High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide. Also known as hypertension, it may cause coronary heart disease, stroke, heart and kidney failure, dizziness, palpitations and other symptoms. It is estimated that one in three US adults have this problem.
Causes and Symptoms
This health condition is considered a silent killer. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your heart. High blood pressure may cause dizzy spells, heart palpitations, aneurysms, difficulty breathing, fatigue, confusion, severe headaches, chest pain, and vision problems. However, one third of patients have no symptoms at all. The only way to detect this condition is through regular checkups.
As you age, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase. People who are overweight or obese as well as those who have a relative with hypertension are at increased risk. The same goes for those who smoke, eat too much salt, drink alcohol, and have a sedentary lifestyle.
If you’re at risk for high blood pressure, contact your doctor immediately. He will use a special device to measure systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic is the first number and measures blood pressure as the heart pumps. Diastolic is the second number and measure blood pressure when your heart is at rest between beats. You can also buy your own blood pressure reading device and use it at home.
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Your results will vary based on your stress levels, emotional state, and mental condition. If the numbers are too high, seek medical help as soon as possible. Many times, high blood pressure is triggered by stress. Simple relaxation techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, regular exercise, and visualization, can help relieve stress and lower blood pressure. In severe cases, the doctor may recommend diuretics and medications.