High Blood Pressure- The Silent Killer
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.
The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
Blood pressure consists of two numbers: the top number indicates Systolic pressure; the amount of pressure your heart generates when pumping blood out through your arteries.
The bottom number indicates Diastolic; the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest.
Some causes of high blood pressure are kidney disease, thyroid disease, abnormal blood vessels, preeclamsia, sleep apnea, and adrenal disease.
Many of the signs and symptoms for high blood pressure are often ignored.
They can include a dull ache in the back of the head, excessive perspiration and muscle cramps, weakness, frequent urination and rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Though many people experience these symptoms they may experience all of the symptoms at all times and may attribute the symptoms to another cause.
Always check with your doctor if you have any of above the symptoms.
There are many risk factors for high blood pressure.
Be sure you know your family history and risk factors so you can make informed choices when it comes to your healthcare.
Some of the risk factors are: AGE: your risk increases with age.
RACE: High blood pressure occurs more frequently in blacks than any other racial group SEX: High blood pressure is more common in men than women before the age of 60.
However after the age of 60 the reverse is true.
FAMILY HISTORY: Some families have a history of high blood pressure OBSEITY: The greater body mass you have the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.
INACTIVITY: Lack of physical activity increases your risk.
TOBACCO USE: Nicotine constricts your blood vessels and forces your heart to work harder.
SODIUM: People who are sodium sensitive have fluid retention and increased blood pressure when using sodium.
LOW POTASSIUM: If you don't consume or retain enough potassium, you can accumulate too much sodium, which raises the blood pressure.
EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL: Over time heavy drinking can damage your heart muscle, which can lead to high blood pressure and other complications.
STRESS: High levels of stress can lead to temporary increases in blood pressure.
Excessive high blood pressure can lead to a stroke.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel, which supplies blood to the brain, bursts or is blocked by a blood clot.
Within minutes the nerve cells in that area of the brain are damaged, and they die within a few hours.
As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged section of the brain cannot function properly.
Before having a stroke you may have one or more transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are a warning signal that a stroke may soon occur.
The symptoms of a stroke can be any or all of the following: Numbness, weakness, or paralysis or the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
Vision problems in one or both eyes, double vision, or loss of vision.
Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding with trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and a severe headache.
Remember to monitor your blood pressure, and to speak to your doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above.
If you have a history of high blood pressure be pro-active and take your blood pressure often.
Blood pressure monitors can be purchased at pharmacies.
You can also have your blood pressure taken at a pharmacy at no charge.
Contact your doctor immediately, or go to the closest hospital if you have any of the above symptoms!