The heart pumps blood and is arguably the most important organ in the body. Scientifically, the only other organ that shares this description is the brain. A human being is not certified dead until the heart stops pumping blood and the brain stops working. Even in non-medical contexts, humans have learnt to rever its importance; for instance, we have attributed the heart to novel abstracts like love. However, despite the recognition of its importance and the recognition, it enjoys, about 17.9million individuals die of heart-related diseases yearly in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Aside from heartbreak (which many recognize all too well), the heart is prone to many illnesses. Let’s examine one of the common ones in the following paragraphs.
Blood pressure is easily the most basic method of certifying the state of the health of the heart. It is defined as the force exerted by blood against a unit area of the blood vessel wall. You could measure it as how fast or slow the heart pumps blood, or the pressure blood hits the blood vessels with. Essentially, blood pressure is an index to check whether the heart – and associated organs – are healthy or not. The blood pressure is measured by an Electrocardiograph and it is measured as the systole/the diastole. The systole is the measure of the blood pressure when the heart is contracting while the diastole is the measure of the pressure of the blood pressure when it is relaxed.
Normal adult blood pressure – by WHO standards – stands at 120/80. It becomes mildly low at 90/60 and extremely low at 60/40 or less. Hypotension describes when the blood pressure is low. When the blood pressure begins to tinkle in at 140/90, it is fairly normal. It however becomes very dangerous at 180/120 or above, and the person is termed hypertensive. Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer and quite interestingly, with a little bit of training, anyone can measure theirs using the digital sphygmomanometer.
Hypotension is an indication that the body’s vital organs, especially the brain, are not receiving enough oxygen and nutrient supply. This becomes evident as the hypotensive person experiences tiredness and dizziness. This person feels easily nauseated and depressed. Hypotension also causes the individual to have blurry visions; a low concentration span, damp or clammy skin, and sweaty pores. A hypotensive person might faint or even die when it becomes too severe.
The causes of hypotension can be physiological; when the body adjusts to situations like pregnancy, shock, prolonged bed rest, blood loss, and dehydration. It could also be pathological, and due to underlying infections like diarrhea, vomiting, diabetes, thyroid diseases, or blood infections. Hypotension could be caused by medications like the overdose of drugs used to treat high blood pressure, antidepressants, and even erectile dysfunction drugs.
Although hypotension could seem the lesser of the two evils it is a great case of concern. It could be a symptom masking a terrible disease condition. Therefore, anyone who experiences the above signs should, first, get his or her blood pressure examined. This individual should avoid crowded places, have long bed rest, and manage his or her emotions well. They should avoid triggers of shock and allergy and take medications and treatment from medical doctors in the dosage and frequency recommended
The disheartening thing about hypertension is that most people with high blood pressure don’t experience any symptoms. Hypertension can grow over years and lead to more severe disease conditions of the heart – like stroke – without the person realizing it. It, therefore, requires a medical diagnosis. The Guardian reported – earlier this year – that about 80 million Nigerians are hypertensive with only 26.7 million receiving treatment.
The risk factors of hypertension include unhealthy diets – for instance food items with excessive salts and fats, the use of tobacco and alcohol, physical inactivity, and obesity. Hypertension can also be a genetic inheritance. It is expedient to avoid these risk factors especially if there is a pattern of hypertension and related illnesses in the family. Also, due to its symptomlessness, one has to regularly measure one’s blood pressure level. Remember, your health is the first and most important state you have to be wealthy in.