Hypertension Signs and Symptoms
The common illness known as hypertension, or high blood pressure, is characterized by a persistently high force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. Although it is a major risk factor for stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia, high blood pressure typically has no symptoms. Hypertension is also a major global cause of premature death. Blood pressure typically contains two types and is expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg):
- Systolic pressure: This is the pressure when your heart beats.
- Diastolic pressure: This is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.
Severe Headaches: It may be caused by hypertension. Dr. Mayank Saxena defines hypertension as a medical condition in which a patient’s blood pressure increases. Such patients might experience headache cause of which can be mainly due to increased pressure inside the cranium for prolonged period of time. These headaches can be throbbing or pounding, and may be located in the back of your head or around your temples. Furthermore, it could be a sign of an emergency hypertensive crisis or malignant hypertension.
Shortness of Breath: It can occur in a wide range of medical conditions, including high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension. Traditional hypertension (high blood pressure) is diagnosed when your heart has to beat harder and with more force to overcome narrow or blocked blood vessels in your body. High cholesterol and artery hardening are two possible causes of this issue. Although the terms “pulmonary hypertension” and “high blood pressure affecting the heart and lungs” seem similar, there may not be a significant increase in pressure within the pulmonary blood vessels.
Blurry or Double Vision: It may indicate hypertension, especially if hypertension has resulted in hypertensive retinopathy. Double vision and other visual abnormalities are caused by damage to the retina’s blood vessels by high blood pressure, a condition known as hypertensive retinopathy. It’s critical to get medical help as soon as possible if you have double vision or any other visual problems.
Nausea/vomiting: One sign of extremely high blood pressure could be nausea. A shortage of oxygen to the brain brought on by hypertension might result in nausea, vomiting, anorexia, or dizziness.
Dizziness or lightheadedness: This can feel like you’re about to faint and may be accompanied by a feeling of spinning or unsteadiness. Going from a high blood pressure to a low blood pressure can definitely result in lightheadedness. Sudden changes in posture, such as standing up unexpectedly after lying down for a long time or kneeling in your garden, can cause this type of abrupt change in blood pressure. Vertigo symptoms are very unlikely to be caused by hypertension issues.
Fatigue or lack of energy: Although fatigue can be a symptom of high blood pressure, a lack of sleep may actually be a contributing factor, too. Sleeping 5 hours or less per night may raise your risk for developing high blood pressure. And if you already have hypertension, lack of sleep could be making it worse. This can be caused by the extra work your heart has to do to pump blood against the high pressure.
Causes of Hypertension
- Unhealthy diet: Excessive salt intake is a major culprit, as it draws water into your blood vessels, increasing pressure. Diets low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and high in saturated and trans fats, can also contribute. A diet that is too high in sodium and too low in potassium puts you at risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure. Eating too much sodium an element in table salt increases blood pressure. The majority of the salt we consume is found in restaurant and processed meals.
- Physical inactivity: Regular exercise helps manage blood pressure by improving blood flow and vessel elasticity. A lack of physical activity is linked to hypertension or high blood pressure. And being more active will lower your blood pressure.
- Excess weight or obesity: Obesity is a major risk for essential hypertension, diabetes and other morbidity that contribute to the development of kidney disease because it mainly increases tubular reabsorption to impair pressure natriuresis and cause volume expansion via the activation of the SNS and the RAS. Carrying extra pounds puts added strain on your heart and circulatory system.
- Smoking: Each cigarette you smoke causes a temporary rise in blood pressure. Smoking causes damage to blood vessel walls that results in atherosclerosis, a condition where fat deposits in the walls of your arteries constrict . It also makes your heart work harder and increases the risk of blood clots. Tobacco use damages blood vessel walls and raises heart rate, contributing to hypertension.
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol use can cause blood pressure to rise as well. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, your health care professional may advise you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can temporarily raise blood pressure and damage blood vessels over time.
Related Medical Condition:
- Chronic Kidney Disease: It may result in edema, or swelling, in your legs or other body parts. One of the main causes of chronic kidney disease is high blood pressure. Furthermore, hypertension can also be brought on by kidney disease. High blood pressure destroys tiny blood arteries in the kidneys, no matter which came first. Kidneys play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure, and their dysfunction can lead to hypertension.
- Sleep apnea: Because of the airway blockage caused by obstructive sleep apnea, your heart has to work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, which raises hypertension or blood pressure. Sleep apnea causes the brain to send extra blood to vital organs like the heart and brain while you’re asleep. This condition disrupts breathing during sleep, causing oxygen deprivation and spikes in blood pressure.
- Thyroid disorders: When a person has too much thyroid hormone, it tends to speed up many bodily functions, including metabolism and heart rate. Hypertension may result from this. Heart rate can rise in hyperthyroidism. The systolic blood sugar level and heart rate of a person might increase as a result. Both overactive and underactive thyroids can influence blood pressure.
- Hormonal imbalances: Hypertension – or high blood pressure – affects millions of Americans. A form of hypertension caused on by an imbalance in hormones, endocrine hypertension is typically pituitary or adrenal gland-related. Conditions like Cushing’s syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect hormone levels, contributing to hypertension.
- Certain medications: Acetaminophen is one chemical and medication that can elevate blood pressure. Cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol, and ecstasy (MDMA and its derivatives). Tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies are examples of angiogenesis inhibitors. ome medications, like steroids and decongestants, can have side effects that raise hypertension or blood pressure.
- Family history of hypertension significantly increases your risk.
5 Ways to Prevent Hypertension
Eating A Healthy Diet – Limiting your intake of sodium (salt) and increasing your intake of potassium will help you control your blood pressure. It’s also critical to consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in fat. One diet plan that can assist you in lowering your blood pressure is the DASH diet.
Getting Regular Exercise – You can reduce your high blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight by exercising. Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 1 hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise every week. Any exercise that causes your heart to pump blood faster and it uses more oxygen than usual is considered aerobic exercise, and that includes brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and dancing.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese significantly increases your risk of high blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control high blood pressure and reduce your risk for other health problems.
Limit Alcohol Intake: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. In addition, it adds calories, which may cause weight gain. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women only one.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature, exercising, listening to music, focusing on something calm or peaceful.
Quit Smoking: Smoking increases high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Avoid smoking if you do not smoke. If you do smoke, talk to your health care provider for help in finding the best way for you to quit.
Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate blood pressure.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly: Regular blood pressure checks are essential for early detection and management of hypertension. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have your blood pressure checked.
Remember, these are just general guidelines. It’s important to talk to your doctor about the best approach for preventing or managing hypertension based on your individual health and risk factors. By adopting these healthy lifestyle habits, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing hypertension and improve your overall health and well-being.
What is the cure for Hypertension?
Hypertension has no cure, it can only be controlled or kept within normal range.
Doctors recommend weight loss, regular exercise and low salt intake as the first steps in managing mild to moderate hypertension.
These steps are highly effective in reducing B/P but easier to suggest than to achieve and most patients with moderate to severe hypertension end up requiring indefinite drug therapy to bring their blood pressure down to a safe level.
I’m hypertensive on drugs but my friend gave me some concoctions/ local herbs and told me that once I take it, I won’t need to be on drugs again, doctor, what do you say?
Remember that whatever you take will not leave your body the same. Most drugs and concoctions have both good and bad effect on the body. For orthodox drugs, we know the both effect on you and we are prepared for the bad effect. For herbal and traditional medicine, the maker may know the good effect, but ignorant of the bad. Anyway, whatever you take, make sure you check your B/P always. The result of your B/P will tell us the effectiveness of the drugs, or herbal remedies you are taking.
What are dangers that can be associated with hypertension?
While elevated BP alone is not an illness, it requires adequate and effective control due to its short and long term effects on many organs in the body. It can lead to the following when not adequately controlled
Cerebro vascular accidents (Stroke)
Myocardial Infarction (heart Attack)
Heart Diseases and Failure
Blindness from Hypertensive retinopathy
Kidney disease and failure
And so on
If my B/P is high now (i.e. 140/90 or more) does it mean I have hypertension?
No. Exercise, anxiety, discomfort and unfamiliar surrounding can all lead to a transient rise in B/P, so measurement, like I have said, should be repeated at least on three separate occasions before any patient is labeled hypertensive.
Does hypertension run in families?
Yes. 70% those with essential hypertension have another member of the family affected. it’s inheritance is thought to be multi-factorial.