A lot of people suffer from high blood pressure without even knowing it.
The biggest issue is that it usually has no clear symptoms, and yet it can have fatal consequences.
Measuring your blood pressure regularly and knowing all you can about high blood pressure is therefore crucial.
It’s my hope that we can get this article shared as many times as possible, so that the maximum amount of people have a chance to detect the warning signs before too long.
Why do you get high blood pressure?
It’s difficult to outline exactly why someone might develop high blood pressure.
There are a number of contributing factors involved, including being overweight or stressed, having bad eating habits, and smoking or drinking to an excess. Another simple reason is that you might not be getting enough daily physical exercise.
So, is high blood pressure hereditary? Actually yes, genetics do play a part. If you’ve had parents or grandparents who have been blighted with high blood pressure, you may be more susceptible to developing it yourself. This is exacerbated if you live an unhealthy lifestyle however, so there are things you can do to reduce the risk.
What happens to your body?
When your blood pressure is high, your heart is forced to work harder and the excess force with which blood flows through your arteries causes pressure damage to the walls.
Over time, your heart can become thicker and stiffer as a result of being overworked. Your whole body can actually be affected by high blood pressure, as the different parts try to deal with it – much like when the body is trying to defend against illness or infection.
Signs of possible hypertension
As previously stated, there are no definite symptoms of high blood pressure. That said, there are things that might indicate its existence. Sometimes, doctors and healthcare professionals will dismiss such signs, but here are a few you should be careful about:
1. Nose bleeds
Nose bleeds are, by themselves, usually nothing dangerous. Some people get them more often than others.
Keep in mind that the nose contains many small blood vessels that can bleed easily. Most commonly, nose bleeds occur as a result of a cold or other form of minor irritation.
However, sometimes nose bleeds can indicate bleeding disorders or high blood pressure. The American Heart Association attribute this to a systolic pressure of greater than 180 or a diastolic pressure of 110. If, when suffering a nose bleed, you have a blood pressure reading greater than either of these two numbers, rest for five minutes and retest. If it’s still as high, seek emergency help.
2. Chronic fatigue
High blood pressure can manifest itself in several mild symptoms such as headaches and overall fatigue.
If you often feel inexplicably tired and unwell, you should seek a doctor – it could be a symptom of high blood pressure.
People with high blood pressure can often get headaches. It’s been described in the past as a ‘lighter pain’, not necessarily so powerful as to keep you bed bound. That said, waves of intense headaches can occur sporadically.
Headaches are usually not all that dangerous. However, if you get them regularly you may want to visit a doctor.
4. Weight Gain
Not so much a symptom as a cause; obesity can certainly affect high blood pressure.
A person carrying extra weight could be less physically active, which in turn affects their blood pressure. Being inactive can also increase the risk of diabetes, which impacts blood vessels and can cause more problems.
5. Shortness of breath
Extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and headaches can all be signs of high blood pressure.
If you suffer from shortness of breath – and have a high blood pressure reading – you should seek medical aid immediately.
6. Heavy snoring
Several studies have pointed to a correlation between high blood pressure and sleep apnea – where your breathing is disrupted when you sleep. Sleep apnea is characterised by heavy snoring.
If you feel fatigued during the day and hear from other people that you snore, it’s important to check your blood pressure.
7. Blood in the eye
Vascular injuries to the retina are more common in people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
A blood clot in your eye can be a serious warning sign that your blood pressure is too high. This can be evidence of, amongst other things, swelling and malformation of blood vessels.
Light-headedness and dizziness can be signs of high blood pressure.
If you suddenly feel dizzy after standing up or working out, then it’s probably not dangerous – these things affect us all.
However, if your dizziness is unexplained and comes in random waves, consult a doctor.
Tinnitus can be experienced as either a constant, irregular or pulsating noise. It can sound like one pure tone, or it can sound like a buzzing, chirping noise.
According to some reports, tinnitus can be caused by hypertension.
Fighting high blood pressure with your diet
Thus far, there’s no conclusive evidence that any particular diet or special type of food lowers blood pressure. A common theory is that a high intake of vegetables and fruit can help to keep it low.
In any case, routinely eating vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and fish can never be a bad thing.
Such foods might not only lower the risk of high blood pressure, but can also contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes!
Keep in mind that with high blood pressure being termed a ‘silent disease’, you may well know someone who suffers from it but doesn’t know.
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