High Blood Pressure – Learning About Its Symptoms, Causes And Other Aspects
High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most common ailments that people suffer from in the modern times. Sadly, a majority of people are totally unaware of the problem despite having it for years and learn about it only when it reaches a critical stage. This is mainly due to the fact that highly BP is generally not known to depict any major symptoms. However, despite the lack of symptoms, the ailment can prove extremely critical and can in fact lead to serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack and various other cardiovascular issues. In order to understand the various aspects of high BP, it is important to first learn what blood pressure means.
What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is exactly what the term indicates, which is the physical pressure exerted by the blood as it passes through the arteries. It is measured in the form of readings represented by two numbers separated by a slash. The top number is the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts to push the blood forward. This is known as the systolic blood pressure. The lower number reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes and is known as the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 and reading above this number needs to be treated with concern.
Symptoms And Signs Of High Blood Pressure
As mentioned before, patients suffering from high blood pressure might not show any signs or symptoms, even if they have been suffering from the ailment for years. This is why it is also known by the name of “silent killer”. In fact, it is estimated that one out of every 5 individuals are unaware of having this condition making them prone to high risk health concerns. That is why it is important for people to look out for the followings signs and symptoms that have come to be commonly associated with the problem of high blood pressure.
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears
Causes Of High BP
Having learnt about the common symptoms associated with high BP, it is time to learn about the causes of the ailment. Sadly, health care experts have not been able to identify the exact cause of high blood pressure. However, there are several factors that can enhance the risk of high BP amongst individuals and can cause serious damage to various body organs if left undetected and untreated. These factors are listed as follows.
- Being overweight or obese
- Tendency to smoke or excessive alcoholism
- Consuming too much salt
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal or thyroid disorders
- Family history of blood pressure
- Excessive stress and sleep apnea
- Advanced age
Best Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is generally considered to be a lifestyle disease and while medication can be used to treat it, most doctors prefer lifestyle changes as the best way to regulate BP. In fact, most people can easily control their blood pressure levels without any medication by making minor changes in their everyday diet and living. These changes comprise mainly of the following things.
- Making a conscious effort to lose weight in case overweight people
- Shifting to a healthy, low-salt diet and avoiding the consumption of foods laced with sugars and fats
- Following a regular exercise schedule and trying to lead a generally active life.
- Limiting alcohol consumption to no more than 1-2 glasses a day
- Quitting smoking completely
- Making efforts to avoid and eliminate stress through activities such as medication, music, social interaction etc.