High blood pressure (hypertension)
High Blood Pressure: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
Understanding the Serious Health Risk of Hypertension
High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is a very common, yet serious, health condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. When left untreated, it has the potential to cause severe damage to vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys, and the brain. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure and to take steps towards controlling it.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is when the blood pressure in the blood vessels increases to dangerously high levels. Blood pressure is measured by two different numbers, the systolic and diastolic numbers. The systolic number measures the amount of pressure in the vessels when the heart pumps. The diastolic number measures the amount of pressure in the vessels when the heart is at rest. Hypertension is said to be present if the systolic and diastolic reading is over a certain number.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension
The majority of individuals who have hypertension typically do not experience any warning signs and simply find out during a routine medical check-up. A few common signs and symptoms of hypertension are feeling dizzy when standing up, headaches, nosebleeds, erratic heartbeats, chest pain, and nausea. It is important to keep in mind that the presence of symptoms do not always indicate high blood pressure, and the only definitive way to determine if the levels are elevated is with the help of a medical professional.
The best method of treating high blood pressure is with preventive measures in the form of lifestyle changes. Losing excess weight, quitting smoking, reducing sodium intake, and exercising on a regular basis can all help to significantly lower blood pressure. Individuals should also strive to keep their stress levels in check, as stress is a major factor in causing hypertension. At times, lifestyle changes alone are not enough, and individuals may require medication prescribed by their doctor to control the levels.
Risks Associated with Hypertension
Hypertension can have serious long-term effects which can worsen if the condition is not managed appropriately. It increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, aneurysm, and peripheral arterial disease. Hypertension also places individuals at a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease and dementia. That is why it is important to consistently monitor your blood pressure and take proper steps to keep it under control.
Hypertension can be a very serious health risk and can lead to potentially fatal consequences. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms and make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure. If any changes are experienced, make sure to consult with a healthcare professional. Taking medication prescribed by a doctor and monitoring your health regularly can help to manage the condition and live a healthy life.