Blood pressure is something that is measured to check the force your heart uses to pump blood around your body. whether it is high or low, it causes problems. When it is too high it is known as hypertension. If you experience any of the following you should seek help immediately from a doctor or emergency service if needed.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
- Nose bleeds
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred or double vision
Risks of high blood pressure
If it is too high, it puts extra force on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys, and eyes. Persistently having hypertension can potentially cause life-threatening conditions such as:
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Aortic aneurysms
If you have high or low blood pressure, you can reduce it by making healthier choices. You can find information about these changes from your doctor, GP, online medical advice, or from a qualified nutritionist.
Who is at risk and how to prevent it?
The risk increases as you get older and your chances are considerably higher. Family history also plays an important role. Some families have high blood pressure run in the family which is inevitable, but doing simple health changes can decrease the risk, let’s discuss these in more detail.
Things to avoid
Smoking is obviously very bad for your health and will increase your blood pressure. You should also try to avoid large amounts of salt, sugar and fatty and highly processed foods.
To avoid your risk of high blood pressure or to lower it, you should make some changes to your diet. A balanced diet is best. One that is full of varying fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds, and grains. These foods are well known for reducing high blood pressure. Berries, banana, beets, dark chocolate (at least 70%), kiwi, watermelon, oats, leafy green vegetables and more. If you have a family history of it or have found out that it is high, you should do the necessary research and if you are worried contact your local GP for advice.
Lack of exercise plays a bit part in blood pressure. If you manage to increase your mobility every day, it will lower the risk of it raising. Stress is also another big factor involved. Stress alone has the potential to cause you many problems such as weight gain, weight loss, etc. If you do not exercise enough, you run the risk of becoming overweight. This will put even more of a big strain on you and it means that you are more likely to find you have high blood pressure. To recap, keep a healthy diet and exercise routine daily, and you should see an improvement.
This part is easy, it’s simply the process of keeping an eye on it. I don’t recommend checking it every five minutes though as they may cause more stress overall. Instead, you should either make a trip to the doctors once a week to test your blood pressure if they have got a machine for the public to use. If not I’d highly recommend purchasing as they are cheap and can provide peace of mind in an emergency situation.
When you check it weekly or daily if severe, you should keep a record of it on a piece of paper so that you can compare previous readings and dates to see if it is on the rise or it there is an improvement or not. Test your blood pressure from your home with this portable blood pressure monitor. The monitor takes replaceable batteries and comes with an arm cuff sleeve. Measure your systolic, diastolic and pulse readings with ease.
My experience with high blood pressure
When I was pregnant, I developed a condition called pre-eclampsia. This condition gave me extremely high blood pressure and I was rushed to the hospital on more than one occasion. After that, I was constantly feeling anxious, and to settle my worries I used a blood pressure monitor.
In my personal opinion, they are well worth the money. Not only because it could save your life, but it will also provide you with peace of mind. The symptoms I got with high blood pressure were, a mild to moderate headache, swelling on my hands, feet, and face. I got blurred vision and lightheadedness, this could have been due to a hot summer and pregnancy itself but those were my symptoms.
One of the tell-tale signs of raised blood pressure is heart palpitations. This is because of the body working extra hard to pump the blood around, the heart has to work harder and can result in the palpitations.
Whether you are pregnant or not, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or signs. Don’t hesitate to contact your local GP or Midwife for help and advice. Never feel as though you are wasting their time, even if does turn out to be nothing.
Up next: What is Preeclampsia?