There are times it is normal for the heart to beat harder, such as if you are out hiking and encounter a bear. Your blood pressure will jump so larger levels of oxygenated, nutrient rich blood is sent through your system and you are able to react. All part of the flight or fight response.
When you are diagnosed for high blood pressure your blood pressure is not just high for limited periods of time. It is consistently elevated. This means the heart is constantly working harder than it should.
Here are 7 reasons your heart may be dealing with this increased workload:
1. Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) - This may be caused by cholesterol deposits along arterial walls resulting in plaque buildup. Fibrosis or endothelial dysfunction may also result in narrower arteries. When arteries narrow the heart has to pump harder (exert more force) to move blood throughout the system.
2. Overweight and obesity - Fat is a tissue that requires a constant blood s...
<p><strong>What Is Hypertension? </strong></p>
<p>Hypertension (high blood pressure) is characterized by a persistent increase in the force that the blood exerts upon the walls of the arteries. It is normal for this force to increase with stress or physical exertion, but with hypertension, blood pressure is high even at rest.</p>
<p>Because blood pressure in the arteries rises and falls with each heartbeat, it is measured with two numbers: <strong>systolic</strong> (the top number in a reading) and <strong>diastolic</strong> (the bottom number). The systolic number reflects the force of blood against the arterial walls each time the heart contracts. Diastolic pressure refers to the pressure within the arteries as the heart relaxes and refills with blood (which explains why the diastolic number is always lower than the systolic measurement).</p>
<p>Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (abbr...
Blood is carried from the heart to all the body's tissues and organs in pipes, called arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of those pipes. The unit for measuring blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). In most people, hypertension , or high blood pressure , is defined as either: a systolic pressure consistently at 140 or higher or a diastolic pressure consistently at 90 or higher. In some groups, such as those with diabetes or kidney disease , a high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 or higher or a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 80 or higher. Each time the heart beats (about 60 to 70 times a minute at rest) it pumps blood out into the blood vessels. When the heart is pumping the blood, it is called systolic pressure. When the heart is relaxing in between beats, your blood pressure falls; this is the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic). If the...
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