Health & Fitness

High Blood Pressure – Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Health experts measure blood pressure with two numbers. The higher number or systolic pressure is the pressure on which your heart sends the pumped blood to every part of your body. On the other hand, the lower number or diastolic pressure is a barrier for the flow of blood in the blood vessels. 

Experts measure both the higher number and the lower number in mmHg (millimetres of mercury). By having the best full body checkup, you can determine whether you have a high blood pressure or a lower one. Usually, you are at risk of having high blood pressure/hypertension when your blood pressure reading is anything from 120/80 mmHg to 140/90 mmHg. An ideal blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. Lower than it means you have a lower blood pressure. 

What can happen to you if you don’t treat your hypertension or high blood pressure?

You may have serious health problems if you leave your high blood pressure untreated. The problems are as follows:

  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Heart failure
  • Eye damage 
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Strokes
  • Vascular dementia
Causes of High Blood Pressure 

You may have hypertension when particular changes take place in your body. It is possible that you may be or may not be aware of those changes. You have a higher chance of having high blood pressure if you have 

  • A bad lifestyle (smoking, drinking, etc.)  
  • A family history of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes 
  • Congenital condition
  • Kidney disease
  • Lupus
  • No active life, especially workouts 
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Scleroderma
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Underactive or overactive thyroid
Symptoms of hypertension 

Many people with high blood pressure have no visible signs. And so, hypertension is a silent killer. However, you would have a medical emergency when your blood pressure is around 180/120 mmHg. At this stage, you would have high blood pressure symptoms like:   

  • A headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Nosebleeds
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Abdominal pain (mainly for women)
  • Swelling (women)
  • Metabolic syndrome in children 
  • Kidney diseases  
Prevention – How to keep yourself away from having high blood pressure

Early detection through a regular full body checkup is a better option to prevent yourself from this health condition. If your doctor detects it, you must follow his/her advice to keep it in control. Here are some steps that you should take:

  • Have a home blood pressure monitor and carry out regular checkup of your BP 
  • Lower your intake of alcoholic beverages. You can take 1 ounce of alcohol, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine a day. If possible, avoid having such drinks 
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. You should make all the possible efforts to lose your weight when you notice there is a slight increase. You should gain weight when you notice that you are underweight
  • Be physically active. Go for running, swimming, cycling, etc. Opt for a brisk walk or jogging if you can’t do exercises of high intensity 
  • Quit tobacco products and smoking 
  • Make all the possible efforts to control your anger and manage your stress. As far as possible, avoid being angry or stressed 
  • Lower your salt, calorie, and fat intake. For this, you can avoid regular salad dressings, processed foods, fatty meats, fried foods, whole milk dairy products, salted snakes, and fast foods    
  • Increase potassium in your diet. And for this, you should add whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Start taking omega oils 
  • Lower your caffeine intake. You should not take more than one cup of coffee a day 
  • Do yoga and meditation to manage your mental and physical health      

Final words 

Hypertension or high BP is a treatable health condition. Along with regular full body checkup, a little changes in your diet and lifestyle can help you lower the level or prevent yourself from it.

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