A vicious circle – the best way to describe the interaction of blood pressure with nicotine. At the end of the cycle, in addition to numerous organ diseases, there is also a heart attack. Although the summary of the problem can be expressed very simply, the actual process is highly complex. In addition, smoking addiction can also act as an enhancer of existing blood pressure problems.
The interaction of the organs
The causes of the rise in blood pressure caused by smoking are three main factors. Specifically, they would be bad enough in and of themselves, but their inevitable interaction within body mechanisms makes them even more of a threat.
Sympathetic activity: The sympathetic nervous system is that part of the autonomic nervous system that controls the regulation of blood pressure as well as metabolic and respiratory functions. Under the influence of nicotine, however, this control mechanism gets out of balance and among other things causes an increase in heart activity and resistance within the blood vessels. The result is cardiac arrhythmia and partial to complete occlusion of the vessels.
Vessel constriction: As a result of imbalance in the sympathetic or as a direct effect of smoking addiction, the narrowing of the blood vessels forms the core aspect of nicotine-related hypertension. Responsible for the vascular closure is not only the nicotine per se. Also contained in cigarette smoke additives may favor the arterial closure. Furthermore, the circulation and pumping capacity of the heart and blood vessels are severely impaired by the harmful substances, which offers hypertension further bases for manifestation. In this context, the danger of blood thickening caused by the smoke should not be underestimated, which may lead to further blockage of the vessels.
Lack of oxygen: Since the cigarette smoke a large amount of carbon monoxide gets into the blood, with permanent nicotine consumption and the supply of organs, especially the heart, with oxygen at risk. Now O2 is of essential importance for the integrity of the organs and their functionality. A deficiency supply therefore brings about serious organ damage. Heart attacks and strokes are thus the worst danger when smoking, while hypertension in this area, merely ‘a precursor to the complete failure of the heart.
The interaction of risk factors
The exact value of systolic blood pressure increase is between 7 mmHg and 10 mmHg when smoking. However, further increases may be added if smoking is associated with one of the following aspects.
- Smoking due to stress in most cases implies that high blood pressure is already present before consumption. This results from the increased heart activity that results from stressful situations.
- The same applies to cigarette consumption in combination with obesity. In addition, weight-related arteriosclerosis and vasoconstrictive substances meet and, together, provide even greater resistance within the blood vessels.
- Smoking addiction in concert with alcohol can not only increase the risk of hypertension, but also of cardiac arrhythmia. As nicotine constricts the vessels, alcohol temporarily expands them so that the pumping intervals of the heart become completely out of balance.
Also in connection with lack of exercise or a wrong diet, the risk of high blood pressure by smoking is greater than normal. In addition to the dysfunctional properties of nicotine here are still added to nutrient deficiency or resilience problems that affect the activity of the heart and organs. Already existing dysfunctions of the organs, such as those caused by unhealthy foods or too little exercise, are further expanded by smoking cigarettes.