Hypertension sounds like a fancy word for a complex disorder, but it’s really just medical jargon for high blood pressure. Having said that, the cause of hypertension is not always easy to identify, and the effects can be damaging to your cardiovascular system. Taking a few minutes to learn about potential causes, symptoms, and ways to manage high blood pressure could save your life.
How high is too high? When your blood pressure exceeds 130 over 80 (130/80) it is considered too high. Of course, anyone can experience a short-term burst of high blood pressure, such as during a stressful event, but if it remains consistently high then you will be diagnosed with hypertension. Your doctor measures your blood pressure at each check-up, and it might be a good idea to occasionally monitor it on your own.
What causes hypertension? Often, the cause is unknown, but lifestyle factors can contribute to high blood pressure. Sometimes hypertension signals an underlying condition, such as a kidney disorder. Certain medications can also increase blood pressure.
Who can develop hypertension? The condition can strike anyone, but advanced age and being overweight can increase your risk. Men are also at greater risk than women. Certain medical condition, like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and high cholesterol can trigger hypertension.
Sometimes, lifestyle factors can exacerbate your risk of high blood pressure. Avoid these 7 things and you can reduce your risk:
- Eating foods high in salt
- A diet low in potassium
- Too many processed and fatty foods
- Certain medications
- Alcohol or tobacco use
- Chronic stress
What are the signs of hypertension?
Unfortunately, hypertension is known as a “silent killer” because many people don’t notice any warning signs. As high blood pressure goes undetected, it can damage the kidneys and cardiovascular system. However, some people with chronic hypertension might notice excessive sweating, sleeping problems, anxiety, and a blushing complexion. Once hypertension has become severe, headaches and nosebleeds can occur.
Hypertension is one of the primary reasons that regular check-ups are so important. Your physician can catch the condition in its early stages, and in many cases lifestyle changes can reverse the condition. Other times, medication might be needed. Just be sure to check in with your doctor regularly, so that hypertension can be diagnosed and managed before more severe conditions result.