The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Headaches and Palpitation: Signs of Hypertension?
Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms. Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure.
Causes of High Blood PressureAlthough the exact cause is unknown, certain conditions, traits or habits may raise your risk for the condition. These are known as risk factors and include: Non-modifiable risk factors: These factors are irreversible and cannot be changed. The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing HBP.
- Starting at age 18, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years. If you're age 40 or older, or you're 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.
- Family history/Genetics
- African Americans and non-white Hispanic Americans are at higher risk for developing high blood pressure than any other group in the U.S.
- Excessive alcohol consumption over many years.
- Little to no physical activity
- Excessive amounts of salt in diet that excess the recommended amounts of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
- Long history of smoking and/or drug abuse
- Extreme emotional stress
- Aldosteronism: a condition in which there is excessive secretion of aldosterone which disturbs the balance of sodium, potassium, and water in the blood leading to high blood pressure.
- End-stage renal disease: a condition in which your kidneys have stopped working well and your body retains fluid.
- Thyroid disease: a condition that is caused by the over or under function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an essential organ for producing thyroid hormones, which maintains the body’s metabolism.
- Obstructive sleep apnea: a condition in which your breathing abruptly stops and starts while sleeping.
- Certain medications such as cough, cold, inflammation and migraine/headache medications.
Symptoms of High Blood PressureMost people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms. However, once blood pressure reaches a certain level, symptoms begin to show:
- Blurry or double vision
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Diagnosis of High Blood PressureThe best way to diagnose HBP is to have it measured. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), has two numbers.
- Systolic blood pressure (the top number) indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during heartbeats.
- Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
- Normal blood pressure: A reading of less than 120 (systolic) and 80 (diastolic)
- Elevated blood pressure: A reading ranging from 120 to 129 (systolic) and below 80 (diastolic)
- Stage 1 hypertension: A reading ranging from 130 to 139 (systolic) or 80 to 89 (diastolic)
- Stage 2 hypertension: A reading ranging from 140 or higher (systolic) or 90 (diastolic)
- Hypertensive crisis (consult your doctor immediately): A reading higher than 180 (systolic) and/or 120 (diastolic)
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet.
- Limit alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Reduce stress.