ABOUT BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING
Pressure of circulating blood on the walls of the blood vessels because of the pumping action of the heart is known as blood pressure. It usually refers to the pressure in the large arteries of the systemic circulation.
High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the arterial walls is too high. This can cause problems in different organs -
- Heart - Heart has to work harder to push blood into the arteries because of the resistance posed by the arterial walls. This can cause hypertrophy of the heart muscle (i.e. increased mass) whereas the blood supply remains the same. This can lead to ischemic heart disease (heart attack).If the heart is not able to pump blood against the increased resistance of the arteries it can cause heart failure.
- Brain - Increased force of blood flow can rupture the delicate arteries of the brain. This is called Brain Hemorrhage. Because of sudden rise in blood pressure the arteries may go into temporary spasm leading to decrease in blood supply to the brain commonly known as transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA).High blood pressure causes injury to the internal lining of the vessels which can lead to clotting of the blood. This is called Thrombosis.
- Kidneys - High blood pressure may cause thickening of the arteries of kidneys leading to decrease in blood supply hence less filtration and ultimately kidney failure.
- Lungs - High blood pressure can cause collection of fluid in the lungs commonly known as pulmonary oedema.
As we have seen high blood pressure can cause problems in multiple organs leading to prolonged morbidity (e.g. Hemiplegia, brain stroke, TIA, Heart failure, Heart attack, Kidney failure etc.) and even sudden death. So it is very important to regularly monitor and control blood pressure.
- By Dr (Mrs) Harsh Lata
Gynecologist from Lady Hardinge College, Delhi