What are signs of high blood pressure?

Blood pressure flow

What are signs of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure can have far reaching consequences, it is called the “silent killer” a bit like heart disease you may not know that you have it until it’s too late. It’s important to know what signs of high blood pressure are.

High blood pressure is also known by the medical term hypertension, the definition of high blood pressure/hypertension is a sustained blood pressure reading of 140/90 MMHG or above, most medical people would agree that normal blood pressure for a normal healthy person is close to 120/80 MMHG or less than 130/80 MMHG.

Blood pressure definition

The definition of blood pressure is the volume or amount of pressure that is applied or exerted to the arterial walls as the blood passes through them. Blood pressure is measured in MMHG or millimetres of mercury, two measurements are taken systolic and diastolic.

Systolic: The measurement of blood pressure applied/exerted after the heart beats pushing blood throughout the body.

Diastolic: The measurement of blood pressure after the heart is resting in between a heartbeat.

Both measurements are taken in millimetres of mercury or MMHG, the first figure that you get is the systolic blood pressure figure followed by the diastolic blood pressure.

If you have a reading of 120/80 MMHG it means that your systolic blood pressure is 120 MMHG and your diastolic blood pressure is 80 MMHG. Watch for the signs of high blood pressure.

heart muscle

The heart muscles

Your heart is simply a muscle designed to continually pump blood around your body, your body need an adequate supply of oxygen rich blood, nutrients, hormones and carbon dioxide going to the various systems such as:

  • The immune system
  • Digestive
  • Endocrine
  • Muscular
  • Lymphatic
  • Reproductive
  • Skeletal
  • Reproductive
  • Integumentary
  • Urinary

Our bodies contain five vital organs and they are necessary to survive, and they are:

Heart, Brain, Liver, Kidneys, Lungs

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Very often there are no symptoms associated with high blood pressure, it is a good idea to get your blood pressure checked regularly either at your doctors or at home. If you have high blood pressure without any symptoms this may happen:

  • the high blood pressure can cause damage to your kidneys
  • damage to your heart
  • damage to your eyes
  • High blood pressure affects blood circulation

Underlying medical condition

Those with an underlying medical condition may have further complications like:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

The repercussions of high blood pressure will depend on how severe it is and the length of time you have had it, allied to any underlying medical condition can cause shortness of breath, chest pain or a heart attack. High blood pressure can cause loss of vision, it can have a major impact on blood circulation causing leg pain when walking.

Early detection

The good news is if detected early blood pressure can be treated and checked to avoid any serious consequences.

What impact does high blood pressure have?

High blood pressure is a major influence in the development of cardiovascular disease like:

Heart attack: Caused by a cut off in blood supply to the heart

Coronary heart disease: Caused by plaque build-up in the coronary arteries

Stroke: Caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain

Diabetes & kidney disease are connected to high blood pressure

High blood pressure treatment & prevention

You can manage and control high blood pressure by some simple lifestyle changes like:

Regular exercise

Eat healthy food

Drink less alcohol

Blood pressure meds

Medications that lower high blood pressure

Depending on your blood pressure reading your doctor may prescribe some medication to lower it,

Ace inhibitors popular ones are Lisinopril, Ramipril, Enalapril, these are designed to relax blood vessels.

Angiotensin II receptor blocker popular ones are Valsartan & Losartan, these are designed to block the action of angiotensin (it narrows blood vessels)

Calcium channel blockers most prescribed ones are Diltiazem, nifedipine, amlodipine, these stop calcium from going into the heart allowing cells to relax.

Beta blockers: Another commonly prescribed medication for high blood pressure, popular ones are Nadolol, Atenolol, Metoprolol, these block the effect of a hormone epinephrine, it makes your heartbeat faster however these beta blockers slow down the heart rate.

Find which method works for you

It’s impossible to know which medication will work for you, you may have to try several different blood pressure medications before you find one that will work for you.

You can help your doctor by checking your blood pressure at home more frequently, blood pressure monitors for home use are reasonably inexpensive and easy to buy, you can read my blood pressure monitor review here.

By recording regular blood pressure readings will help with your treatment program, just remember a home blood pressure monitor isn’t a replacement for a visit to your doctor.

In 9 out of 10 cases a mixture of medication and changes to your lifestyle should do the trick in bringing down your blood pressure, it does take effort and time to find the correct combination of treatments to keep controlled, the health benefits are worth the effort in terms of a healthier longer life.