Affects of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hypertension risk factors include obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and family history. What is high blood pressure? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it courses through the body. Like air in a tire or water in a hose, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity. Just as too much air pressure can damage a tire, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and a major cause of heart attack. In the U.S. alone, more than 30% of American adults have high blood pressure.
Symptoms of high blood pressure? One of the most dangerous aspects of High blood pressure is that you may not know that you have it. In fact, nearly one-third of people who have high blood pressure don’t know it. The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is through regular checkups. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including headaches, fatigue or confusion, vision problems, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and irregular breathing.
Hypertensive crisis is a term for hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency. These two conditions occur when blood pressure becomes very high, possibly causing organ damage. Hypertensive urgency occurs when blood pressure spikes blood pressure readings are 180/110 or higher, but there is no damage to the body’s organs. Hypertensive emergency means blood pressure is so high that organ damage can occur. Blood pressure must be reduced immediately to prevent organ damage. This is done in an intensive care unit of a hospital.
High blood pressure is often called a “silent disease” because you usually don’t know you have it; there may be no outward symptoms or signs, so monitoring your blood pressure is really important. The only way to tell whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured with a blood pressure cuff. High blood pressure can cause a variety of medical problems from heart disease to stroke. It can also affect all systems of the body, including the digestive system.
Some ways to control high blood pressure are to lose extra pounds and watch your waistline, exercise regularly, eat a healty diet, reduce sodium in your diet, limit the amount of alcohol you drink, avoid tobacco products, cut back on caffeine, reduce your stress, and to monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor’s appointments.