|Chief Jimoh Ibrahim, an affluent Nigerian billionaire Publisher, aviator, politician and hotelier (M) with his younger friends, Mr. Loye Amzat (R) and Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy (L)|
The Logic of the Heart, Blood, and Blood Vessels
Everyone knows the importance of the heart and blood to life. Blood is literally our life wire. The human body consists of millions of cells as its building blocks. Oxygen from the air we breathe and nutrients from the food we eat must be supplied continuously to every cell in the body in order for us to remain alive and be able to do anything. All the waste products from the activities of the cells in our body must also be removed and conveyed to the kidneys and other organs for removal from our body. Otherwise, the wastes products by the cells will poison the cells. Blood is the vehicle for conveying oxygen, nutrients, wastes and many other vital chemical substances around the body. The heart is the organ responsible for pumping and moving the blood around the body. Blood is conveyed around the body inside very many special tubes or channels known as blood vessels. There are about 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the body.
“If someone’s blood pressure is as high as 140/90 or above, continuously as monitored for an extended period of time, say about one month or two, it is said to be too high and therefore known as high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is a disorder or disease, which can cause serious problem in many parts of the body”.
|The Circulatory System in action|
In human beings, like in most animals, blood is contained within blood vessels and it is pumped round the body by the heart. The heart is an organ, which is made of muscles with hollows or chambers. All blood vessels are connected to one another and to the heart. The heart and blood vessels together form a closed network of channels known as the circulatory system. The heart contracts regularly to push the blood round the body within the circulatory system.
|The Human Heart in action|
The circulatory system acts as the transportation system of the body. When the heart muscles contract, the blood in the chambers of the heart is pumped into the network of blood vessels in which it circulate to all parts of the body, carrying oxygen, nutrients, waste products and many other important substances which the body needs to be able to function properly.
The blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart are known as arteries and those that return blood to the heart are known as veins. Arteries convey blood from the heart to organs and tissues while the veins return blood to the heart from the various organs and tissues.
|Mr. Oluwabunmi Adedayo, a great entrepreneur and only child of the owner of TASTY FRIED CHICKEN in Nigeria, died of Heart Attack as a result of obesity|
The blood conveys oxygen from the air that we breathe into the lungs and nutrients from the food that we eat to all parts of the body for the life and health of all tissue cells. The first part of the arterial system leaving the heart is known as the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body. The first two branches of the aorta (right and left coronary arteries) supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscles.
Through the process of heartbeat, the heart pumps blood into arteries and around the body. Blood returns to the heart through veins to be pumped round the body, again, and again. The heart beats about seventy times per minute and over one hundred thousand times each day. This process starts from the time the baby is only a few months in the womb until the person dies. All the vessels and the heart are usually full of blood; so when the heart muscles contract, blood is pumped into the already full network of vessels. The heart has to pump with enough force to be able to push blood into the already full vessels and around the body.
Blood pressure is the force that is required to push blood through the arteries. The walls of blood vessels, especially arteries, are elastic and are therefore able to expand when the heart pumps blood into them through the process of heartbeat. The blood that the heart forces into an already full vessel exacts a certain amount of force, which makes the walls of the vessel to expand and force blood ahead in the vessel. The force that is exacted on the walls of artery in this process can be measured as blood pressure.
Blood pressure can be measured by a blood pressure machine or instrument. Blood pressure is measured as the pressure created when the blood is pushed into the vessel (systolic pressure) over the pressure that is constantly present in the blood-filled vessel; that is pressure that is present before blood is pushed into the vessels (diastolic pressure). This is why blood pressure is always reported as one figure over another, such as 120/70. In this case, the 120 is the systolic pressure and 70 is the diastolic pressure.
How to develop Hypertension
|Late First Civilian Governor of Bayelsa State (South-South Nigeria) Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha (M) with one of his successor, Chief Seriake Dickson (L) and Chief Amusan. Alamieyeseigha died of Heart Attack|
A normal adult blood pressure ranges from 100/60 to 130/80 and blood pressure tends to increase with age. If someone’s blood pressure is as high as 140/90 or above, continuously as monitored for an extended period of time, say about one month or two, it is said to be too high and therefore known as high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is a disorder or disease, which can cause serious problem in many parts of the body.
|Late Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha, died of Heart Attack|
High blood pressure generally does not cause any pain or some other symptoms; therefore someone who suffers high blood pressure may not be aware of the problem. Nevertheless, high blood pressure or hypertension is a very dangerous condition that causes serious damage in vital organs, such as the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes.
(From the Book; “Early and Sudden Death; the Price of Affluence among Nigerians” Read “5 Deadly Causes of High Blood Pressure & Hypertension” in our next post on Asabeafrika)