Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries as it moves through a person’s body. Sometimes it can get too high, which can be dangerous.
About 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure. In this article, we explore the myths surrounding the symptoms of high blood pressure. We also discuss when to see a doctor and how to manage high blood pressure.
Are there any symptoms?
Most of the time, high blood pressure has no symptoms. She is known as the silent killer.
Symptoms that people may think are due to high blood pressure include the following:
– difficulty sleeping
– nose bleeds
– facial flushing
– bloodstains in the eyes
However, these symptoms may not be due to high blood pressure, and anyone experiencing them should talk to a doctor, as they may also be a sign of other health problems or side effects from medications. One cannot rely on physical symptoms alone to alert them to the existence of high blood pressure. To diagnose or monitor hypertension, a person must measure their blood pressure regularly. Blood pressure measurements are expressed in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The upper number (systolic) indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The lower number (diastolic) indicates the pressure when the heart is resting between beats.
As long as a person measures their blood pressure correctly, the results are just as reliable as a doctor’s.
When to consult a doctor
Although high blood pressure doesn’t usually cause symptoms, anyone with a sudden, severe headache or nosebleed should have their blood pressure checked. If her blood pressure is above 180/120 mm Hg, she should rest for 5 minutes and check her blood pressure again. If the blood pressure is still above 180/120 mm Hg, she should seek medical help at her doctor’s office. If a person has severe symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or difficulty seeing, they should call 911 for emergency medical treatment because they may be having a high blood pressure attack. Medicines intended to lower blood pressure can cause side effects such as dizziness. If this side effect does not go away or is affecting a person’s daily activities, they should tell their family doctor.
Researchers have established a clear relationship between high systolic and diastolic blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In an analysis of 61 studies, researchers found that 20 mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure and 10 mm Hg higher diastolic blood pressure were each associated with a twofold risk of:
– heart disease
– other vascular diseases
Another study including 1.25 million participants showed that high blood pressure was associated with:
– an increased risk of incidence of cardiovascular disease
– heart attack
– heart failure
– peripheral arterial disease
– abdominal aortic aneurysm
Causes and risk factors
High blood pressure can be affected by genetics. One study indicates that the risk of inheriting high blood pressure is around 30-50%. This study also indicates that, although researchers have isolated genes that control blood pressure, these genetic variants represent only 2-3% of genetic variations in blood pressure.
The following environmental factors can influence a person’s blood pressure:
– Excessive salt consumption: It is recommended not to consume more than 2.4 grams of sodium per day, which corresponds to approximately 1 teaspoon of table salt per day.
– Low potassium intake: Potassium helps the body eliminate sodium. Aim for an intake of 4,700 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day.
– Weight: People can expect to reduce their blood pressure by about 1 mm Hg per kilogram of weight loss.
– Exercise: A 2015 study indicated that aerobic exercise can reduce blood pressure by 5 to 7 mm Hg.
Since there is a strong link between environmental factors and blood pressure, health professionals have encouraged the prevention of hypertension.
– adopt a healthy diet low in salt
– limit alcohol consumption
– engage in regular physical activity
– to manage stress
– maintain a healthy weight
– stop smoking
A heart-healthy diet consists of eating
– whole grains
– low-fat dairy products
– skinless poultry and fish
– nuts and legumes
– non-tropical vegetable oils
People who follow a healthy diet to prevent hypertension and cardiovascular disease should also avoid or limit
– saturated and trans fats
– Red meat
– sweets and sugary drinks.
People who eat well, quit smoking, reduce stress, and exercise regularly can see their overall health improve.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet may be beneficial in helping to prevent or treat high blood pressure.
Doctors often refer to high blood pressure as the “silent killer”. It is a risk factor associated with cardiovascular disease. People with high blood pressure may not experience any physical symptoms and may not be aware that their blood pressure is high. During a hypertensive crisis, people with blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hg may experience symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, blurred vision, headache, or nosebleed.
People suffering from a hypertensive crisis need emergency medical attention. The most reliable way to detect hypertension is to regularly check blood pressure measurements.
* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]