High Blood Pressure – Symptoms,Causes,Effects,Treatment
What is High Blood Pressure?
If you have high blood pressure (a systolic pressure – of 140 or above or a diastolic pressure – of 90 or above) you might be looking towards taking medications for the same.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
It is a common misconception that people with high blood pressure will have symptoms such as anxiousness, sweating, facial flushing and difficulty in sleeping. Generally high blood pressure is a symptomless condition.
But during Hypertensive crisis i.e., (systolic of 180 or higher or diastolic of 110 or higher) the person can experience:
1. Severe headaches
2. Severe anxiety
3. Shortness of breath
High Blood Pressure Chart
A blood pressure reading has a top number (systolic) and bottom number (diastolic).The ranges are:
Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
High blood pressure in old age(60 and above): 150 and above over 90 and above
High Blood Pressure Causes
The correct causes of hypertension are not known but certain conditions and factors can play an important role in its development:
2. being overweight or obese
3. Lack of physical activity
4. Too much salt in the diet
5. Too much alcohol consumption
7. Older Age
9. Family history of High Blood Pressure
10. Chronic Kidney Disease
11. Adrenal and thyroid disorders
High Blood Pressure Effects
High blood pressure can effect brain, eyes, arteries, kidney and heart.
Brain: High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke. Very high blood pressure can cause a breakage in the weakened blood vessel which then bleeds in the brain. This can eventually lead to stroke.
Eyes: High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the eyes to burst. It can also result in complete blindness.
Arteries: As the person gets old, the arteries become harder and the high blood pressure has to deal with these stiffer arteries.Thus, heart and kidneys have to work harder.
Kidneys: The kidneys filter the body waste and eliminate it out of the body. Over a time period the high blood pressure can thicken the blood vessels of the kidneys. As a result, the kidney filters less fluid and the waste builds up in the blood. The kidneys may fail all together. Dialysis or a Kidney transplant may be required in this case.
Heart: Heart attack can occur if the flow of the blood is blocked. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for congestive heart failure.
High Blood Pressure Diet
By starting new food habits such as counting calories and taking care of portion sizes, you can control the high blood pressure and reduce the medications for the same. A high blood pressure diet should include :
1. Track what you eat
2. Avoid salt (Sodium).
3. Know what to eat: Potassium, magnesium and fibre rich foods can help in controlling high blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, magnesium and fibre and they are low in sodium. Stick to whole fruits and veggies. Juices are less helpful as there is no fibre in them.Also, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meat and poultry are good source of magnesium.
High Blood Pressure remedies
1. Lose those extra kilos and watch your waistline.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
4. Reduce sodium in your diet.
5. Limit the consumption of alcohol.
6. Avoid tobacco products and passive smoking.
7. Cut back on caffeine.
8. Reduce your stress.
9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor’s appointment.
10. Get support from family and friends.