What is Hypertension: An Introduction

It’s Coach Garey, we’re back again. And today we’re going to be talking about high blood pressure and Hypertension.

I want to just start this out with a statement about our health in general because hypertension and high blood pressure do not happen in a vacuum. That is not the diagnosis that is just the outlier compared to the rest of the way you’re living. Basically, we are a very amazing complex set of systems that work cooperatively together for our ability to function and to survive in this world. Hypertension is one of those things that is labeled the silent killer, and that’s not good news for anybody, of course. Therefore, we’re going to examine it a little bit and come up with some solutions to help us to overcome hypertension if that is a problem.

Invariably, if you’re looking at this video, hypertension may be a problem for you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have clicked on this video. Hypertension does affect a whole lot of people, like 55 million people in the United States. And there’s going to be about 20 million people who don’t even know that they have hypertension because they’re not being tested.

There are several levels and layers about lifestyle changes, what medications are available, which ones may help, and which ones may have side effects that are worse than hypertension in and of itself. But let’s start with what hypertension is in terms of where it happens. Hypertension and high blood pressure happen in the blood vessels, in the circulatory system.

The circulatory system is comprised of somewhere between 66,070 and 74,000 miles of blood vessels inside your body. I know that sounds like a really big number. And when you look at a picture or a diagram of the circulatory system, you’re going to see veins and arteries, and it seems to be rather minuscule compared to your whole body, but in effect, the blood vessels are everywhere; from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.

When you get embarrassed, for example, and your face turns red, that blushing is the blood rising to the surface of your skin. Blood is everywhere. You poke yourself, you start bleeding, there’s blood there. I related a story in the last session about how I fell and skinned my knee while walking the dog. That skin knee is really, really red because right there on top of the knee there are blood vessels. They’re just everywhere.

If you took the blood vessels in the human body, in a single human, you could wrap that around the world, at least two and a half times, and a very interesting fact is that every time you put on a pound of fat, or if you add a pound of muscle, you’re adding about seven miles of blood vessels to your body, so it’s a huge deal. And hypertension is simply the inability of the blood to pass freely, so our blood vessels are constructed to be strong and to be flexible, and to be elastic to allow the blood to flow. The inside lining of the arteries is meant to be very, very smooth, so that’s the overview.

And I’m going to get back in a minute with a few more details about the circulatory system that may be mind-boggling. We’ll be right back.