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Crucial Signs: Understanding Hypertension Symptoms Crucial Signs: Understanding Hypertension Symptoms

Crucial Signs: Understanding Hypertension Symptoms

Artemis Hospital

February 16, 2024 |
Crucial Signs: Understanding Hypertension Symptoms 9 Min Read | 196

 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition associated with a variety of accompanying symptoms. Over 1.2 billion people worldwide, between the ages of 30 and 79, are estimated by the World Health Organisation to have hypertension. Approximately two thirds of these individuals reside in low- or middle-income nations. 

It is a significant risk factor for various heart and brain disorders and the leading cause of sudden and premature deaths worldwide. Most of the time, the illness goes unnoticed, and rather than trying to ease symptoms, treatment aims to lower the chances of developing fatal complications in the future, especially heart attack, heart failure, stroke, eye disorders, metabolic diseases, kidney disease, and abnormal brain functioning. It can be challenging to diagnose early indications of organ complications in hypertensive people.


Healthcare professionals face numerous challenges in diagnosing and treating hypertension, especially in pre-hospital settings where limited diagnostic tools can delay intervention. Early-stage hypertension often goes undetected and untreated, despite substantial advancements in diagnostic technology and therapeutic approaches. This problem is amplified in early stages when even the patient is unaware of early signs and symptoms of this disorder. 

Anyone, even children, can develop high blood pressure. But the risk for hypertension rises with age. It is important to know about hypertension symptoms in order to receive early diagnosis and timely treatment. This can help in preventing the fatal complications associated with it. Let’s know more about the hypertension symptoms in the following article.


What is Hypertension?


When the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is constantly too high, this condition is called hypertension or high blood pressure. Over time, this causes damage to the blood vessels and raises the risk of fatal complications like heart attacks and strokes. Because no noticeable symptoms are often experienced with early-stage high blood pressure, doctors call it a "silent killer." Therefore, even though you might not be aware of it, your body continues to undergo its adverse effects.


The force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels is measured as blood pressure, or BP. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). There are two numbers on your blood pressure reading:


The systolic blood pressure, which is the highest number, indicates the force exerted on your artery walls during a heartbeat or contraction.
The diastolic blood pressure is indicated by the lower number. This gauges the force exerted on the walls of your arteries during periods of relaxation in your heart.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Hypertension? 

Even when blood pressure readings rise to dangerous or life-threatening levels, the majority of people with high blood pressure do not exhibit any symptoms. Years can pass when you have high blood pressure and no symptoms. These symptoms are generally not specific and can be confusing to be conclusive of the disorder. However, some hypertensive individuals may exhibit following symptoms:

 

  • Headaches
  • Breathlessness
  • Nose Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Disturbed vision
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea and vomiting

Causes of Hypertension

  • Hypertension due to unknown causes: Primary or essential hypertension is the term used to describe the sort of high blood pressure condition that occurs because of certain unidentifiable or unknown causes. It usually takes many years to develop gradually. Atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the arteries, raises the risk of this hypertension.
     
  • Hypertension due to underlying causes: Secondary hypertension is the term for hypertension due to an underlying ailment. Compared to primary hypertension, it usually manifests abruptly and results in elevated blood pressure. The following diseases and medications have the potential to cause secondary hypertension:

 

  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Congenital heart defects (birth defects in heart or blood vessels)
  • Medications like cough and cold medicines, birth control pills, certain pain relievers, and other prescription medications
  • Illicit substances like cocaine and amphetamines
  • Kidney disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Thyroid disorders
  • White coat hypertension (temporary rise in blood pressure in clinical settings)

Risk Factors of Hypertension

The risk of high blood pressure rises with increasing age

  • Black people are more prone this disorder than whites

  • Risk is higher in people with family history of high blood pressure disorders
  • Obesity or excessive weight
  • Lack of exercise 
  • Tobacco use or vaping 
  • Consumption of food containing too much salt and spices
  • Low potassium due to consumption of low-potassium diet or dehydration
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Stress
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes 
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pregnancy

 

When to Consult Your Doctor?


The only way for you to figure out if your blood pressure is too high is to have it examined. These examinations are essential and may even save lives. Your doctor will advise lifestyle modifications and/or medication if your blood pressure is higher than usual. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience: 

 

  • Breathlessness

  • Chest pain
  • Headache & dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Palpitations
  • Unusual anxiety
  • Nose Bleeding
  • Nausea & Vomiting

Hypertension Treatment Options

1) Lifestyle Changes

  • Maintain a healthy weigh
  • Take nutritious diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce salt consumption
  • Increase potassium intake by including potassium rich foods in your diet
  • Quit drinking alcohol
  • Quit smoking and vaping
  • Take sufficient fluid to reduce the risk of dehydration

2) Medications

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors]
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics (water or fluid pills)

Complications of Hypertension

Following are certain complications associated with high blood pressure:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Eye disorders
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Dementia or memory loss
  • Abnormal brain functioning

Conclusion

Hypertension is a silent but dangerous ailment that can gradually reach life-threatening stages without noticeable indications. Learning your numbers can be facilitated by routinely visiting a healthcare provider. The first step in changing your lifestyle to maintain healthy blood vessels is understanding your blood pressure levels. Knowing your blood pressure levels can mark your journey towards modifying your lifestyle and keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.

Get in touch with the experts to get right advice on hypertension symptoms and stay safe. Click here now.

FAQs

Q1: What are 5 signs of hypertension?
A: Headaches, Breathlessness, Nose Bleeding, excessive Fatigue, and Disturbed vision are 5 signs of hypertension.

Q2: What are the 4 stages of hypertension?
A: The four stages of hypertension are
Blood pressure levels ranging from 120-129/<80 mmHg: Can be managed with lifestyle changes
Stage 1 hypertension: Blood pressure levels ranging from 130-139/80-89 mmHg. Can be managed with lifestyle changes.
Stage 2 hypertension: Blood pressure levels rising to 140/90 mmHg or more. Can be managed with lifestyle changes and low dose medications
Hypertensive crisis: Blood pressure levels are higher than 180/120 mmHg. Can be managed with lifestyle changes and high dose medications

Q3: Which diet is ideal for treating hypertension?
A: Your blood pressure rises with the amount of salt you consume. Try consuming no more than 6g, or roughly one teaspoon, of salt per day. Consuming a low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, pasta, and rice, as well as other foods high in fiber can also help lower blood pressure.

 

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