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Hypertension is a common disorder characterized by a sustained elevation of systolic arterial pressure (top number) of 140 mm Hg or higher, or a diastolic arterial pressure (bottom number) of 90 mm Hg or greater, or both. Hypertension is divided into two categories: essential (or primary) hypertension and secondary hypertension.
Research has shown that hypernatremia (elevated serum sodium) increases the volume of blood, which raises blood pressure. Primary hypertension may also develop from alterations in other bosy chemicals. For some clients who respond to stress at a higher degree, hypertension may be related to a higher degree, hypertension may be related to a higher release of catecholamines, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which elevates blood pressure. Others feel that hypertension may be caused by a deficiency of natriuretic factor (a hormone produced by the heart) causing arteries to remain in a state of sustained vasoconstriction.
Other causes may include:
- Adrenal tumors
- Acute pain or stress
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Birth Control pills
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cushing's disease
- Genetic factors
- Kidney failure
Regardless of whether a person has primary or secondary hypertension, the same types of organ damage and complications occur. Hypertension causes the heart to pump against greater resistance, increasing its workload. The size of the heart muscle increases from the outer layer of the epicardium to the inner layer of the endocardium.
Besides the direct effects on the heart, high blood pressure accelerates atherosclerosis
and can cause other serious complications. Damage to many organs of the body can also occur, such as to the eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys. Blood vessels may rupture under the strain of high pressure. Tiny arteries in the retina may hemorrhage, possibly resulting in blindness. A blood vessel may hemorrhage in the brain causing cerebrovascular problems. Renal failure may also result from decreased circulation to the kidneys.
Signs & Symptoms:
Clients may not have symptoms since the onset of hypertension, often called "the silent killer", is gradual. In some cases, hypertension is not diagnosed until the person experiences a major complication. Some minor symptoms may include:
- Consistent Bp readings of 140/90 or higher
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