High Blood Pressure

Understanding High Blood Pressure

A heart rate monitorA lot of things may happen in our day-to-day activities that can cause our blood pressure to fluctuate. Stress, excitement, overexertion and just plain old nerves can cause our blood pressure to jump up and down. It is when it goes up and stays up that we can develop hypertension or high blood pressure, which can later lead to some serious health issues.

Your blood pressure consists of two measurable numbers: systolic and diastolic. The systolic is a measurement of how hard the blood is pushing when the heart is pumping. The diastolic shows how hard the blood is pushing between heartbeats, while the heart is at rest and filling with blood. A person with a systolic reading of 120 and a diastolic reading of 80 has a total blood pressure of 120/80 or 120 “over” 80.

A healthy adult should have blood pressure of less than 120/80, and high blood pressure is considered to be at a level of 140/90 or higher. Chronic hypertension left untreated can cause damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. This damage is usually caused through conditions like coronary artery disease, stroke and kidney failure, all a result of having extreme hypertension.

High blood pressure symptoms are not easily tracked, because having hypertension itself does not always cause symptoms. However, having very high blood pressure can cause chronic headaches, blurriness and other vision problems, nausea and vomiting. Most people will not realize that they are experiencing hypertension symptoms unless it reveals itself during a normal examination.

To confirm that you are a victim of hypertension, you would have to register at a level of 140/90 on three or more separate occasions, checked at least 1 to 2 weeks apart.

Risk Factors for Hypertension

Risk factors for hypertension include:

  • Being overweight
  • Consuming too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Consume too much salt in your diet
  • Have a family history of hypertension
  • Little to no exercise
  • Not enough potassium or calcium in your diet
  • Insulin resistance, also known as being borderline diabetic

Treating Hypertension

Treating high blood pressure depends upon exactly how intense your hypertension is and whether or not you have any other existing health conditions such as diabetes. You can help to maintain your blood pressure at healthy levels by making healthy changes in your lifestyle.

Some of the lifestyle changes you can make include:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising more
  • Switching to a low fat diet

If you believe that you may be suffering from high blood pressure, make an appointment today to get checked. The caring professionals at Owl Now Urgent Care are here to help you get your hypertension back on track.