High blood pressure (or hypertension) causes wear in the arteries that can eventually lead to blockages, often leading to a stroke or heart attack – this can only be found by having the blood pressure tested. SEVERE high blood pressure symptoms include tiredness, headaches, vision disturbance, chest pains, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, buzzing in the ears and tingling on one side of the body. It’s therefore important to have your blood pressure checked regularly, by your doctor, as symptoms only become evident after damage has been done.
WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood pumped by the heart along with the size and condition of the arteries. It determines the force generated by the heart as it pumps blood through the arteries to the organs in your body.
The reading of your blood pressure is shown in two parts (for example 140/80). The first reading, the systolic, is the highest pressure generated by the pump. The second, the diastolic, is the pressure reading when the pump is at rest. If the reading is higher than 140 systolic or 90 diastolic on more than one occasion then you most likely have high blood pressure.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Many factors can affect blood pressure and include:
- Poor Diet
- Excess weight
- The condition of the kidneys, nervous system, and blood vessels
- The various hormone levels in the body
- Excessive salt or alcohol intake
- Syndrome X or Metabolic Syndrome
IF YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, WHAT TESTS SHOULD YOU HAVE?
High blood pressure treatment involves conducting a number of tests to find a treatable condition such as diabetes or kidney problems and to identify any damage caused. These tests may include a glucose, urine or cholesterol test, an electrocardiogram (ECG) or chest X-ray.
HOW IS HYPERTENSION TREATED?
You can alleviate high blood pressure by eating foods that lower your blood pressure naturally and by maintaining healthier lifestyle. You may also require blood pressure medication.
How to lower blood pressure:
- Reduce your salt intake
- Drinking only moderate amounts of alcohol
- Eat a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables
- Avoid processed and junk food
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
Lowering high blood pressure can dramatically reduce the risks of stroke, heart disease and even the likelihood of dementia.
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