High Blood Pressure & Infection

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High blood pressure can be caused by lifestyle habits, a chronic condition or a family history of it. In some cases an infection can also cause a dramatic rise in blood pressure. High blood pressure should be assessed by your physician and treated with lifestyle changes and medication to prevent long-term damage to vital organs. In addition, if an infection is causing your high blood pressure, it should also be diagnosed and treated.

About Blood Pressure

  • Your blood pressure is a measure of how hard blood is hitting the walls of your arteries. A blood pressure reading is composed of two numbers: the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure measures pressure during heartbeats, and diastolic pressure measures pressure between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure reading is 120 systolic over 80 diastolic or less.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

  • Any blood pressure reading over 140 systolic and/or over 90 is considered to be high. High blood pressure is known as hypertension, and can be caused by stress, poor eating habits, obesity, medication and certain medical conditions. Some types of infections can also cause a dramatic increase in blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure Caused by Infections

  • Infections of varying types can cause high blood pressure. According to Lisa Nelson, a registered nurse at High Blood Pressure Connection, the presence of an infection raises levels of c-reactive antibody proteins, which promote hardening of the arteries. When the arteries harden, blood is forced to circulate through narrowed paths, which can raise blood pressure. Kidney infections and urinary tract infections are two types of infections that are known for raising blood pressure.

    Science Daily also reports that cytomegalovirus, a common viral infection that affects 60 percent to 99 percent of the adult population, was found in a study to be a cause of hypertension. The study was lead by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and published on May 15, 2009.

    While the virus itself does not directly cause high blood pressure, the presence of it in the body can lead to the development of atheroscelrosis, which is the hardening of arteries in the heart.

Signs of High Blood Pressure

  • In many instances there are no symptoms of high blood pressure, so it may only be detected during routine physical examinations. However, when symptoms of high blood pressure do occur, they generally present themselves in the form of nose bleeds, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and palpitations.

Managing High Blood Pressure

  • Your physician will do his best to determine the cause of your high blood pressure, so that an effective treatment plan can be put into place. In a lot of cases, however, there is no known cause for high blood pressure. Generally hypertension cannot be cured, but it can be maintained with healthy eating habits, physical activity, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol use, and medication.

    If your high blood pressure is caused by an infection, it's important to treat the infection to bring down your blood pressure and clear your body of the harmful virus or bacteria.

    Whether your high blood pressure is caused by an infection or by a chronic condition, it's important to maintain it with the right lifestyle and medication. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

References

  • Photo Credit "Why I rattle when I walk" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: sylvar (Ben Ostrowsky) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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