We all have and need blood pressure. Unfortunately, for some of us, our systolic pressure is higher than the numbers recommended by the World Health Organization. That is when we have hypertension. Many people who have the condition do not know that they have it. This article will give you comprehensive information about:
- the common signs and symptoms of high blood pressure;
- how to find out if you have the condition; and
- what to do if you have.
12 Common signs and symptoms high blood pressure
There are many signs and symptoms that are widely believed to be associated with high blood pressure. Here is a list of the twelve most common:
- profuse sweating
- low libido or lack of sexual desire
- blurred vision
- no symptoms at all – this is the most common “sign or symptom”
Although people with hypertension may have some or several of these symptoms, they occur just as frequently in those with normal blood pressure. Having one or more of these symptoms is not conclusive as they can be due to other causes. If you have some or none of these symptoms, it is worth finding out if you do have high blood pressure.
How to find out if you have hypertension
Diagnosing hypertension is not as simple as having your blood pressure measured. That is because our systolic and diastolic pressures vary throughout the day. Even the stress of visiting the doctor’s office affects our blood pressure. In a recently published survey, 39% of patients in the UK that were diagnosed with hypertension actually had normal blood pressure. It was a similar picture in the USA.
Several blood pressure measurements are required before an accurate diagnosis can be made. The recommended way of doing this is for the patient to be monitored for 24 hours during which time his or her pressures are automatically measured every 15 minutes and the results recorded.
Alternatively, you can measure your own pressures. Home digital blood pressure monitors are accurate, reliable and easy to use. You will need to take readings at the same time each day and under the same conditions. The best time is immediately before or upon rising but before having any food, drink or even smoking a cigarette. Take measurements every day for at least two weeks and record the results in a spreadsheet. Doctors like to see not only the actual readings, but also the results plotted on a graph. This helps them to spot trends in the results. Your data will help your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
The World Health Organization defines normal blood pressure as 120/80. Many doctors, however, consider 140/90 to be normal – particularly for older patients.
Acting on the results
Hypertension is a major risk factor in heart disease, heart attack and stroke. If left untreated, your condition can also lead to damage of your kidneys and eyes.
Remember, the most common symptom of high blood pressure is that it has no symptoms. The best way to keep healthy is to have your blood pressure checked at regular intervals. Fortunately, there is much you can do to reduce your hypertension naturally. These include:
- having a healthy diet
- being more active
- losing excess weight
- quitting smoking
[important][/important]Making these simple lifestyle changes will help lower your high blood pressure naturally.
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