Wednesday, 12 October 2016

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure

Did you know that one in three American adults has high blood pressure? That number may surprise you. According to a report from the American Heart Association, high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths per day. For this reason, it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly — and get treatment if you have high blood pressure.(1)


what is high blood pressure
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What are the symptoms of high blood pressure:

The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known. However, some things may play a role in its development, including:

Smoking
Being overweight
Lack of physical activity
Too much salt in the diet
Drinking too much alcohol (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
Older age
Family history of high blood pressure (heredity)
Race (African Americans have high blood pressure more often and more severely than White Americans)
Having chronic kidney disease
Can children get high blood pressure?

Yes, although high blood pressure is less common in children. Regular blood pressure checkups should begin during childhood and continue throughout life.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?

Most people with high blood pressure do not have any symptoms. You can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. For this reason, it is often called a “silent killer.” The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. Your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure during your office visits. Everyone — both children and adults ­— should have regular blood pressure checks.

Did you know that one in three American adults has high blood pressure? That number may surprise you. According to a report from the American Heart Association, high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths per day. For this reason, it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly — and get treatment if you have high blood pressure.(1)

What causes high blood pressure?

The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known. However, some things may play a role in its development, including:

Smoking
Being overweight
Lack of physical activity
Too much salt in the diet
Drinking too much alcohol (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
Older age
Family history of high blood pressure (heredity)
Race (African Americans have high blood pressure more often and more severely than White Americans)
Having chronic kidney disease
Can children get high blood pressure?

Yes, although high blood pressure is less common in children. Regular blood pressure checkups should begin during childhood and continue throughout life.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a serious disease that can, over time, damage the blood vessel walls and increase a person's risk of heart attack, stroke and other conditions.

Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the blood vessel walls. Having high blood pressure means that this force is higher than it should be, and could lead to health problems.

There are two types of blood pressure measurements: Systolic blood pressure, which is a measure of the force of the blood when the heart beats, and diastolic blood pressure, or the force of the blood between heart beats. A person is considered to have high blood pressure when their systolic pressure is 140mmHg or higher most of the time, or when their diastolic pressure is 90 mmHg or higher most of the time, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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About one-third of U.S. adults, or 70 million people, have high blood pressure, and only about half have it under control, according to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors can help prevent high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, experts say.

"High blood pressure is really a disease of the Western world, and if we can do our best to work on diet and exercise and stress relief, we could take a huge amount of this burden down," said Dr. Andrew Freeman, a cardiologist at National Jewish Health in Denver.

Causes

Most of the time, doctors cannot find a specific cause of hypertension, and this is known as essential hypertension. Certain factors increase the risk of developing hypertension, including being obese, drinking too much alcohol, eating a lot of salt, smoking and having diabetes. Aging also increases the risk of hypertension because blood vessels become stiffer with age, the NIH says. About 65 percent of U.S. adults ages 60 and older have high blood pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Being under stress can also increase your blood pressure temporarily, but stress is not a proven risk factor for hypertension. Still, some studies have linked mental stress and depression with risk of high blood pressure. A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who felt pressed for time or were inpatient had higher odds of developing high blood pressure over a 15-year period, than people who did not feel such time pressure.

Certain medical conditions and medications can also raise blood pressure, and this is known as secondary hypertension. Conditions such as chronic kidney disease, preeclampsia during pregnancy, and disorders of the adrenal gland can cause high blood pressure.

Symptoms

People with high blood pressure usually have no symptoms, and so patients can have the condition for years without knowing it, according to NHLBI.

"We call it the 'silent killer,'" because patients are often asymptotic, Freeman said. In rare cases, some people with high blood pressure experience headaches.

Although many patients may not have symptoms at first, over time, high blood pressure can lead to "wear and tear" on the body, Freeman said. For example, high blood pressure can stretch and damage blood vessels, which in turn, can increase the risk of health problems, according to the American Heart Association. Stretched blood vessels can have weak spots that are more likely to rupture, leading to a hemorrhagic strokes or aneurysms, AHA says. Stretching of the blood vessels can also cause tears and scars that create places for cholesterol or blood to build up.

Diagnosis

High blood pressure is diagnosed from a blood pressure test. Typically, doctors place a blood pressure cuff on the arm, which has a gauge that measures pressure in the blood vessels. Patients should avoid drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes for 30 minutes before the test, because such behaviors can increase blood pressure temporarily, the NHLBI says.

Because a person's blood pressure can vary depending on a number of factors, including the time of day, a doctor will usually check blood pressure several times and different appointments before diagnosing someone with high blood pressure.

Freeman said that he will often have patients use a device called an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, which patients wear at home, and which takes a blood pressure reading about every 30 minutes. This device can show whether a person really does have hypertension, and how well they are responding to treatment, he said. If a patient doesn't want to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, they can also use a home blood pressure monitor to manually check their blood pressure. "You get a lot better idea of what's going on," if you track blood pressure with one of these devices, Freeman said.

Doctors may measure blood pressure in both arms to see if there is a difference in readings, the Mayo Clinic says. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that people whose systolic blood pressure readings differed by 10 mmHg or more between their right and left arms were nearly 40 percent more likely to have cardiovascular problems, bush as a heart attack or stroke, over a 13-year period.

Doctors may also recommend other tests to look for indicators of heart disease, such as high cholesterol, the Mayo Clinic says
Most people with high blood pressure do not have any symptoms. You can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. For this reason, it is often called a “silent killer.” The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. Your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure during your office visits. Everyone — both children and adults ­— should have regular blood pressure checks.

Sign Of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is known as "the silent killer." More than 80 million Americans (33%) have high blood pressure, and as many as 16 million of them do not even know they have the condition. If left untreated, high blood pressure greatly increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Hypertension is projected to increase about 8 percent between 2013 and 2030.
Your heart pumps blood through a network of arteries, veins, and capillaries. The moving blood pushes against the arterial walls, and this force is measured as blood pressure.


what is high blood pressure
symptoms of high blood pressure
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Sign of high blood pressure:

High blood pressure results from the tightening of very small arteries called arterioles. Arterioles regulate the blood flow through your body. As these arterioles tighten (or constrict), your heart has to work harder to pump blood through the smaller space, and the pressure inside the vessels grows.

High blood pressure can affect your health in four main ways:

Hardening of the arteries. Pressure inside your arteries can cause the muscles that line the walls of the arteries to thicken, thus narrowing the passage. A heart attack or stroke can occur if a blood clot blocks blood flow to your heart or brain.

Enlarged heart. High blood pressure increases the amount of work for your heart. Like any heavily exercised muscle in your body, your heart grows bigger (enlarges) to handle the extra workload. The bigger your heart is, the more it demands oxygen-rich blood but the less able it is to maintain proper blood flow. As a result, you feel weak and tired and are not able to exercise or perform physical activities. Without treatment, your heart failure will only get worse.

Kidney damage. Prolonged high blood pressure can damage your kidneys if their blood supply is affected.

Eye damage. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure can cause the tiny capillaries in the retina of your eye to bleed. This condition, called retinopathy, can lead to blindness.
What causes high blood pressure?

About 90% to 95% of all high blood pressure cases are what is called primary, or essential hypertension. That means the real cause of the high blood pressure is not known, but a number of factors contribute. You are at increased risk if you -
Have a family history of high blood pressure.
Are African American. African Americans develop high blood pressure more often than whites, and it tends to happen earlier in life and be more severe.
Are a man, but women are at an increased risk after age 55.
Are older than 60. Blood vessels become more brittle with age and are not as flexible.
Face high levels of stress. In some studies, stress, anger, hostility, and other personality traits have been shown to lead to high blood pressure.
Are overweight or obese.
Use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels.
Use oral contraceptives. Women who smoke and use oral contraceptives greatly increase their risk.
Eat a diet high in saturated fat.
Eat a diet high in salt (sodium).
Drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol. Experts say that moderate intake is an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. One drink is defined as 1½ fluid ounces (fl oz) of 80-proof spirits, 1 fl oz of 100-proof spirits, 4 fl oz of wine, or 12 fl oz of beer.
Are physically inactive.
Have diabetes.
Researchers have also found a gene that appears to be linked to high blood pressure. If you have the gene, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure, so you should monitor your blood pressure and eliminate as many of the other risk factors as you can.

The remaining patients with high blood pressure have what is called secondary hypertension which means the high blood pressure is the result of another condition or illness. Many cases of secondary hypertension are caused by kidney disorders. Other conditions that can cause secondary hypertension are

Problems with the parathyroid gland.
Acromegaly, which is a condition where the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone.
Tumors in the adrenal or pituitary glands.
Reactions to medicines for other medical problems.
Pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. In some cases, people with high blood pressure may have a pounding feeling in their head or chest, a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness, or other signs. Without symptoms, people with high blood pressure may go years without knowing they have the condition.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

A visit to your doctor is the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure. You should have a general medical check-up that includes a review of your family's medical history. Your doctor will take several blood pressure readings using a device called a sphygmomanometer and run a few routine tests.

Your doctor may also use a device called an ophthalmoscope to look at the blood vessels in your eyes. Doctors can see if these vessels have thickened, narrowed, or burst, which may be a sign of high blood pressure. Your doctor will also use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and the sound of blood flowing through your arteries. In some cases, a chest x-ray and electrocardiogram may be needed.

Blood pressure readings

Blood pressure readings measure the two parts of blood pressure: systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the force of blood flow through an artery when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the force of blood flow within blood vessels when the heart rests between beats.

A blood pressure reading measures both the systolic and diastolic forces, with the systolic pressure listed first. The numbers show your pressure in units of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)—how high the pressure inside your arteries would be able to raise a column of mercury. For example, a reading of 120/80 mm Hg means a systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg and diastolic pressure of 80 mm Hg.

Most doctors do not make a final diagnosis of high blood pressure until they measure your blood pressure several times (at least 2 blood pressure readings on 3 different days). Some doctors ask their patients to wear a portable machine that measures their blood pressure over the course of several days. This machine may help the doctor find out whether a patient has true high blood pressure or what is known as "white-coat hypertension." White-coat hypertension is a condition in which a patient's blood pressure rises during a visit to a doctor when anxiety and stress probably play a role.

How often should blood pressure be checked?

Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year. Many grocery or drug stores have blood pressure machines that you can use for free any time you visit the stores. Keep in mind, though, that these machines may not give you a correct reading.

Blood pressure monitors for use at home can be bought at drug stores, department stores, and other places. Again, these monitors may not always give you a correct reading. You should always compare your machine's reading with a reading from your doctor's machine to make sure they are the same. Remember that any measurement above normal should prompt a visit to the doctor, who can then talk with you about the best course of action.

How high is high?

According to guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a reading below 120/80 mm Hg is classified as normal blood pressure. Those with a blood pressure reading anywhere from 120/80 up to 139/89 are classified within a category called "prehypertension." The NHLBI says that about 45 million Americans fall within the prehypertension category, which puts them at twice the risk of developing high blood pressure later in life.