Hypertension or high blood pressure is a chronic problem which may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. Although it sounds unbelievable many people never experience any sign of high blood pressure at all, despite having it for years.
For others, the symptoms of high blood pressure vary. But you should know that if it is not causing any sign, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not harming your body. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause serious body damage, especially to the visceral organs.
High blood pressure is also a major risk factor for a variety of conditions such as stroke, heart attack, angina or heart failure. There are two subtypes of high blood pressure;
- Primary hypertension
- Secondary hypertension
What we commonly see in people is primary hypertension. It has no direct or obvious reason, people just develop it over time. On the other hand, secondary hypertension is usually an outcome of a severe health problem. Also, primary hypertension is hereditary whereas secondary hypertension it not.
Signs of having hypertension
It is not common and rarely hypertension patients will show any symptom. The symptoms of having high blood pressure are as follows.
- Extreme headache
- Nose bleeding
- Dryness of eyes
- Unreasonable mood swings
The time when any of these symptoms may show up is when the blood pressure is at a maximum high. It is usually a medical emergency and the patient needs immediate medical care. This hypertension emergency is medically termed as hypertensive crisis.
A hypertensive crisis is when the blood pressure reaches 180mg of mercury (Hg) or more for systolic pressure and 120 mm Hg or more for diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the first number of a blood pressure reading and diastolic is the second number of a blood pressure reading.
If the patient is checking the blood pressure all by himself, it is advised to rest for a while and check it again. It is to make sure if the first reading is correct or not.
The major symptoms that may hit you during a hypertensive crisis are as follows.
- Body pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Blurry vision
- Nose bleeding
If the blood pressure reading is the same on a second check, it is time to call an ambulance or the healthcare facility directly. The neglected cases of hypertensive crisis may end up at chronic health problems that include the following.
- Fluid accumulation in lungs
- Inflammation of brain
- Internal bleeding
- Tearing in arteries
- Heart attack
Dangers of high blood pressure in pregnancy
There are high chances that high blood pressure will hit you during the pregnancy too. However, it may not be the same primary hypertension. There are many risk factors of hypertension that may hit a woman during pregnancy. For example
- Kidney problems
- Overweight and obesity
- In-vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Late pregnancy
- Twin pregnancy
- First pregnancy
If the blood pressure starts to show up in the early weeks of pregnancy, it is referred to preeclampsia. It usually hits after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A severe condition may also damage the organs leading to seizures. Such a seizure caused by blood pressure, during pregnancy is called eclampsia.
A diagnosis of preeclampsia is made sure when there is protein in urine samples of the patients. The patient may also experience blurry vision, swelling of limbs and extreme headaches. If not treated or controlled, it may lead to premature delivery or ending up on a C-section.
This type of hypertension normalizes all by itself after delivery.
Future complications of high blood pressure
Ignoring high blood pressure is never a good idea. As time passes, it adds more risks to the health such as heart problems; heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and others.
It may also cause visionary problems, diabetes, kidney diseases, erectile dysfunction, memory loss, and related problems.
How to treat high blood pressure?
There are many effective treatments available for high blood pressure. From the basic dietary and lifestyle changes to medication, everything helps. If you want a treatment plan, feel free to take an appointment with your doctor. Based on your medical history and the severity of the condition, he will design a customized plan for you.
Note that these plans are not the same for everyone. It is not recommended to design a plan by you. Also, do not follow a plan prescribed to any other person i.e. your friend or a family member. Medical issues are sensitive and are subject to individual capacity and health of a person.
However, there are a few things that everyone can do. For example.
Make dietary changes
Healthy eating is the general advice for everyone. The only way to treat any health problem without taking medicines is by changing what you are feeding to your cells. To lower high blood pressure, it is better to eat foods that have low sodium (salt) in them. On the other hand, a high potassium based food usually helps in lowering the blood pressure.
Also, try eating foods that do not disturb your cholesterol. Prefer to eat fresh and do not eat processed or frozen food. Some healthy choices for hypertension patients are as follows.
Fruits; apple, oranges, bananas
Vegetables; broccoli, carrots
Grains; brown rice, whole-wheat products, legumes
Meat; fish and omega 3 rich foods
Put a hold to the following food items.
- High sugary drinks and food
- Red meat
- Fried food
- Processed food
- Alcohol (do not exceed a moderate level)
Any type of physical activity will help to push your body for good health. most of the problems hit you when you follow a sedentary lifestyle and do not exercise at all.
Generally, a 30 minutes aerobics or cardio, five times a week is sufficient to keep you healthy and in shape. For weight loss, try adding target exercises and strength training.
When you combine a healthy diet with exercise, the result is an overall improvement in health. It also keeps your cholesterol and sugar under controlled and the blood pressure is maintained for long.
Medication and self reliving practices
Apart from exercise and diet, there are many things that may relax a person and help to control high blood pressure. Sometimes a combination of all these works the best. Try listening to good music, practice yoga or try laughter therapy. Anything that helps to make you stress-free will reduce the blood pressure too.
When should you see a doctor?
Extremely high blood pressure may require emergency care. If these self-treatments are not working, it is time to see a doctor. Make sure that you get yourself checked before it’s too late. Do not let a high blood pressure ruin your health. If you experience any symptom of high blood pressure, fix an appointment with your doctor.
Note for following signs to hit you.
- Sharp shooting headache or migraine
- Stress and fatigue
- Blurry vision and dryness of eyes
- Difficulty in breathing and panic attack
- Chest pain, nausea or body pain
Not all these signs refer a high blood pressure. Sometimes the blood pressure is high due to an underlying medical condition. By any means, it is necessary to diagnose the reason behind these signs of a high blood pressure hitting you.
The final word
Once you know that your blood pressure is causing trouble for you, it is time to take a hold on your life choices. Stop eating junk and unhealthy food if you are constantly experiencing the signs of high blood pressure.
Usually, with dietary changes and moderate exercise, the blood pressure gets back to the normal. If it is not, there must be an underlying condition that needs a diagnosis. Pay attention to your body changes and make sure to fix an appointment at your nearest healthcare facility for a detailed checkup.