What Is High Blood Pressure or Hypertension?

Popular disease, Hypertension is known as “the silent killer” because of the lack of symptoms. The most dangerous aspect of hypertension is the fact that close to a third of individuals who have hypertension don’t know it, and usually don’t feel it. Everybody should know what is hypertension, and his or her BP count is, and the only way to find out is to have your BP checked by a medical professional.

What is high blood pressure

It is a common misconception that people who have hypertension experience symptoms of hypertension such as headaches, flushing, nervousness and sweating, when the truth is that hypertension is largely symptom-less. If you wait for the appearance of symptoms to determine whether you have hypertension, you may be playing with your life.
Qualified evidence indicates that headaches are not a symptom of hypertension, except in the case of hypertensive crisis, where the systolic (high count) is higher than 180, or the diastolic (low count) is higher than 110.

HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS

The only time when obvious signs of HBP occur, is when BP soars to a dangerous level (as mentioned above) which indicates that a person is experiencing a hypertensive crisis, and needs immediate emergency medical treatment.

Hypertensive Crisis Symptoms include the following, backed up by extremely high BP readings:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe anxiety
  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue and confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Pounding in the ears, neck or chest
  • Blood in the urine
  • Vision problems

RISK FACTORS FOR HYPERTENSION

The exact cause of HBP is still unknown, however, several physical conditions and environmental factors may increase the risk of elevated BP. They are:

  • History of family with hypertension disease
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • High levels of salt in food
  • Excessive alcohol consumption and symptoms of alcoholism.

The good news is that, while there is no cure, hypertension is treatable and manageable, and hypertension symptoms can be kept under control by following a few simple steps:

  • Has your BP checked and recorded by your health care professional.
  • If high blood pressure is diagnosed, it is usually easily treatable with lifestyle changes, changes in diet, and where necessary, prescribed medication to bring the BP down.
  • Keep a record of your BP readings and manage it by having regular checkups.
  • As BP fluctuates during the day and reacts to emotional stress, as well as other factors, it may be advisable to invest in a home monitor which is easy to use and comes with instructions on how to measure your own BP. An accurate record of the BP fluctuations can be an invaluable tool to help you and your doctor to manage your BP levels.
  • Keep a list of the symptoms of a Hypertensive Crisis on hand and call emergency services at the first signs of any of the symptoms.

By following a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can:

  • Reduce the risk of hypertension.
  • If you are at risk, delay or prevent the onset of HBP.
  • Improve the effectiveness of medication prescribed for HBP disease.
  • Lower your risk of associated health problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and heart attack.

A healthy lifestyle is paramount in preventing the symptoms of hypertension and managing your BP levels. If necessary, make lifestyle changes that will benefit your heart health and BP levels, and stick to the changes made. Be informed regarding your BP count and set goals to achieve and maintain a healthy BP level.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to take care of your own health, in partnership with your health care professional, to ensure optimum heart and BP health.
For additional information, please read next article: What is high blood pressure (Hypertension) – BloodPressureMagazine.com.