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High blood pressure – the symptoms, causes, harmful effects and what you can do about it!

In this blog article we will explore the issue of High Blood Pressure, the symptoms, the causes, the harmful effects and what you can do about it.

Background

High blood pressure (HBP) is not a disease itself but a condition related to many diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels such as atherosclerosis, kidney disorders etc.. It refers to the relationship between the blood pressure in the arteries and the blood flow. HBP is detected when pressure in the arteries are higher than normal, which can lead to organ damage and increase risk of heart attack or stroke. Blood pressure is measured in two values, systolic (pressure when the heart beats) and diastolic (minimum blood flow between each heartbeat). Examples of blood pressure readings are as follows:

  • Normal blood pressure: 120/80
  • Pre-hypertension: 130 – 139 / 80 – 89 (may increase blood pressure over time) 
  • Hypertension: 140 and above / 90 and higher.
The symptoms

The symptoms of blood pressure can be: headache, dizziness, fainting, nosebleeds, pounding in the ears, intense sweating for no apparent reason, anxiety or nervousness, confusion or difficulty thinking. When blood pressure is chronically high, you can also have symptoms such as chest pain, problems with vision and kidney disease.

Causes of high blood pressure

The causes of high blood pressure may be different for different people; it can be due to genetic factors or environmental influences such as smoking, stress, smoking, obesity, alcohol abuse or alcoholism and even ageing. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you must avoid a high salt intake because one of the most common causes is linked to excessive consumption of this mineral that increases blood volume and therefore blood pressure.

Harmful effects

High blood pressure may be asymptomatic but they have harmful effects if it is not treated, such as hypertension (increased blood volume), atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in blood vessels) or heart failure. High blood pressure can have serious effects on your health if left untreated or uncontrolled, from blood clots to blood vessel damage. It is important that you learn how to control your blood pressure effectively by making healthy lifestyle changes and adapting your diet.

What can you do about it?

A healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid this condition, through a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, physical activity regularly with aerobic exercises such as walking or jogging for 30 minutes per day at least five days a week. Some tips:

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes per day.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • If you are a smoker, ask your doctor about ways to quit smoking because this will benefit both blood pressure and overall health.
  • Drinking in moderation is also beneficial for blood pressure however drinking too much can be harmful as well so don’t abuse it.
  • Reduce stress: Chronic stress may lead to high blood pressure. It is important for your overall health to learn how to manage stress.
  • Reduce coffee intake
To conclude…

High blood Pressure needs to be taken care of because it can lead to serious health problems. There are many causes that may be genetic or environmental but the most important thing is being aware of this condition and taking control over blood pressure with healthy lifestyle changes, following a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables as well as regular exercise sessions such as jogging for 30 minutes per day at least five days a week.   If you are concerned that your blood pressure may be too high, be sure to book a consultation with one of our GP’s by calling our office on 07 5531 3205 or via our online booking portal.

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