What Exactly is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the force of blood pumping against the walls of blood vessels is consistently too high.  The circulatory system, consisting of the heart and network of blood vessels, carries blood to and from tissues and organs.  The two numbers on a blood pressure reading are systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.  Systolic pressure occurs when blood pumps out of the heart.  Diastolic pressure is the measurement of the heart as it rests between beats.  

A variety of factors increase blood pressure.  One example is plaque buildup in arteries from high cholesterol decreases the room for blood to flow through the blood vessels.  Blood pressure increases as the heart strains to pump harder but is less effective.

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure

With high blood pressure, the heart strains to pump and may damage the heart muscle and the delicate tissues of the blood vessels.  Damage can cause cardiovascular events.  An increase in blood pressure due to plaque tears the vessels, the start of atherosclerosis.  More damage causes blood pressure to increase.  It is a vicious cycle that can lead to arrhythmia, stroke, and heart attack.

Although you may feel healthy, high blood pressure may cause damage to your heart and blood vessels.  Contact the doctors at Carolina Heart & Leg Center, P.A. for a blood pressure reading at (910) 491-1760. Your doctor will discuss prevention and treatment for any cardiovascular concerns including blood pressure.

*Stock photographs and artwork are for illustrative purposes only. **This blog/post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on this blog/post as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare providers. Please see our full disclaimer at www.CarolinaHeartAndLeg.com.