Hello, How are you today? I want to believe that you are fine. Briefly, I will like to start by welcoming you to my article on Hypertension causes and treatment.
According to an article published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), The article was titled ‘There is a disease worse than HIV/AIDS’
I think it is ideal that before we go into hypertension causes and treatment, we need to know what this disease is all about.
Hypertension can also be known as “high blood pressure”. contrary to what some medical practitioners will tell you, Hypertension is a preventable as well as controllable disease.
According to the World Health Organisation, Hypertension is the most dangerous illness in the sense that it is a silent killer that can lead to stroke, heart problems and other related illness.
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The reasons it is regarded as a disease worse than HIV/AIDS is that it can kill an individual at any moment.
Types of hypertension
Hypertension consists of two different words; “hyper” – increased/elevated, and ”Tension” – pressure/force.
- Primary and
- Secondary high blood pressure.
1) Hypertension is said to be of primary origin when there is no obvious cause of it. It accounts for about 95% of cases of hypertension.
2) On the other hand, hypertension is said to be of secondary origin when there’s an already existing health condition that leads to hypertension as its complication, e.g. kidney disease/disorder/failure, pheochromocytoma, Cushing’s disease, thyrotoxicosis, hyperparathyroidism…etc.
Hypertension therefore literally means elevated or increased pressure or force of a substance in a given medium. The human body consists of different systems that perform different functions.
One of such systems called the circulatory system consists of the heart and network of blood vessels that run through the whole body. On average, your body has about 5litres of blood continually travelling through it by way of the circulatory system.
Hypertension is defined as an increase in pressure or the force of the flow of blood in the blood vessels above a limit that is considered to be normal to the body.
WHAT IS NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE
Blood pressure changes in each of us throughout life, and on a minute to minute basis. It tends to get higher as we age, and is usually lowest when we sleep. As we go through a normal day, it fluctuates and becomes elevated in response to stress, pain, hormonal levels, meals and exercise. The human heart pumps blood through the blood vessels in a wave like a pattern.
The blood pressure at the peak of the hearts contraction is known as the systolic blood pressure. When the heart relaxes, the blood pressure falls, and a lower level of blood pressure occurs, known as the diastolic blood pressure. i.e. 120/80 – is ideal or normal. However, blood pressure has been found to vary from individual to individual.
For an adult, the upper limit of the normal is 135/85 anything beyond this is a threat. If systolic or the diastolic blood pressure is persistently greater than (140/90mmHg), hypertension is said to be present.
HOW PRIMARY HYPERTENSION OCCURS
Increase in volume of blood in the heart Narrowing of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction) The causes of these remain idiopathic (unknown); Also free radicals is a major causative factor of most chronic diseases, their eradication leads to eradication of illnesses of unknown origin.
MAIN CAUSE OF HYPERTENSION
Every problem in life has a core foundation i.e. the root of it. Hypertension has a root and the recent scientific discovery in molecular medicine shows that a certain group of molecules called the “free radical” and cholesterol are responsible for the fundamental changes that give birth to high blood pressure. So, for effective hypertension treatment, we need to handle free radical and cholesterol first since they are the main causes of hypertension.
THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF FREE RADICALS
Biochemically, free radicals are atoms/molecules with unpaired electrons (e-) on their outer surface, which makes them, unstable, very reactive and destructive. They are produced both in and outside the body. However, they are mainly produced as free electrons during energy through three main cycles namely;
2) Kreb’s cycle
3) Oxidative phosphorylation.
These energy-generation mechanisms, which are so essential for life can also set the stage for cell damage. During these processes, particularly the oxidative phosphorylation, which is the main energy-generating process in the body, free or unpaired electrons (e-) are released into the bloodstream as by-products.
As these unstable electrons come in contact with dissolved oxygen in the blood, they ionise (charge) them and make them super active and destructive.
The products are called superoxide or peroxide and hydroxyl free radicals depending on the number of oxygen molecules involved in the ionisation process.
Also, compounds and heavy metals in the body multiply the destructive reactions of free radicals several thousand, possibly several million times. E.g. lead, pesticides, insecticides, chlorofluorocarbons and compounds from cigarette smoke, pollution.
ACTIONS OF FREE RADICALS
Free radicals are the basic causes of hypertension, for treatment to be successful, free radical should not be taken for granted.
Free Radicals are unstable molecules that act like a nuclear or atomic bomb because they have unpaired electron on their outer coat, they either steal (reduction) an electron from a cell or component of a cell or release (oxidation) the unpaired electron to another.
When any of these occur, the cell they steal from or give automatically becomes unstable and mad. This chain reaction continues until the eventual death of the affected cell. It is this chain reaction that Dr Harmon explains in his “free radical theory of ageing” which states that cells continuously produce free radicals and constant free radical damage eventually kills the cell.
When free radicals kill or damage enough cells in the body, ageing sets in. The major cellular targets of free radicals include; Mitochondrial Phospholipids DNA Proteins On the phospholipids which are an unsaturated fat molecule that forms the outer coat of the cells.
Frequent attack and damage of this coat can lead to a breakdown or even hardening of the coat. If the cell wall is hardened (lipid peroxidation), it becomes impossible for the affected cell to properly get its nutrient, get signals from other cells to perform its functions.
The implication of this is accelerated the death of the affected cell, quick ageing and disease initiation.