Symptoms of high blood pressure

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure and how do you prevent high blood pressure? What are the causes and consequences of high blood pressure?

What is high blood pressure?

To understand what high blood pressure is, you must first know what blood pressure means in general. Every time your heart beats, blood is pumped from your heart through the arteries to the rest of your body. The blood pressure is the measure of the force applied on the blood vessels. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury pressure, which is indicated as mmHg. Blood pressure is measured in two ways. The upper pressure, or the systolic pressure, is the pressure of the blood on the blood vessels at the moment the heart beats. The lower pressure, or the dialostic pressure is the pressure of the blood in the vessels when the heart is at rest. The average blood pressure for a healthy person is about 120 mmHg systolic pressure and 80 mmHg dialostic pressure. This is expressed as 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure varies throughout the day. With physical activity, stress and arousal, blood pressure may show a temporary increase, which is normal and does not necessarily indicate that you have high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure

People talk about high blood pressure if a person has a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher. This means that your blood applies a constant high blood pressure on the blood vessels, causing additional strain on the heart, which is unhealthy for both heart and blood vessels. Thankfully it is easy to figure out if you have high blood pressure. Do you have a high blood pressure, the high blood pressure can be kept well under control by changing your lifestyle and diet and even using drugs. A tip to keep your blood pressure healthy: Adjust your nutrition, use less salt and consume more potassium. Potassium is in potatoes, bread, dairy and meat. Often you do not even notice if you have high blood pressure. It is therefore quite possible that you suffer from it while you do not know. So it is very wise to check your blood pressure regularly by a physician or other healthcare professional.

High blood pressure symptoms

Basically you can not feel the symptoms of a high blood pressure. High blood pressure usually has no obvious symptoms. Only if you suffer from extremely high blood pressure, also known as a hypertensive crisis, will suffer from a few symptoms. With extremely high blood pressure you will suffer from headaches, vision problems, dizziness and shortness of breath. If you suffer from these symptoms, then it is advisable to go to a physician and have your blood pressure measured. In the short term you won't notice not much of a high blood pressure, but on the long-term high blood pressure can be harmful.

Causes of high blood pressure

There are a number of reasons that could cause high blood pressure:

  • Age: mainly older people suffer from high blood pressure
  • Physical factors such as obesity, diabetes and kidney disease increase the risk of getting high blood pressure
  • Genetic differences: people of African descent are more susceptible to hypertension. Also, a high blood pressure can be hereditary
  • Improper diet: too much salt and too much alcohol increase the risk of high blood pressure
  • A disease of the adrenal glands could also cause high blood pressure
  • A narrowing of a large body vein, the aorta or renal artery

Consequences high blood pressure

Which consequences entail high blood pressure? If you have high blood pressure, you can experience a number of consequences. The lining of the blood vessel can get damaged with high blood pressure, a process known as atherosclerosis. Often atherosclerosis begins in the smaller blood vessels of the body, like the erectile tissue of the penis which causes erectile dysfunction for example. Due to the narrowing of these blood vessels it becomes more difficult for the heart to pump blood through the blood vessels, so it has to work harder. Actually it is a kind of vicious cycle, giving the fact the heart has to pump harder and harder to get the blood through the narrowed arteries, causing the blood pressure to rise even more. The heart will thus function less well, giving you a higher chance of getting heart disease. So you have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Retinal damage or kidney disease can also be the result from high blood pressure.

High blood pressure prevention

A few steps you can take to avoid high blood pressure is:

  • Eat healthy foods, consisting of many fruits, vegetables, skimmed milk, less salt and more potassium
  • Enough exercise
  • Lose weight when you are overweight
  • Stop smoking
  • moderate alcohol consumption.

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