The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness. A life without health is akin to a river without water. Why is it that every doctor’s consultation kicks off with a blood pressure scrutiny?
It’s simple; high blood pressure has proven to be a silent killer. From children, teenagers, men, and women, it spares none.
Blood pressure is the force that the blood exerts as it flows through the arteries once the heart starts pumping.
High blood pressure is referred to as hypertension. It arises if the blood flows at a force above the norm. This is often affiliated with narrow arteries. Narrow arteries escalate resistance to blood flow yielding to a surge in the pressure.
How Is Blood Pressure Determined?
Blood pressure is detected using a blood pressure monitor. In medical jargon, a sphygmomanometer.
The sphygmomanometer consists of a rubber cuff attached to a pump and meter. A nurse ties the rubber cuff around your arm and inflates air into it, tightening your arm. The blood pressure monitor furnishes the nurse with two values, which form your blood pressure.
Blood pressure is expressed in (mm Hg) millimeters of mercury. The two values obtained from the sphygmomanometer are:
• Systolic Reading– This is the top number. It specifies the pressure when the heart is pumping out blood.
• Diastolic Reading– This is the bottom value. It denotes the blood pressure when the heart is filling.
They are read as “110 over 70.” (110/70mm Hg)
How Do You Interpret Blood Pressure Readings?
There are five levels of blood pressure values:
- Healthy level: The systolic reading is below 120 and diastolic less than 80 (120/80mm Hg)
- Pre-hypertension level: The systolic reading is 120-129mm Hg and diastolic pressure 80-89mm Hg.
- Stage 1 High blood pressure: Systolic reading ranges from 130-139mm Hg and its diastolic counterpart at 80-89mm Hg.
- Stage 2 Hypertension: Systolic values from 140mm Hg and a diastolic reading of 90mm Hg.
- Hypertensive Crisis: the systolic and diastolic pressures are more than 180mm Hg and 120mm Hg, respectively.
The hypertensive crisis requires urgent emergency attention. Let us now dissect the tell-tale signs of hypertension.
8 High Blood Pressure Signs to Look Out For
Initial phases of high blood pressure do not depict significant signs. The more reason hypertension is a silent killer. The advanced stages of hypertension depict the following signs:
This is shortness of breath. Pulmonary hypertension narrows the arteries supplying blood to the lungs. The constricted arteries tumult the right ventricle from sufficiently pumping blood to the lungs. As a result, the lungs receive a scanty supply of oxygenated blood. This yields to air hunger as you try to catch fresh oxygen.
Throbbing migraines is another sign of hypertension. With narrowed arteries, blood circulation to the brain is limited.
Patients suffering from hypertensive crisis nose bleed often. Their vascular capillaries get fragile and break easily.
Chest pains are popular among people suffering from hypertension. Due to the high pressure of the blood, the heart is forced to pump twice as hard. The heart muscles thicken, exerting pressure on the chest cavity, which in turn is felt as pain.
Hypertension damages the tiny eye blood vessels, causing damage to the retina.
With hypertension, your heart pumps twice as much. Your heart muscles thicken, and ultimately you feel weak and tired.
As a result of the lean arteries supplying blood, your brain will regularly be deficient of oxygen. As a result, you will feel dull, unsteady, and woozy.
Vomiting and Nausea
As a result of feeling dizzy, you are likely to get nauseated and perhaps vomit.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Some of the roots of high blood pressure are;
• Genetics – Arising from gene mutations.
• Chronic ailments- Such as diabetes, kidney failure
• Excessive tobacco usage
• Hyperactive adrenal glands
• A diet saturated with cholesterol or salt.
• Some contraceptive medicines
• Old age-Older people are more prone to high blood pressure.
• Race- Non-Hispanic people are less prone to hypertension.
So, what should you do to lower your blood pressure?
How to Control High Blood Pressure
In as much as hypertension can be lethal, all is not lost.
There are three ways to lower your blood pressure:
• Dietary overhaul
• Lifestyle change
Diuretics: Thiazide diuretics, also called Water pills, aid the kidney to eliminate water and sodium salts. The exit of sodium yields excretion of excess water through urine.
Calcium Channel Blockers (CCB): They impede excessive deposition of calcium along with the heart muscles and arteries.
Renin Inhibitors: Renin is an enzyme produced in the kidneys. Renin catalyzes the synthesis of a blood vessel constricting hormone. Thus, the renin inhibitors deter the production of renin hormone.
The above drugs will play a significant role to lower your blood pressure.
A paradigm shift on the foods you ingest will come a long way to lower your blood pressure.
Shun salty foods. Steer clear of restaurant meals and cook fresh foods habitually. Canned and restaurant foods are sodium saturated. Also, when cooking, truncate on the seasoning salt to five grams daily.
Eat more plants and less meat. Escalate your intake of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and leafy greens. Vegetables contain amass of fiber that helps to balance the sodium levels in the body. A majority of meats contain potassium and sodium minerals that are detrimental to your arteries. Turning down your processed meat intake will lower your blood pressure.
Take the edge off confectionery. Trim your intake of chocolate and sweets. Sugary foods pose you with a diabetes threat and, ultimately hypertension.
Adjusting how you live your life will lower your blood pressure.
Manage your stress. Stress triggers the release of adrenaline and increased pulse rate. A surge in your blood pressure thus arises.
Exercise frequently. Working out burns the excess calories in your body hence offsets you from obesity. Exercises also strengthen your blood circulation. A minimum of 160 minutes weekly workout is encouraged.
Lower your alcohol consumption.
Get adequate sleep and be positive.
Reviewing your day-to-day habits will help to lower your blood pressure.
He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. High blood pressure is lethal if not detected early. A majority of the causes of hypertension are purely human-induced.
Obesity, stress, excessive alcohol and tobacco usage, etc. eating healthy foods, embracing fruits and vegetables as well as omega oil will help lower your blood pressure.
Exercising and coping with stress are also vital in lowering your blood pressure. With the right mindset and consistency, it is possible to lower your blood pressure.