High Blood Pressure: All You Need to Know (Symptoms, Causes...)

HealthAid Bloggers
Blogger, Reporter, Writer
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood being exerted on the walls of blood vessels. Typically, the arteries carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. So, high blood pressure means that the heart has more work to do which leads to several dire conditions. 

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Knowing your blood pressure is very important as high blood pressure (otherwise known as hypertension) is one of those diseases that have been tagged a “silent killer”. 

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and it refers to a condition where the blood pressure is higher than normal. Blood pressure typically varies with the activities we perform in a day but when there is a consistent or sustained increase in blood pressure, it can lead to a hypertension diagnosis. 

The normal blood pressure reading is 120/80mmHg with the upper number being the systolic blood pressure while the second is the diastolic blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats while the diastolic is a measure of the pressure in your arteries at rest between heartbeats. 

The higher your blood pressure, the higher the risk of you having other serious health problems. Below are the readings for blood pressure and their classifications:

  • Normal: 120/80 mmHg
  • Slightly elevated: 120-129/ less than 80
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139/80-89
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 140 and above/ 90 and above
  • Hypertension crisis: 180 and above/ 120 and above

Symptoms of high blood pressure

High blood pressure develops over time. There are no warning signs or symptoms of high blood pressure unless it is severe, hence why it’s called a “silent killer”.’’ The only way to know that a person has high blood pressure is to measure using a sphygmomanometer.

Some of the symptoms to watch out for if your blood pressure is very high are:

  • Extreme fatigue or confusion
  • Severe headaches
  • Pounding in your chest, ears, and neck
  • Vision problems
  • Nosebleed
  • Chest pains
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Blood in urine
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath

Causes of high blood pressure 

The exact causes of high blood pressure are unknown. However, it can be caused by an underlying condition. There are two major types of hypertension:

  1. Primary or essential hypertension: This is high blood pressure without any specific root cause. It is often linked to certain risk factors like obesity, diet and lifestyle, high salt intake, excessive alcohol intake, insulin resistance, and stress.

  1. Secondary hypertension: High blood pressure/hypertension often results from another medical condition. That is, there is a direct cause for high blood pressure. Examples of medical conditions that lead to high blood pressure are chronic kidney disease, Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes, sleep apnea, pregnancy, and many more. 

If high blood pressure is untreated and unmanaged, it can lead to stroke, aneurysm, heart attacks, kidney failure, and a host of other conditions. 

To prevent hypertension and complications that arise from high blood pressure, you must check your blood pressure level regularly. 

A healthcare professional can help you measure it or you can do it at home by getting a blood pressure monitor. The process is seamless and painless.

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Aug 27, 2022
If I monitor my BP, can I prevent hypertension? Since 2 of them are brothers and sisters.

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