the brachial artery. Two digits indicate the value of blood pressure - for example, 120 by 80 mm Hg. The highest digit – 120 systolic blood pressure, lower - 80 diastolic blood pressure.
Blood pressure is adjusting by complex nervous and hormonal mechanisms and can vary significantly throughout the day. A complex of factors changes blood pressure. For example, just part of them: the tone and elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, the total blood content in the bloodstream, the heart's functional state, blood viscosity, the state of the nervous system, medication, coffee, tea, or other food, and so on.
As a rule, blood pressure is low when a person is at rest and during sleep and rises during exercise or excitement. The vessel wall can withstand significant fluctuations in blood pressure. A young and healthy person endures physical or psychological stress easily and without visible negative consequences for themselves. With age, the vessels always develop changes. Depending on the lifestyle, blood vessels may become less elastic, losing the ability to respond to increasing load adequately. Because of this, rises in blood pressure damage the vessels and organs that supply it.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is a persistent regular increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In the vast majority of patients, the immediate causes of the rise in blood pressure are complicated to detect. When a person is prone to sudden elevations in blood pressure, he is diagnosed with primary hypertension.
About ten percent of hypertensives have other chronic conditions as a cause of high blood pressure. For example, as the main reason, it could be the chronic disease of the kidneys or endocrine organs - adrenal glands, thyroid gland, congenital malformations of the heart and blood vessels, etc. This hypertension is called secondary or symptomatic.
Heart rate variability and hypertension
Unfortunately, hypertension is the most common pathology among the adult population of economically developed countries. It is recognized as a non-infectious epidemic of the XX-XX I centuries in the civilized world.
Over the past two decades, significant ones have been identified connections between changes in the state of the autonomic nervous system and mortality from many cardiovascular diseases. Autonomic dysfunction is one of the most controversial issues of today's medicine.
What is HRV?
Heart rate variability (HRV) is one of the most designed and informative methods of a quantitative assessment of autonomic activity indicators, which are considered, integrated indicators of the organism's processes of regulation.
A recent study found that patients with hypertension observed the sympathetic "denervation" of the heart, which can be explained by depleting the mechanisms of autonomic regulation of heart rhythm. It is determined that for patients with hypertension is characterized by a violation of the daily autonomic law of heart rhythm and a decrease in the protective effect of parasympathetic tone of the autonomic nervous system at night.
It is important to remember that age and genetics play an essential role in our well-being. The rhythm of the modern world is harsh. A person should fully relax and have a night of quality sleep. How to track your sleep? The Welltory also is the best sleep tracking app, and you can find it as a meditation tracker to relax your body and mind.
Why is high blood pressure bad for your health?
Elevated blood pressure complicates the normal functioning of the heart. High tension puts extra strain on the heart. Increased blood pressure on the vessel wall can lead to damage and is the leading cause of pathological changes in the heart and the brain, eyes, and kidneys. According to clinical studies, every 20 or 10 mm increase in blood pressure doubles the risk of different diseases, such as coronary disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. You can measure it with the heart rate monitors for iPhone or as a blood pressure app for Apple Watch.
The risk of complications and death in the presence of hypertension depends not only on the blood pressure level. There are other factors called "risk factors." The main risk factors are smoking, carbohydrate metabolism disorders and diabetes, cholesterol metabolism disorders, overweight and obesity, and low physical activity levels. Only 1% of patients with high blood pressure have no other risk factors in the world population. In every eighth patient, hypertension is combined with one, in every fourth - with two, in 60% of patients - with more than three risk factors. Among the most common are smoking, high cholesterol, low physical activity, overweight, and obesity.
To measure blood pressure, heart rate variability, and stress at home, especially with self-measurement, you can use modern electronic models or with a phone. It could be the blood pressure app, which does not differ in traditional mechanical accuracy. The value of blood tension in such methods is visible on display. Besides, you can turn your phone into a device that has extra functions - measuring HRV, storing measurement results in memory, printing them on paper, and more.
If you or your family members have high blood pressure, do not delay a visit to the doctor. At Welltory Academy, you can learn more about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hypertension and measures to maintain optimal blood pressure.