High blood pressure or hypertension, is the result of abnormally high
pressure being applied to the walls of the blood vessels by the blood.
pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump adequate levels of
blood to all the tissues of the body and can ultimately lead to kidney
failure, heart failure and stroke.
is generally divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary
hypertension is high blood pressure that has not been caused by an
underlying disease. The risk factors for primary hypertension include:
cigarette smoking, drug abuse, excessive use of stimulants such as
coffee or tea, high sodium intake, obesity, and the use of oral contraceptives.
is the result of of another underlying health problem, such as hormonal
abnormality or an inherited narrowing of the aorta. A person may have
secondary hypertension because the blood vessels are chronically constricted
or have lost elasticity from a buildup of fatty plaque on the inside
walls of the vessel, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis
and atherosclerosis are early indicators of hypertension because the
narrowing/hardening of the arteries makes blood circulation difficult.
Often, high blood
pressure causes no symptoms until complications develop, giving it
the name of "the silent killer".
In advanced hypertension,
the warning signs may include dizziness, headaches, rapid pulse, shortness
of breath, sweating and vision problems.
According to Traditional
Chinese Medicine, hypertension is the result of stagnant liver qi or
kidney yin deficiency attributable to fatigue or aging.
Kidney yin deficiency
depletes body fluids and impairs nourishment of the liver, resulting
in excess liver yang. In addition, overconsumption of greasy or sweet
foods or of alcoholic beverages can result in an accumulation of turbid
Any of the above
noted can aggravate the others, creating an imbalance of yin and yang.