Tips to Prepare for a Surgery

It is common for a person to worry about a variety of things when told by the doctor that a surgical procedure is required to treat the underlying medical condition. Whether the required surgery is major or minor, people usually get stressed-out and become fearful both about the surgical procedure and its consequences. Many people get scared even on thinking about the anesthesia given before the surgery. If it is the first time that you are about to be operated, then it is normal that you are much tensed up and are unable to carry out your normal routine in a relaxed manner. To face the surgery successfully, you have to acquaint yourself with the surgical procedure that you are going to have and prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Following are some helpful tips to prepare for a surgery that you can adopt before going under the knife –


Seek a Second Opinion – Is Surgery the Only Option?

If your physician or surgeon has advised a surgical procedure, then don’t hesitate to consult other physicians or surgeons before going under the knife. It might be that surgery is not required at all and your medical condition is treatable through medicines only. Also, there might be a simple surgical procedure available instead of the major surgery recommended by your surgeon. Moreover, you can also try various systems of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) like Homeopathy, Ayurveda, herbal medicine, etc. before finally deciding in favor of surgery.

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Complications of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

This research article or paper focuses on the complications of Hypertension or High Blood Pressure. Complications of High Blood Pressure involve a multitude of deadly diseases. The author of this paper has tried to emphasize on the mechanism of development of complications, i.e., how the complications develop due to Hypertension. Pathophysiology of Hypertension resulting in the development of complications is investigated.

Complications of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

“High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is a Key to a Multitude of Deadly Diseases”

Rationally Coping with High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is the Choice of the Wise”

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension or HBP is a common medical condition. Usually, people suffering from this condition have no signs and symptoms until complications develop in the vital organs. So, if you have Hypertension, it will keep on damaging your organs without your knowledge. That’s why High Blood Pressure is aptly called as The Silent Killer. A person can have it for many years without knowing it. While a person may be unaware of his or her High Blood Pressure status, High Blood Pressure can damage his or her blood vessels, heart, kidneys, brain, eyes, and other organs of the body. Therefore, regularly getting your blood pressure checked is important, even if you are feeling healthy. If your blood pressure is already normal, then your health care professional or team can guide you how to maintain it. If a person’s blood pressure is high, treatment can help prevent damage to the organs.

complications of high blood pressure or hypertension - adidarwinian

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension or HBP when left untreated, over the time, can cause many complications as described below –

Damage to Heart and Arteries

High Blood Pressure or HBP or Hypertension places a higher workload on your heart and arteries, and can damage and block your arteries, can cause heart attack and heart failure. Arteries throughout the body get narrowed, which limits the blood flow, this can result in heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, amputation of part of leg, or loss of vision, and other problems.

  • Hypertension damages and blocks your arteries. If you have Hypertension, the force on your arteries is very high. This high force creates microscopic tears in the walls of your arteries. These microscopic damages form the scar tissues, which in turn, lead to formation of the Plaques (Atherosclerosis). Substances found in the blood such as fat, cholesterol, fibrin (a clotting material), calcium, etc., collectively form plaque. Plaques narrow and harden the arteries. The narrowing or thickening of arteries limits the supply of the oxygen-rich blood to the body organs. Hypertension also speeds up the narrowing and hardening of arteries which is a part of the natural process of aging. When your arteries get narrowed, you have a greater chance for the formation of Blood Clots. Blood clots can get carried away with your blood until they get stuck in narrow spaces. These stuck blood clots can significantly or totally block the blood supply to various parts of your body.
  •  As High Blood Pressure causes narrowing of arteries, blood supply to the heart muscle gets reduced. This can cause Angina (Chest Pain or Discomfort).
  •  Hypertension or High Blood Pressure can cause Heart Attack. Heart attack occurs as a result of blocked blood supply to the muscle tissue of the heart. Hypertension makes the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) thicker and harder as a result of formation of plaques (Coronary Heart Disease or CHD).  These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. High Blood Pressure makes arteries prone to blood clots. When a plaque or a blood clot or both completely blocks a coronary artery, the blood flow to the heart muscle fed by that artery stops and heart muscle begins to die.
  • The narrowed arteries interfere with blood’s ability to flow smoothly. This places a higher workload on your heart. Eventually, the heart thickens, becomes larger, and weaker. This can cause Heart Failure. Heart failure is a medical condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body’s requirements.

Stroke

A Stroke occurs when an artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain gets blocked (Ischemic Stroke). Hypertension can cause such a blockage of arteries. Without oxygen and blood supply, brain cells starts dying within a few minutes. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension can also cause sudden bleeding in the brain (Hemorrhagic Stroke). The bleeding causes swelling and increased pressure in a person’s skull; this process damages brain cells.

Kidney Damage

High Blood Pressure causes arteries supplying blood to the kidneys to narrow and harden. When the arteries get narrowed, the nephrons (a nephron is a structural and functional unit of the kidney involved in the filtration of the wastes and excess fluids from the blood) do not get adequate amount of the blood and oxygen. This causes damage to them. When the blood vessels in the kidneys get damaged, they stop eliminating wastes and extra fluid from a person’s body. The extra fluid further raises the blood pressure, thus, a vicious circle starts. Hypertension is one of the main causes of Kidney Failure or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Vision Loss

Hypertension can strain the blood vessels in the eyes, and the optic nerve. Hypertension can cause the blood vessels of eyes to either narrow or bleed due to too much blood pressure force. This may result in Vision Problems or Blindness. HBP or High Blood Pressure can also reduce the ability to see by causing swelling of the optic nerve. Optic nerve carries visual information from the retina of the eye to the brain. Disease or damage of the optic nerve can lead to Partial or Total Blindness. Hypertension can cause damage to the retina (Hypertensive Retinopathy). Hypertensive Retinopathy occurs as a result of damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Untreated High Blood Pressure can cause permanent vision problems or blindness.

Aneurysms

Hypertension can lead to the formation of Aneurysms. An aneurysm is an abnormal (balloon-like) bulge in the wall of an artery. Arteries have thick walls to withstand normal blood pressure. The force of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension by pushing against the weakened or injured walls of the arteries can cause an aneurysm. An aneurysm can burst or rupture, and thereby, can cause severe bleeding inside the body. An aneurysm may undergo a dissection, which is defined as a split in one or more artery wall’s layers. The split results in bleeding into and along the layers of the artery wall. Both the rupture of aneurysm and dissection of aneurysm are often fatal.

Common spot for aneurysms is the aorta which is the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all the body parts except the lungs. Many people die annually from Aortic Aneurysm. Most of the deaths occur from Aortic Aneurysm Rupture or Aortic Dissection (also known as Aortic Aneurysm – Dissecting). Aneurysms also can occur in other arteries though less commonly. For example aneurysm can occur in the artery leading to the spleen; and the arteries in the brain, intestines, and legs.

Erectile Dysfunction

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension can cause Erectile Dysfunction or ED or Impotence. Erectile Dysfunction or ED is the inability of a man to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. High Blood Pressure damages, hardens, and narrows the arteries carrying blood to the male sexual organ. This reduces blood flow and makes it difficult to achieve and sustain erection.

Dementia

Dementia is a brain disease that involves impaired intellectual functioning, loss of ability to solve problems, inability to maintain emotional control, memory loss, and impairment of language skills. Dementia may involve personality changes and behavioral problems like agitation, delusions, and hallucinations. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension or HBP can cause Dementia by narrowing and blocking the arteries that supply blood to the brain

Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is the name given to a group of risk factors that raises a person’s risk for developing Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Stroke. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension or HBP, being a metabolic risk factor, increases the risk for developing Diabetes and other health problems.

Rationally Coping With High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Rationally Coping With High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

How To Cope With High Blood Pressure or Hypertension?

“High Blood Pressure or Hypertension Is A Multifaceted Menace; It’s Best To Control It At Its Very Beginning”

High Blood Pressure or HBP or Hypertension has been aptly called by the author of this article as a Multifaceted Disease because it does not damage a single organ or part of your body but it can cause damage to multiple organs of your body including heart, blood vessels, kidney, brain, eyes, and others. Also, this disease is a Silent Killer as it can silently (without any symptoms) damage your organs or even can kill you.

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension Silent Killer - AdidarwinianIf you have High Blood Pressure, then in order to cope with this menace there are two proven strategies. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension can be normalized with lifestyle changes and by the use of certain medicines. When lifestyle changes are not sufficient enough to keep your blood pressure or BP in control, your doctor will likely add medication to your treatment regimen. Most people who have High Blood Pressure or Hypertension need lifelong treatment. Adhering to the treatment plan is vital not only to keep a person healthy but also to prevent or delay health problems related to Hypertension. For most adults, the goal of treatment is to achieve and maintain blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg. For adults suffering from the diabetes or the chronic kidney disease, the goal of treatment is to achieve and maintain blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg.

Lifestyle Changes Are a Must to Control Hypertension / High Blood Pressure

“Healthy lifestyle habits are the basis of a long and active life”

Lifestyle Changes Are a Must to Control Hypertension - AdidarwinianThere are certain healthy lifestyle habits that help control Hypertension. These healthy lifestyle habits include –

Healthy Diet

Balanced and flexible eating plans, such as, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan can help control High Blood Pressure. In order to control High Blood Pressure, DASH eating plan advocates the limited use of cholesterol, saturated fat, total fat, salt, sweets, sugary beverages, added sugars, red meat, and hard drinks.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

A healthy weight can help you control your blood pressure, lower the strain on the heart, and lessen your risk for other health problems.

Maintain a Healthy Weight - AdidarwinianBe Physically Active

Physical activity helps control your blood pressure, weight, and strengthens your heart and reduces stress. A strong heart, healthy weight, and good emotional health are beneficial for your blood pressure. Discuss with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan. Your doctor will suggest how much and what types of physical activities are safe for you.

Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke

“Each cigarette that a person smokes, temporarily increases his or her blood pressure for many minutes after he or she finishes”.

Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke - AdidarwinianSmoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart, the blood vessels, your lungs, mouth, eyes, reproductive organs, bladder, bones, and the digestive organs. Smoking raises your risk for High Blood Pressure. Discuss with your doctor about the community programs, support groups, and products that are available to help you quit smoking. Also, avoid secondhand smoke as secondhand smoke also harms the heart and blood vessels in the same way by which active smoking harms. For a healthy life, and to reduce risks for heart attack and stroke, one should avoid all forms of smoking including secondhand smoke.

Manage / Control Stress

Managing stress can improve both the emotional and physical health of a person. Physical activity, meditation, listening to music, yoga, relaxation, and tai chi can help reduce stress levels. Certain support groups and healthy lifestyle programs are available which teach you how to cope with the common problems of life without getting stressed.

Medicines Used To Treat High Blood Pressure / Hypertension  

Medicines Used To Treat High Blood Pressure or Hypertension - AdidarwinianMedicines play a major role in controlling Hypertension. Different types of High Blood Pressure medicines reduce blood pressure by different actions or mechanisms. Some medicines lower BP (blood pressure) by eliminating extra water and salt from the body; some medicines slow down the heart rate; some relax and widen your blood vessels; etc. Generally, combination-therapy of two or more medicines works better than a single medicine.

Beta Blockers

Beta Blockers slow down the heart rate and reduce heart muscle’s contractility, thus reducing High Blood Pressure.

Diuretics

Diuretics reduce the amount of fluid in your blood by helping kidneys to eliminate the excess of water and salt from the body. This causes lowering of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium entry into the muscle cells of the blood vessels, thereby, causing relaxation of blood vessels. Thus, High Blood Pressure or Hypertension comes under control.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors dilate blood vessels by blocking the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) helps in the formation of a chemical called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to constrict. Thus, inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II lowers High Blood Pressure.

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) class of medicines lowers blood pressure by blocking angiotensin II receptors. Angiotensin II requires angiotensin II receptors to constrict blood vessels, so blocking these receptors blocks the action of angiotensin II, and this results in relaxation of blood vessels.

Direct Vasodilators

Vasodilators work directly on the muscles in blood vessel walls and causes dilation of blood vessels, thus, Hypertension comes under control.

Alpha Blockers

Alpha blockers interfere with the conduction of nerve impulses resulting in relaxation of the muscle tone of the walls of the blood vessels. This lowers the High Blood Pressure.

Alpha-Beta Blockers

This class of medicines interferes with the conduction of nerve impulses like alpha blockers, and also, slows down the heart rate like beta blockers. Thus, High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is normalized by double mechanisms.

Centrally Acting Medicines

These medicines stimulate specific receptors in the brain. This, in turn, sends nerve signals to the blood vessels, causing them to relax and widen. This causes lowering of High Blood Pressure or HBP.

Direct Renin Inhibitors

Renin is a protein (enzyme) secreted by the kidney in response to decreases in blood volume and other reasons. Renin converts angiotensinogen to form angiotensin I. Direct renin inhibitor decreases plasma renin activity (PRA), and hence, inhibits the conversion of angiotensinogen to angiotensin I. Suppression of angiotensin I causes decrease in the formation of angiotensin II which is a potent blood pressure-elevating chemical. This way, direct renin inhibitors lowers High Blood Pressure or HBP or Hypertension.