Monday, March 8, 2010

Medical Monday I

I have decided to devote Mondays to medicine and all things medically related. Most of my Medical Monday posts will be snippits from my snazzy Merck Manual of Medical Information, a fascinating collection of definitions, disorders, graphs, treatments and very cool info in general.

And so, today begins my series of Medical Mondays. :)

High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is abnormally high pressure in the arteries.
To many people, the word hypertension suggests excessive tension, nervousness, or stress. In medical terms, hypertension refers to high blood pressure, regardless of the cause. Because it usually does not cause symptoms for many years - until a vital organ is damaged - it has been called "the silent killer." Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of problems such as stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, heart attack, and kidney damage.
Blood pressure that is more than 180/110mm Hg and does not produce any symptoms is a hypertensive urgency.
Malignant hypertension, a particularly severe form of high blood pressure, is a hypertensive emergency. Blood pressure is at least 210/120mm Hg. It occurs in only 1 of 200 people who have high blood pressure. Unlike a hypertensive urgency, malignant hypertension may produce a variety of severe symptoms. If untreated, malignant hypertension usually leads to death in 3 to 6 months.
Treatement: Primary hypertension cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Helpful measures include: losing weight, reducing intake of alcohol and sodium, moderate aerobic exercise and if necessary, drug therapy (no, not drugdrugs...pharmaceutical drugs).

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