Pathophysiology of Hypertension

Pathophysiology of Hypertension

Okay, that title is a bit of a mouthful. How about: how high blood pressure happens? Physiology is about how the body works. Pathology is about when something goes wrong. So the pathophysiology of hypertension is about what went wrong that leads to high blood pressure.

The human body is extremely complex the underlying principle is pretty straightforward.  The pressure occurring as blood flows through our system depends on how much blood is flowing and how much resistance there is to that flow.

You can think of the simple example of water moving through a hose. If there is not very much water moving the pressure will be low. If there is a lot of water moving, the pressure will be higher. If you tighten up the nozzle, that is increase the resistance, then the pressure has to go up to maintain the same flow through the smaller opening.

Here’s a video that explains how this works in human body:

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