“Hypertension-A silent killer”

While studying a number of Patho-physiologies,a brief description of signs and symptoms are available in a large variety of text.But as far as “Hypertension” is concerned,it is the most dangerous aspect of this disease,that the individual does not know that he is a victim of this disease,as there are no prominent existing signs and symptoms.


Even in the lying Position if the blood pressure is extremely high,most of the patients report that there was a feeling of a heavy machinery working out in their body,while the feeling persists ,their vision blurs or sometime there is a ‘heavy-headedness’ mean while the individual suffers severe chest pain,over growing Anxiety,irregular heartbeats or Dizziness,and in most severe cases bleeding from nose and blood in urine is also reported.But if the individual is not previously diagnosed with hypertension,he will be unable to realize the severity of it and it may leads to death.

The word ‘Hypertension’ is a hybrid of Greek and Latin origin,which means “over-stretching”,but here it is applied for excessive pressure.High blood pressure represents a qualitative deviation from the normal blood pressure.The British hypertension society defines hypertension as ‘a blood-pressure more than 140/90 mmHg,persisting for a longer period of time’.


In more than 95% of cases,the underlying cause of hypertension is not known which is  called as ‘Essential-hypertension’ (introduced by Otto Frank in 1925).However,it is reported that there are a higher incidence of hypertension in black Americans and Japanese,while other possible contributing factors include Excess Alcohol,high Salt intake,Obesity,Lack of Exercise,impaired intra-uterine growth,smoking and excessive Stress.

While in 5% of cases,Hypertension has a specific underlying cause,including any kidney-related disease,an Endocrine disorder,pregnancy,coarctation of aorta and several drugs side-effect (including oestrogen-containing oral contraceptive pills,Anabolic steroids exectra),which will lead to Hypertension.

This “Silent killer-hypertension”, was first reported as a Disease by Thomas young(1808) and Richard Bright(1836).While Frederick Akbar Mahomed (1849-1884) was the first person,reporting that hypertension may occur without an existing kidney disease.

Moreover,the Invention of Sphygmomanometer by ‘Scipione Riva-Rocci'(1896) further modified the methods of determining the elevated blood-pressure.Where as ‘Nikolai korotkoff,improvised this technique by introducing the ‘Korotkoff Sound’,which can be heard by utilization of a Stethoscope in this method.

All these advancements in diagnosis of this disease became possible,by the continuous efforts of ‘Ibn-al Nafis (Arab physician) and William Harvey (England) who gave the idea about ‘Physiology of blood-circulation in human body’.

A general possible mechanism of hypertension involves a Decreased renal excretion of sodium,as a result of which more sodium retained in body leading to more water absorption by the kidneys,contributing to an increased blood-volume and an increased in Peripheral resistance due to increased release of vaso-constrictor agents,which soon Elevates the Blood-pressure.The two major Systems of Renin-angiotensin and Sodium Homeostasis (which are involved in bringing the blood-pressure back to normal) if somehow failed because of any factors mentioned above,then the blood-pressure persists high for a longer period of time,resulting in Hypertension.


In present World,The health care providers are more prone to eliminate the cause rather then minimizing the symptoms of any disease.Because it is essential  to cut the Root of the disease,which will inhibit the Growth further while branches will die themselves.Hence to treat any disease ’cause’ must be known.In case of Hypertension,it is a Silent disease which has no Prominent underlying Cause.So a Complete Cure of this Disease is not yet developed.It is only managed by following some measures which may reduce the cardiovascular risks related to hypertension including Restricting high salt intake,regular physical exercise,proper Diet plan,loosing weight,quit smoking,and reducing Alcohol intake by the individual.

Certain Classes of Anti-hypertensives play an important role in bringing the elevated blood-pressure back to normal and hence prolonging life of an individual.they are enlisted as Beta-Blockers,Calcium-channel blockers,Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors,Angiotensin-Receptor blockers,Thiazide Diuretics and Alpha-Blockers respectively.

Researchers are looking forward to cope up with Hypertension by the utilization of herbal drugs.Recently,Anti-hypertensive effect is observed in Cardamom when tested on Wistar-Rats.while Basil,Cinnamon,Garlic,Hawthorn,Celery-seeds,French-lavender, and Cat’s Claw like herbs are also under consideration.

One must regularly see his or her doctor at least once a month until the blood pressure goal is achieved after starting an anti-hypertensive drug therapy because the severity of hypertension involves stroke,one may loss consciousness,Heart-Attack may occur.there are also chances of Memory loss,Damage to eyes or kidneys,Aortic Dissection,Pulmonary Edema and Eclampsia which will progress to death.

“Beware of Hypertension-May be it is in search of its next victim”


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