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The heart pumps blood so that it can reach various parts of the body and supply these parts with oxygen and nutrients. The pressure generated by the heart forces the blood to go from the heart to various organs and return from there to be sent again. There is about 5 liters of blood in average adult and heart pumps about 70 ml in each heart beat. The force generated by heart results in pressure which can be measured.
Hypertension is said to occur when the recorded blood pressure is higher than expected for the particular age. Children have lower BP, it gradually rises to adult levels and continues to increase with age in most cases. BP is measured by sphygmomanometer which was earlier mercury based but are now aneroid or electronic. BP is measured as Systolic ( higher value of the two ) and diastolic (lower reading) and written as systolic/diastolic BP in mm of Hg. e.g. 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure at birth is about 70 to 85 /30 to 45 , at 5 yrs 90-110/50-66 , at 10 yr 100-120/60-80. In adults blood pressure is diagnosed when it is usually more than 140/90 mm Hg.
Causes of high blood pressure.
In most cases, there is no apparent cause. Suspicion usually falls on genetic disease, high salt intake, higher weight etc. in younger patient sometimes a cause is detected. It is often due to kidney disease, hormonal disorders, blood vessel diseases or diseases disturbing immunity. It can at times be caused by drugs like steroids and analgesics.
Symptoms of high Blood pressure
Most patients have no symptoms due to high blood pressure. It is only the measurement of blood pressure which reveals the diagnosis. Some patients with high blood pressure may have headaches, dizziness, throbbing or at times shortness of breath. If blood pressure rises suddenly to very high levels it may cause emergencies. These may include vision loss, renal failure, alteration in consciousness ( drowsiness or unconsciousness), or heart failure (manifested as breathlessness worse on lying down or activity)
Clinically it is diagnosed by BP measurement, usually on more than one occasion while a person is sitting with back supported. 2 or 3 readings may be taken and the lower readings are usually more accurate. If in doubt multiple readings can be taken while the person is continuing his activities (ABPM or ambulatory BP monitoring). Eyes are checked as blood vessels can be seen in the retina, ECG and X Ray Chest may show heart enlargement.
Lab tests are done to find the cause of high blood pressure if any, its effects on various organ systems and complications. The usual tests done are Blood counts, urine routine examination, Blood Urea, S Creatinine, S electrolytes, Blood Sugar, Lipid profile in blood, ECG, X Ray of chest and Ultrasonography of abdomen. In special cases hormones may be measured or Doppler Ultrasound studies are done to check blood flow and vessels in different areas.
Complications of high blood pressure:-
Complications arise if the blood pressure is very high or it has been present for a long time. Not all persons with high BP get complications. Some of the complications are :
Strokes (paralytic attacks due to bleeding in the brain or reduced blood supply to part of the brain)
Increased likelyhood of heart attacks.
Heart failure (not stoppage of heart beat or cardiac arrest ) but inability of heart to meet bodily demands. This is diagnosed by swelling of feet, breathlessness at night after sleeping for 2-3 hours, fatigue etc.
Chronic renal disease resulting in renal failure if allowed to go unchecked for long periods.
Decreased blood supply to other organs due to thickening of blood vessel walls and narrowing of their internal lumen (athersosclerosis of aorta, limb vessels, vessels supplying brain, kidneys, heart, eyes etc.)
For patients suffering from type II /adult onset diabetes :In type II diabetes, diagnosis is often late (after the disease has already been present for some time). In early days T2DM (short for the adult type of diabetes) are often without symptoms. Hence the delay in diagnosis. This means complications will be seen early after diagnosis. Foot Care :
Foot disease in diabetes may lead to difficulty in walking, pain and may lead to infections. If neglected amputation may be required.
Inspect feet with a mirror before going to sleep every night.
Use well fitting shoewear.
Do not walk bare feet even in the house.
Socks should be clean and correct size.
In case of deformities of feet, special shoes can be worn. Eye Care :
It is nowadays the commonest cause of blindness throughout the world. Continue Reading ~ Second Medical Opinion / Advice
Nephrotic Syndrome Kidneys receive approximately 1 liter of blood every minute. Of this, about 100 ml gets filtered in the kidney. This contains, small molecules and few large molecules. This is due to the intricate cellular structure that prevents proteins from getting filtered into the urinary space. A derangement of this filter results in passage of heavy amounts of proteins in urine. This condition is called HeavyProteinuria or Nephrotic syndrome or Nephrosis. Definition:
In the urine, the protein excretion is > 3.5 gm/day or in children, it is >50mg/kg of body weight. In most cases, the serum albumin is <3gm/dl (normal>4), and passage of lipids in the urine. The lipids in the blood increase and swelling of face and feet also occur. Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome:
In children, most cases are due to Minimal Change Disease, FSGS, MPGN etc. In adults, most cases are due to primary illness while upto 30% may be due to secondary illness. Clinical Features:
Apart from Edema, ther…
Asthma or Bronchial Asthma is a common disease. About 75 % cases start in childhood before 10 years of age. A large no of patients stop having symptoms at the time of puberty and some may again have the disease in the later years. It is uncommon after 50 years of age. It can be troublesome, disabling and if not treated properly may be dangerous.
The disease results from heightened reactivity of the airways in response to irritants, allergens, fumes and at times exercise. It is typically intermittent and a person feels well when there is no ongoing attack of asthma. Symptoms:
Symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, cough and whistling sounds during breathing. These symptoms may also be seen in a no of heart, lung or infective conditions. Hence the diagnosis is usually made by experienced doctors after a few episodes have occurred!
The important markers of the disease are rapid reversibility of the signs and symptoms with appropriate treatment or spontaneousl…