Archive for the ‘Cardio & Blood-Cholesterol’ Category


Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Although increased output from the heart, such as occurs normally with exercise, may elevate blood pressure, the usual cause of abnormally high blood pressure is a persistent increase in resistance to blood flow through the small arterioles (the smaller branches in arteries). The arterioles can be compared to a hose.It takes less pressure to push water through a hose with a large diameter than through a narrower hose.The cause of the abnormal increase in resistance in the arterioles remains unknown in 95 percent of people, and they are said to have primary, or essential, hypertension. Hypertension runs in some families, although the problem may never develop in many relatives. Men and women are equallyaffected. For women who take birth control pills and smoke cigarettes, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases. High blood pressure is more common in blacks than in whites. Everyone’s risk increases with age. Additional factors that promote the development of high blood pressure include lack of exercise, excess weight, and alcohol use. A high intake of sodium in the diet increases blood pressure in some people.About 5 percent of people have high blood pressure caused by some other problem in the body (secondary hypertension). Blockage of the arteries leading to the kidneys or excess production  of hormones normally involved in  blood pressure control are uncommon causes of high blood pressure. Your doctor may want to determine whether one of these unusual disorders is the cause of your high blood pressure so that it can be corrected.*257\252\8*


Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The pericardium is the sac that rounds the heart and portions of great vessels. It anchors the heart in place in chest, protects it from nearby inflammation, and reduces the friction that caused by your heart’s beating.The pericardium can be a site of disease caused by inflammation, fluid accumulation (effusion), or stiffness (constriction). These forms may occur singly or in combination.INFLAMMATION OF THE PERICARDIUM. Inflammation of the pericardium is called pericarditis. It occ most often in men between ages and 50 years, sometimes after a respiratory infection.Causes of Inflammation of the Pericardium. Causes of inflammation the pericardium include infection, usually from a virus, or widespread inflammatory diseases such as lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus). Pericarditis may result from cancer or radiation to treat some types of cancer. However, in most cases the cause is unknown.Symptoms of Inflammation of the  Pericardium. Inflammation of the pericardium produces a fairly characteristic set of symptoms and findings on examination. The main symptom is chest pain, but usually it is very different from angina. Typically, it is a sharp, piercing pain over the center or left side of the chest. The pain can extend up to the left shoulder and worsen when you take a deep breath. It can be lessened somewhat by sitting up and leaning forward and worsened by lying down.Although this is the classic pattern, the pain can also be insidious or dull. You may have a low-grade fever, and in general, you just feel sick. Some people have pain with swallowing.How Serious Is Inflammation of the Pericardium?  Acute inflammatory pericarditis usually lasts 2 to 6 weeks and does not lead to any further problems. About one in five people has a recurrence within months or, rarely, within years. Each recurrence tends to be less severe, until the episodes finally stop.*216\252\8*