The Interrelation Between Homeostasis And Hypertension Diagnosis

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As a physician your job is to diagnose and treat injuries or illness. Given the amount of patients that need to be seen, it can be challenging to give each patient the attention and care that they deserve. However, Patient X demanded that I stay until all of her questions were answered and she was at ease about her deteriorating condition. After explaining her concern, I wanted to make sure that all of her questions were answered before leaving the room and that we would create a plan that is personalized for her to help manage her condition. Patient X is an obese, 76 year old African American female. She also has a family history of high blood pressure. Recently, she has experienced severe headaches, fatigue, chest pain, and fainting episodes. Most people with elevated blood pressure show no signs or symptoms, even though their blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels. Some may experience symptoms that patient X is experiencing, but this wouldn’t occur until their blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a long-term medical condition which persistently increases the blood pressure in the arteries. High blood pressure is marked as being either primary hypertension or secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension, also known as essential hypertension, has no identifiable cause and tends to develop gradually over the years. Factors of lifestyle that raises the risk of patients include excess salt in the diet, excess body weight and alcohol consumption. High blood pressure is normal for most adults if the resting blood pressure is at or above 130/80 or 140/90 mmHg persistently. Though hypertension often has no symptoms, other health problems such as heart disease and stroke may be caused by long-term high blood pressure.

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After a long-life of unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption, this has contributed to the symptoms and condition of hypertension in patient X. Patient X grew up in a low-income household. The patient was given unhealthy and processed food due to the lack of funds for more healthier options. These habits continued throughout her adult life. Lack of access to the appropriate health care also prolonged patient X’s hypertension. Her grandmother was also diagnosed with hypertension. With patient X’s family history and lifestyle habits, her chances at long-term hypertension complications are much higher.

These complications include the hardening and thickening of the arteries, which is what leads to the life-threatening complications such as heart attack and stroke. An aneurysm may occur due to the increased blood pressure which causes your blood vessels to weaken and bulge. Also, if an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening. Heart failure may occur due to the heart working harder to pump blood against the increased pressure in the blood vessels. Blood vessels in the kidneys may be weakened and narrowed which can prevent the kidney from functioning normally.

In order to help treat patient X’s hypertension there must be lifestyle changes such as weight loss, consistent physical exercise, decreases in salt intake, reducing alcohol intake, and a healthy-balanced diet. Some lifestyle changes might not be enough, so in addition to the lifestyle changes, medication may be needed to help lower your blood pressure. Thiazide Diuretics, also called water pills aid kidneys in helping eliminate sodium and water from the body and thus reducing the blood volume. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, ACE, aid in helping relax blood vessels by blocking the natural formation of narrowing blood vessels. Angiotensin II receptor blockers, ARBs, help relax blood vessels by blocking the action of the natural chemical that helps narrow blood vessels. Calcium channel clockers are also medications that help relax the muscles of your blood vessels. These medications often work better for elders and for people of African heritage than Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Therefore, the calcium channel blockers may fit patient X if medication is needed.

Both negative and positive feedback help maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis can be described as the tendency to resist change in order to maintain a stable constant internal environment. The body has many set points for different functions in the body that keeps the body going and functioning normally. There are both negative and positive feedback loops that have an effect on the state of homeostasis. The negative feedback loop counteract changes that are not directing towards homeostasis. If the set points that the body has are getting too high or low, the body tries to counteract these event through the negative feedback loop. For example, the core body temperature is somewhere around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If the body were to stray outside of the limits the negative feedback loop would cause a decrease in function to help return the body to homeostasis.

Unlike negative feedback loops, positive feedback loops amplify stimuli by pulling the body system away from its original state. Many positive feedback loops are used to complete moveable systems. For example, childbirth is a method that makes use of the positive feedback loops. The baby’s head rests on the cervix, the edge of the uterus, during childbirth. This triggers neurons in the brain that send out a signal from the pituitary gland to release the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin increases uterine contractions, which in turn raises the strain on the cervix. In order for the baby to be delivered there must be strain on the cervix so that the child can be pushed out of the vaginal canal. This rise allows more oxytocin to be produced, and thus induces even stronger contractions. The supportive childbirth feedback loop continues until the baby is delivered. The action of producing stronger contractions to help deliver the baby is a way that the body is maintaining homeostasis through the positive feedback loop.

An important aspect of homeostasis in maintaining hypertension is due to the cardiovascular center located in the medulla oblongata. Elevated blood pressure tends to deteriorate over time unless proper intervention is taken to help better control the blood pressure. Long-term high blood pressure against the walls of the arteries may cause different health issues, such as heart disease. In the medulla oblongata, there is a cardiovascular center that is responsible for controlling cardiac output to aid in the regulation of blood pressure. In the circulatory system, some receptors can detect deviations in pH and signal these deviations to the cardiovascular center.

There are three components of the cardiovascular center. The vasomotor center, the cardioaccelerator center, and the cardioinhibitory center are all components of the cardiovascular center. This center has the ability to alter the heart rate and stroke volume to increase blood pressure and flow. This aspect is important to the homeostasis because this center focuses on keeping the blood pressure and cardiac regulation within homeostatic conditions. Any deviations from these conditions would cause the center to react and help return the start conditions.

The negative feedback system that is working for hypertension is the cardiovascular center located in the medulla oblongata. This system consists of 3 components which are the vasomotor center, the cardioaccelerator center, and the cardioinhibitory center. The cardioaccelerator center regulates heart rate and stroke volume through the sympathetic stimulation from the cardiac accelerator nerve. The cardioinhibitory center slows the cardiac function by decreasing the heart rate and stroke volume through parasympathetic stimulation of the vagus nerve. The vasomotor center controls the vessels tone and contractions which in turn affect the cardiac output. All of these systems are a part of the negative and positive feedback for hypertension.

Overall, for patient X was diagnosed with hypertension. Along with significant lifestyle changes, medication might be needed if there is no improvement with her condition with the lifestyle changes. Hypertension, although symptoms may be absent in the beginning, should be considered because of the harsh and possible life-threatening effects on the blood vessel walls. The cardiovascular center in the medulla oblongata, helps regulate and monitor the negative and positive feedback loops when the blood pressure is too low or too high. Due to this system, the body is able to signal when the blood regulation is not within homeostatic standards.

Works Cited

  1. Academy, Khan. “Homeostasis (Article) | Human Body Systems.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 2020, systems/hs-body-structure-and-homeostasis/a/homeostasis.
  2. Alismail, Asmaa Ismail, et al. “Hypertension Diagnosis and Management Approach.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research & Allied Sciences, vol. 9, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 84–88. EBSCOhost,
  3. American Heart Association. “How High Blood Pressure Is Diagnosed.”, 31 Oct. 2016,
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “About High Blood Pressure.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Jan. 2020,
  5. Mayo Clinic. “High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 May 2018,
  6. U.S. National Library of Medicine. “High Blood Pressure | Hypertension.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Nov. 2019,
  7. World Health Organization. “Hypertension.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 13 Sept. 2019,
  8. Academy, Khan. “Homeostasis (Article) | Human Body Systems.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 2020, systems/hs-body-structure-and-homeostasis/a/homeostasis.


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