personal interest topic: hypertension

Essay by ladiebabyCollege, UndergraduateB+, December 2002

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Hypertension or high blood pressure is defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mmHg ( This definition refers to a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood flowing through your blood vessels against the vessel walls. It depends on your blood flow (how much blood is pumped by your heart) and the resistance of your blood vessels to blood flow. If this pressure is high, your heart must work much harder to maintain adequate blood flow to your body ( Hypertension is known as the "silent killer" because it does not cause symptoms unless it is severely high. High blood pressure can damage your arteries, heart, eyesight, and kidneys (

I have chosen hypertension as my personal interest topic because I was recently diagnosed with this disease. On Labor Day 2002, I was rushed to St. John Hospital emergency room after cutting my thumb while preparing food.

I received several stitches and my thumb has completely healed. However, while in the emergency room, as routine medical protocol, my vital signs were taken and I was found to have an extremely high blood pressure reading. I felt fine. I was not upset about my thumb. I tend to remain calm in emergencies. Had I not cut my thumb, I may not have discovered my illness until it was too late. I simply could not believe my blood pressure was 180/120.

This diagnosis has caused a complete change in my lifestyle. I have changed my diet and take medication to reduce my blood pressure. I have begun to increase my activities. I am working on reducing stress in hopes of lowering my blood pressure even more.

With my new lifestyle changes and prayer, I plan on living to a...