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This Is What High Blood Pressure Feels Like

A scary condition, high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to deadly complications. What’s really scary, though, is that most people do not even know they have it. Hypertension is sometimes called “the silent killer” because most often, people experience no symptoms until the condition has progressed far enough to damage health. High blood pressure feels like nothing.

Why Visit the Doctor Regularly?

Common misconceptions claim people with hypertension feel it. People believe they will experience nosebleeds, dizzy spells, insomnia, nervousness, blurred vision, chest pain, frequent headaches or shortness of breath. People think they will notice visible signs of hypertension in a flushed face and profuse perspiration. In most cases, however, people with hypertension experience no symptoms and have no idea blood pressure is dangerously high. Most individuals do not receive treatment until visiting a doctor for a completely different reason, only to be surprised by a high blood pressure reading.

If left unaddressed, high blood pressure can lead to serious, sometimes irreversible, problems:

  • Thickening or hardening of the arteries, causing heart attacks or strokes.
  • Weakened blood vessels which rupture during an aneurysm.
  • Thickened heart muscles which struggle to pump blood, leading to heart failure.
  • Narrowing or weakening of blood vessels in the kidneys, hindering kidney function and leading to renal failure.
  • Narrowed, weakened or thickened blood vessels in the eyes impair vision.
  • Damage to the optic nerve, causing permanent vision loss.
  • Increased risk of developing diabetes.
  • Impaired cognitive function which affects your memory, ability to focus and to understand or learn new concepts.

Since the symptoms of high blood pressure typically do not present themselves until serious conditions have progressed, it is necessary to proactively monitor your blood pressure. To protect your health from the adverse effects of hypertension, attend regular blood pressure screenings through a local clinic or pharmacy or schedule regular health screenings with your family doctor.

High Risk Groups

Certain individuals might be at higher risk for developing high blood pressure, in which case more frequent screening and preventative measures might be prudent. Risk factors for developing high blood pressure include:

  • Family History – Hypertension is an inherited disease. If you have close biological relatives with high blood pressure or heart disease, then you are at risk.
  • Age – With age, blood vessels lose their elasticity, which can contribute to hypertension. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop high blood pressure – even if you had normal or low blood pressure at a younger age.
  • Gender/Age – Men younger than 64 are more likely to develop hypertension. After age 65, it’s women who are at higher risk.
  • Race – African-Americans are at an elevated risk for developing hypertension and more severe cases, too.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) – CKD puts patients at risk of hypertension.
  • Lifestyle – Smoking, drinking, chronic stress, insomnia, not exercising and eating an unhealthy diet can lead to high blood pressure.

If you are at risk of developing hypertension, taking steps to monitor your blood pressure regularly and making healthy lifestyle choices can safeguard your wellbeing, longevity and quality of life from the complications of hypertension.

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How is high blood pressure treated

This Is What High Blood Pressure Feels Like

A scary condition, high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to deadly complications. What’s really scary, though, is that most people do not even know they have it. Hypertension is sometimes called “the silent killer” because most often, people experience no symptoms until the condition has progressed far enough to damage health. High blood pressure feels like nothing.

Why Visit the Doctor Regularly?

Common misconceptions claim people with hypertension feel it. People believe they will experience nosebleeds, dizzy spells, insomnia, nervousness, blurred vision, chest pain, frequent headaches or shortness of breath. People think they will notice visible signs of hypertension in a flushed face and profuse perspiration. In most cases, however, people with hypertension experience no symptoms and have no idea blood pressure is dangerously high. Most individuals do not receive treatment until visiting a doctor for a completely different reason, only to be surprised by a high blood pressure reading.

If left unaddressed, high blood pressure can lead to serious, sometimes irreversible, problems:

  • Thickening or hardening of the arteries, causing heart attacks or strokes.
  • Weakened blood vessels which rupture during an aneurysm.
  • Thickened heart muscles which struggle to pump blood, leading to heart failure.
  • Narrowing or weakening of blood vessels in the kidneys, hindering kidney function and leading to renal failure.
  • Narrowed, weakened or thickened blood vessels in the eyes impair vision.
  • Damage to the optic nerve, causing permanent vision loss.
  • Increased risk of developing diabetes.
  • Impaired cognitive function which affects your memory, ability to focus and to understand or learn new concepts.

Since the symptoms of high blood pressure typically do not present themselves until serious conditions have progressed, it is necessary to proactively monitor your blood pressure. To protect your health from the adverse effects of hypertension, attend regular blood pressure screenings through a local clinic or pharmacy or schedule regular health screenings with your family doctor.

High Risk Groups

Certain individuals might be at higher risk for developing high blood pressure, in which case more frequent screening and preventative measures might be prudent. Risk factors for developing high blood pressure include:

  • Family History – Hypertension is an inherited disease. If you have close biological relatives with high blood pressure or heart disease, then you are at risk.
  • Age – With age, blood vessels lose their elasticity, which can contribute to hypertension. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop high blood pressure – even if you had normal or low blood pressure at a younger age.
  • Gender/Age – Men younger than 64 are more likely to develop hypertension. After age 65, it’s women who are at higher risk.
  • Race – African-Americans are at an elevated risk for developing hypertension and more severe cases, too.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) – CKD puts patients at risk of hypertension.
  • Lifestyle – Smoking, drinking, chronic stress, insomnia, not exercising and eating an unhealthy diet can lead to high blood pressure.

If you are at risk of developing hypertension, taking steps to monitor your blood pressure regularly and making healthy lifestyle choices can safeguard your wellbeing, longevity and quality of life from the complications of hypertension.

Related articles

How is high blood pressure treated

How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), then you probably have also been made aware of its risks, which include serious health events like stroke, heart failure, heart attacks and kidney disease. To avoid these grave conditions and improve your health, it is necessary to lower your high blood pressure to a healthier number. How high blood pressure is treated, the target blood pressure reading and seriousness of hypertension depend greatly on the patient’s age, medical history, lifestyle and other health conditions.

So, How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?

Hypertension treatments generally fall into three categories:

1. Lifestyle Adjustments

After an initial high blood pressure reading and hypertension diagnosis, your healthcare provider will likely discuss making some adjustments to your overall lifestyle. These healthy habits will include things like:

  • Losing Weight
  • Eating Healthy
  • Reducing Sodium Intake
  • Exercising
  • Managing Stress
  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Giving Up Tobacco
  • Reducing Alcohol Intake

The type of lifestyle you lead and habits you form have a surprisingly powerful effect on your health. Although forming new, healthy habits can be a tough change to make, doing so could ultimately save and improve your life.

2. Hypertension Medications

Depending on your specific blood pressure reading, current health, medical history, age and family medical history, your doctor might prescribe you a medication to help regulate and lower your blood pressure. Several types of hypertension medications exist, and they work in different ways to manage blood pressure. These include:

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
  • Alpha-Agonists
  • Alpha-Blockers
  • Beta-Blockers
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Central Agonists
  • Combination Medications
  • Direct Renin Inhibitors
  • Diuretics
  • Peripheral Adrenergic Blockers
  • Vasodilators

These anti-hypertensive medications will not cure high blood pressure, but they all work in different ways to lower and regulate blood pressure. Some patients require a combination of medications to effectively manage high blood pressure, and doctors work with patients through a trial and error process to identify which medications and doses will work best to effectively manage each patient’s individual case of hypertension.

3. Addressing Underlying Conditions

For some people, high blood pressure is completely related to lifestyle, age or genetics. For others, hypertension is a symptom of an underlying condition. With the latter group, hypertension is most successfully treated by addressing the primary health problem. Medical conditions which can cause hypertension include:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Adrenal Gland Disorders
  • Thyroid Disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Medication Side Effects

In addition to treatment for an underlying condition or perhaps changing a medication, your doctor will probably recommend making lifestyle adjustments and also might prescribe medication to manage your blood pressure while you undergo treatment for the condition that is responsible for raising your blood pressure readings.

Once you begin a treatment plan for high blood pressure, you will likely be asked to schedule regular monthly check up appointments with your doctor until you reach a regulated healthy blood pressure reading. No matter the cause of your high blood pressure and the details of your hypertension treatment plan, following your doctor’s orders and prescription’s directions exactly as prescribed is essential to properly managing hypertension and preventing a more serious heart problem in the future. If you have any further questions on how is high blood pressure treated, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.

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How is high blood pressure treated

How to Lower Blood Pressure without Medication

Under new guidelines from the American Heart Association, which classify blood pressure readings above 130/80 mmHg as high, nearly half of adults in the United States live with high blood pressure (hypertension). The condition can lead to life-threatening complications if left unaddressed. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, then you are likely working with your doctor and taking medication to regulate your blood pressure. You can also manage blood pressure with the following adjustments to your lifestyle. In other words, you can lower blood pressure without medication.

Lose Weight

It is possible to be skinny and have high blood pressure, but blood pressure readings tend to increase along with the number on the scale. If you have a high body mass index, change your eating habits and start exercising to lose weight and lower blood pressure.

Diet

Speaking of healthy diet, there are certain things that should be added and eliminated from your food. Avoid sodium, added sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Fill your diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains that are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Savor a piece of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate for dessert to dilate blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

Exercise

Moving your body strengthens your heart, making it more efficient at pumping blood which lowers blood pressure. Aim for 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (think running) or 150 minutes of moderate activity (think walking) each week. The more you move, the stronger your heart.

Limit Alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption (one drink per day for women and two for men) might improve heart health. Consuming any more, however, can have adverse effects, leading to increased blood pressure and other health concerns.

Stop Smoking

Each puff increases your blood pressure.

Drink Less Caffeine

Everyone loves their morning coffee, but caffeine has been shown to increase blood pressure in some. Before you swear it off for good, test your tolerance by sipping a cup and comparing before and 30-minute after blood pressure readings.

Manage Stress

Anxiety releases stress hormones that help if you need to outrun a grizzly bear, but raise blood pressure over time. Try meditation, breathing exercises, calm music or taking lunch in the park.

Sleep

Not getting enough shut-eye increases your risk of developing or worsening hypertension.

Swallow Probiotics

Whether in a supplement or in yogurt, probiotics have been associated with lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety and more.

Support

Look to your family, friends, new friends or a support group to surround yourself with like-minded people living a healthy lifestyle. Witnessing others’ successes will encourage you to stick to your plans, and when you achieve good health, you will have a group of friends ready to praise your efforts.

 

Although lifestyle adjustments can seriously improve your health and lower your blood pressure, you should not stop taking your medication or alter scheduling or dosage without first consulting your physician. Stay in touch with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure at home while beginning a new diet or exercise routine to keep your overall health in check.

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How is high blood pressure treated