High blood pressure occurs to people when the force exerted by their blood against their blood vessels’ or arteries’ walls is consistently too high. It is a condition that can remain undiagnosed when you do not monitor your blood pressure regularly.
Today, we are going to discuss the key things you need to know about high blood pressure. These include its symptoms, causes, how it is diagnosed, and how to regulate and measure your blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
To help you understand what high blood pressure is, let us first define what blood pressure is. It is the amount of force exerted by the blood against the arteries’ walls. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is composed of up of 2 values:
This is the pressure when your heart beats (while your heart’s muscles are contracting and pumping blood into your blood vessels).
This is the pressure of blood on your arteries when your heart’s muscles relax. It is lower than your systolic blood pressure.
Blood pressure readings always come in pairs. The systolic reading (the higher value) comes first followed by the diastolic value (e.g. 138/89 mmHg). Below is a table showing what blood pressure readings are normal and high:
Source: American Heart Association
High blood pressure, medically referred to as Hypertension, is whereby there is too much pressure on your blood vessels and heart which increases your risks of strokes and heart attacks. Though blood pressure plays a crucial role in transporting blood into different parts of your body, values that are too high are not desirable.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Readings exceeding 135/85 mmHg are considered high blood pressures when you are measuring your own blood pressure at home where you are more relaxed. If you are having your measurements at a doctor’s office, the limit is 140/90 mmHg.
If you have blood pressure readings between 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg, you might develop hypertension sooner or later. You need to take action and follow necessary precautions to bring your blood pressure under control. Readings exceeding 180/120 mmHg (hypertensive crisis) are dangerously high and require immediate treatment.
Hypertension does not have any other symptoms, though, aside from high blood pressure measurements. This is the main problem with this health condition. Many people with hypertension are not aware that they have this silent disease. However, while it is symptom-free, it can be caused by the following:
- Stomach pain
- Heart palpitations
- Blood in urine
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
If you are experiencing the above symptoms regularly, we recommend consulting with your doctor.
Causes of Hypertension
About 5% of hypertension cases are caused by other health conditions such as sleep apnoea, hormone disorders, diabetes, and kidney disease. Pregnant women may also experience high blood pressures. However, all of these conditions are called secondary hypertension.
The remaining 95%, though, do not have obvious causes. These cases are called essential or primary hypertension and are usually linked to genetic factors, obesity, smoking, poor diet, and low levels of physical activity.
How Hypertension is Diagnosed
If your blood pressure is high, do not be alarmed because our blood pressure constantly fluctuates. It can have low or high values depending on the time of day. Your medications, age, overall fitness, stress, and others can also affect your blood pressure reading. One high measurement is not much of a concern but you should start monitoring your blood pressure regularly.
We recommend measuring your blood pressure in the morning and in the evening after you have rested for around 5 minutes. Your doctor is the only one who can make a true diagnosis using 3 high readings.
How to Treat Hypertension
There are 3 main ways that help in reducing your blood pressure: medication, diet, and exercise. Let us start with medications.
There are various options for the optimal treatment of hypertension. Your doctor will base your medication on the following:
- Your age
- Your personal situation
- Your medical history
- Your blood pressure reading
- Possible factors causing your hypertension
Diet & Exercise
Diet and exercise can greatly help in regulating your blood pressure. They also help reduce your risk of developing hypertension. Below are the recommended actions you can do:
- Lose weight (especially on your waist).
- Measure your blood pressure daily.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
- Reduce your saturated fat, salt, and sugar intake. Eat more fruits, vegetables, oily fish (mackerel and sardines), and other potassium and calcium-rich food such as nuts and low-fat dairy products.
- Be more physically active by doing exercises like riding a bike or walking.
How to Monitor Your Blood Pressure
You can measure your blood pressure on your own at home. This is an inexpensive, quick, and easy process so there is no reason why you should not do it. If you were diagnosed with hypertension, measuring your blood pressure at home helps you and your doctor assess if your medications are working.
There are various home blood pressure monitors you can choose from such as digital blood pressure monitors, stethoscopes, and sphygmomanometers. If you want digital blood pressure monitors, it is advisable to get them from trusted suppliers such as Raycome. The best thing is, you can buy wholesale blood pressure monitors from this supplier at discounted prices.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a silent disease that can go undiagnosed. However, you can help your doctor diagnose early-onset hypertension by taking your blood pressure measurements regularly at home. It is important that you have a proper diet and exercise more often to help regulate your blood pressure. Hopefully, you have learned a lot about high blood pressure from this short guide.