Blood pressure is the pressure of blood circulating against the walls of the vessels. Normal blood pressure in an adult is 120 millimeters of mercury systolic and 80 millimeters of mercury diastolic.
Blood pressure is of two types
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
High Blood Pressure Definition
High blood pressure can be defined as the condition in which the force exerted by the blood circulating on your arteries is so high that it may cause health problems like several heart conditions. It means that more your heart pumps the blood the narrower the arteries and higher the blood pressure.
Blood pressure is generally determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the arteries
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Majority of people suffering from high blood pressure does not have any significant signs or symptoms even if the blood pressure level has reached at an alarming level. The symptoms of high blood pressure in men and women are quite similar.
Although a few people suffering from high blood pressure will have symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds etc. but these symptoms are not very significant and may not occur until the blood pressure has reached life threatening level
Some inconclusive symptoms of high blood pressure which are not always caused by high blood pressure are as follows-
- Blood spot in the eyes- some people may have blood spots in the eyes but it is not necessary that they are caused by high blood pressure but doctors check these symptoms in order to identify the nerve damage
- Facial flushing- facial flushing generally occurs when the blood vessels in the face becomes wider or dilate. It can occur unpredictably or due to certain conditions like exposure to sun, cold weather, spicy food, emotional stress, consumption of alcohol etc.
- Dizziness is generally not caused by high blood pressure but dizziness should not be ignored as sudden dizziness, loss of coordination or balance difficulty in walking are all the signs of a stroke and high blood pressure is one of the major reason for causes of heart stroke
High Blood Pressure Causes
The causes of high blood pressure is divided into 2 categories
- Essential high blood pressure
- Secondary high blood pressure
Although there are no identifiable causes for essential high blood pressure but there is a strong linkage with some risk factors which results in developing the condition
The causes mentioned below are the risk factors associated with essential high blood pressure but some of them are also associated with secondary high blood pressure
- Age- as a person gets older there are more chances of him getting affected by high blood pressure
- Family history- if any of your close family members are suffering from hypertension then according to the researchers you have a significantly higher chances of getting affected by hypertension.
- Temperature- temperature also plays an important role in hypertension. According to researchers the level of blood pressure was lower when it was warmer and was higher when it was cold.
- Ethnicity- researchers have found evidence that people with south Asian or African ancestry are more likely to get affected more as compared to people with Caucasian or Amerindian ancestry
- Obesity- people who are overweight are more likely to get affected by the disease as compared to people with normal weight
- Gender- in general high blood pressure is more common in adult men than adult women but after the age of 60 both men and women are exposed to the risk of getting affected by hypertension equally
- Lack of physical labour- lack of physical exercise or physical inactivity increases the risk of getting affected by hypertension so that’s why it is very important to exercise daily and maintain body weight as increasing body weight is one of the major reasons of getting affected by no’s of diseases.
- Smoking- smoking causes our blood vessels to get narrower thus increasing the blood pressure rapidly also it reduces the amount of oxygen so in order to compensate that our heart needs to pump more blood thus increasing the blood pressure.
- Alcohol intake –doctors have found that people who consume alcohol have higher systolic blood pressure as compared to people who do not consume alcohol. The researchers have found out that the people who consume alcohol have about 7 millimetre higher systolic blood pressure as compared to the people who do not drink
- High salt consumption- people who consume a lot of salt in there food are more likely to have higher blood pressure than people who have lesser consumption of salt
- Fatty diet- according to several health professionals the people who consume food full of fat are more likely to get affected by hypertension as compared to other people. Basically it does not depends upon the quantity of fat you are consuming but which type of fat you are consuming for e.g. fats which comes from fruits nuts etc. are good fats but saturated fats and trans fats which comes from animal source food are not good for health.
- Stress- mental stress is also one of the major reasons of developing high blood pressure, doctors have found out that long term stress is majorly responsible for getting affected by high blood pressure
- Diabetes- people suffering from diabetes are at a higher risk of getting affected by high blood pressure. If blood sugar is controlled by insulin or any other methods then it reduces the risk of getting affected by high blood pressure in long term.
- Psoriasis- it is a condition of immune system that appears on the skin in the form of red thick scaly patches. Researchers carried out a study on 78000 women suffering from psoriasis have a higher risk of getting affected by high blood pressure
- Pregnancy- pregnant women are more likely to get affected by high blood pressure as compared to the women’s who are not pregnant
Some of the complications faced by the people due to high blood pressure are
- High blood pressure can sometimes cause thickening of the arteries which results in nos of heart related problems like heart stroke or other complications
- Very high blood pressure can cause blood vessels to swell causing aneurysm which when ruptured can be life threating
- Very high blood pressure can cause blood vessels in your eyes to swell or thickened up which results in vision problems
- Very high blood pressure can affects a person’s ability to remember or learn i.e. a person is not able to understand the concepts easily
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
There are actually different types of blood pressure which prevail during pregnancy They are divided into 4 categories.
- Gestational hypertension- women who suffer from gestational high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Researchers believe that women who suffer from gestational high blood pressure can eventually develop preeclampsia.
- Chronic hypertension- chronic high blood pressure is generally present before pregnancy or develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy but high blood pressure generally doesn’t show any signs or symptoms, therefore, it is difficult to identify when it started
- Chronic hypertension along with superimposed preeclampsia- this is a condition in which women suffering from chronic high blood pressure develops other blood pressure related complications like protein in the urine etc.
- Preeclampsia- preeclampsia is a condition which prevails after 20 weeks of pregnancy and is linked with damage of other organs like brain, liver, kidneys etc. preeclampsia can be life threatening for both the mother and the baby if left untreated
Some of the risks imposed by high blood pressure during pregnancy are as follows-
- Blood flow to the placenta is decreased- due to high blood pressure the blood flow to the placenta is decreased which results in that your baby will receive less oxygen and nutrients which relates several complications like premature birth, breathing complications and chances of getting affected easily
- Placental abruption- due to preeclampsia a condition which develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause your placenta to separate itself from the inner walls of the uterus. Sometimes it can cause complications such as heavy bleeding which is life threatening for both the mother and child
- Slow growth of the baby- sometimes high blood pressure results in slow or restricted growth of your baby
- Injury to organs- high blood pressure can result in damaging your different organs like lungs, liver, brain, kidney etc. if this condition gets worse it can be life threatening and damage your major organs
- Premature delivery- sometimes high blood pressure results in premature delivery of the baby which can further impose complications like getting affected by the infections very easily
- Heart diseases- having preeclampsia can increase the risk of getting affected by various heart disease, like heart stroke, heart attack or various other complications.
Some of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia besides high blood pressure are as follows-
- Excess protein in the urine or other related renal problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Liver function disrupted
- Shortness of breath
- Levels of platelets decrease
- Upper abdominal pain generally on the side of the ribs
- Changes in vision or sometimes loss of vision
- Sudden weigh gained or swelling in your face and hands can also be the signs of preeclampsia
Some of the methods by which you can reduce the risk of the complications caused by high blood pressure are-
- Visit your doctor or health care clinic on a regular basis during your pregnancy
- Take your medication as prescribed it will help you to control your blood pressure
- Stay active- remain active don’t be lazy and lethargic and follow your doctors advice on physical mobility
- Know what’s of limits- avoid smoking or consumption of alcohol or intake of illicit drugs which can cause severe complications
High Blood Pressure Diet
Some of the foods that will help you to control your blood pressure are as follows-
- Green leafy vegetables which are rich in potassium should be consumed as potassium because potassium helps in reducing sodium level in your kidneys through your urine which in turns lower your blood pressure
- Some of the vegetables which are rich in potassium are as follows
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
- Spinach etc.
- Berries- these fruits are especially rich in flavonoids thus researchers have found out that consuming these compounds lower the chances of getting affected by high blood pressure or control it if you are already suffering from it
- Beetroot- beetroots are rich in nitric oxide which helps in lowering blood pressure by opening your blood vessels
- Skimmed milk- skimmed milk is rich in calcium and low in fat which is the appropriately correct diet for lowering blood pressure. If you don’t like skimmed milk than you can also choose yogurt it also helps in reducing blood pressure
- Oat meals- oatmeals are excellent source for high fiber and low fat thus it helps in reducing the blood pressure
- Bananas- eating bananas can reduce your blood pressure as bananas are a rich source of potassium
- Salmon or fish with omega-3s should be consumed to lower the blood pressure and on the other hand fish are also rich in vitamin d which helps in lowering the blood pressure
- Garlic and herbs- garlic is rich in nitric oxide which helps in lowering blood pressure
- Dark chocolate- researchers have found out that eating 100 gms of dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of getting affected by cardiovascular diseases thus it helps in reducing blood pressure
- Pistachios- pistachios are very healthy and help in reducing or lowering the blood pressure
- Olive oil- olive oil contains polyphenols which helps in lowering the blood pressure
- Pomegranate is another fruit which helps in lowering blood pressure for a short tem
High Blood Pressure Chart/Range
|Systolic in mmhg||Diastolic mmhg||Your category|
|<120||<80||Normal blood pressure|
|140-159||90-99||Stage 1 hypertension|
High Blood Pressure- Causes, Symptoms