Do your blood pressure readings remain high for an extended period? You might be suffering from hypertension. In the United States alone, 75 million adults have been diagnosed with this disease. It’s extremely dangerous, and without early diagnosis and treatment, it can lead to other detrimental health issues. Our medical providers at Angel Plan in Red Oak, TX, can provide you with information on the causes of high blood pressure and how to manage your condition.
What Is the Main Cause of Hypertension?
Hypertension is a condition that develops gradually over time. You’re more likely to develop this disease if it runs in your family, and those who don’t eat a healthy diet or are overweight are also at an increased risk.
Do you have family members that suffer from high blood pressure? You may be just as likely to be affected due to genetics. High blood pressure can be caused by environmental factors and lifestyle habits that families share. If the condition runs in your family, it’s a good idea to keep your health checked so you can manage early symptoms.
Your age, gender, or ethnicity can all play a role in the development of high blood pressure. Because blood pressure levels tend to rise as we age, most Americans suffer from high blood pressure during their lifetime. Also, women are nearly two times more likely to develop high blood pressure over the course of their lives. African Americans are also more likely than others to develop high blood pressure.
Diet and Activity Level
While it’s important to know your family background and individual risk factors, you should also consider the causes you can influence. Diet and physical activity are two important factors to consider. Do you lack healthy foods in your diet? How active is your lifestyle? High intake of sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol is also a primary cause of high blood pressure. People who live a physically active lifestyle can prevent high blood pressure. It’s also a good idea to consume potassium-rich fruits and vegetables regularly.
High blood pressure is also primarily caused by smoking and drinking excessively. Those who have more than two alcoholic beverages per day are at an increased risk. Tobacco contains nicotine, which elevates blood pressure. Carbon monoxide, which is produced by tobacco smoking, reduces the amount of oxygen carried by the blood.
Existing Health Conditions
Various health conditions can also cause high blood pressure. For example, approximately six out of ten people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. Sugar can build up and damage the blood vessels of those with diabetes. Pregnancy can also cause high blood pressure. During and after childbirth, this condition can put both mother and child at risk.
How Do You Measure Blood Pressure?
Having your blood pressure checked is the most accurate way to determine if you possibly have hypertension. It’s a good idea to know your blood pressure reading so you can make necessary lifestyle adjustments and seek the right medical care.
Two numbers are involved in your blood pressure reading. First is the systolic number, which measures the pressure inside your blood vessels when your heart beats. Average systolic numbers range from 90-120. The diastolic number measures pressure between heartbeats when the body is at rest. Normal diastolic numbers range from 60-80. For example, a blood pressure reading of 113/75 is within acceptable levels; 130/75 indicates elevated blood pressure; a reading of 138/86 indicates mild hypertension.
What Are the Complications of High Blood Pressure?
Over time, high blood pressure damages your organs. If the condition is not managed effectively, some complications may occur. When blood pushes too hard against your arteries, it can lead to various diseases that can harm your entire circulatory system and other body systems.
A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the brain’s blood supply is cut off. It is most commonly caused by blood vessel blockage. Long-term damage to the brain from a lack of oxygen can also include paralysis, loss of vision, and cognitive issues. Strokes can be fatal because the brain’s affected area no longer gets vital nutrients and oxygen, and it begins to die.
An aneurysm occurs when high blood pressure causes weak spots in the arteries, which can overfill with blood and burst. When left undetected and untreated, aneurysms can cause a severe type of stroke known as a hemorrhagic stroke. This illness causes brain bleeding and is potentially fatal.
Our kidneys are responsible for filtering and removing toxins in the blood. When you have high blood pressure, you may also suffer from damaged arteries in the kidneys. This condition causes your kidneys to fail to clean the blood and filter toxins in the body.
High blood pressure can also lead to fatal heart problems and coronary diseases. You can suffer from damaged arterial walls, which can become clogged with fats, plaque, and cholesterol. Arteries can also harden and become responsible for chronic chest pains.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by any health condition that obstructs blood flow. When you have high blood pressure, it can be difficult to accomplish and maintain an erection. High blood pressure can also cause reduced sex drive and difficulty achieving an orgasm.
How Do You Know if You Have High Blood Pressure?
Since high blood pressure often has no symptoms, the condition has become known as a “silent killer.” However, some people with high blood pressure may experience certain signs and symptoms.
Early symptoms of a cardiovascular disease caused by high blood pressure include dizziness and feeling slightly off-balance. These symptoms are usually caused by inadequate oxygen in the brain. It’s probably nothing to be concerned about if the dizziness is caused by standing up too quickly. However, if your dizziness persists for an extended period, you may be suffering from high blood pressure.
Blood is transported to the eyes through tiny, delicate blood vessels. These blood vessels can become damaged over time if you have untreated hypertension. High blood pressure restricts normal blood flow, causing fluid to accumulate beneath the retina. As a result, you might lose the ability to focus on objects or see clearly.
Mild, persistent headaches and “brain fog” are common symptoms of high blood pressure in some people. It is a condition that happens when the brain’s oxygen supply is insufficient or blocked, resulting in cognitive issues. If hypertension is left untreated for a long time, it can harm the brain’s overall health and increase the chances of neurodegeneration.
What Is the Best Way To Manage High Blood Pressure?
There are some things you can do to lower your chances of developing high blood pressure. These include eating well, getting enough exercise, and keeping your salt intake under control. It’s also critical to see your primary care physician regularly. They’ll check your blood pressure and propose a treatment plan for you if you are at risk of hypertension.
Be Physically Fit and Active
Maintaining normal blood pressure is possible through proper diet and exercise. Because being overweight also increases your risk for hypertension, losing weight through lifestyle changes can help you achieve healthier blood pressure levels.
Walking, for example, is a simple physical activity that can help you lower your blood pressure. Dancing, biking, or swimming are all good aerobic exercises. You can begin slowly, then steadily increase your activity level. It’s a good idea to aim for a five-times-a-week activity routine that lasts 30 minutes up to an hour.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Do you find it difficult to cope with personal problems and life’s difficulties? High stress levels are related to high blood pressure. If you are constantly under stress, you might have increased chances of developing the condition. You’ll need to take life slowly and find time to relax in order to care for your health.
You can’t control all aspects of life that cause stress, but you can manage your physical and emotional reactions. Breathing exercises, for example, can help you reduce overall stress levels and cope with difficult situations.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure. Besides reducing sodium intake, it’s also a good idea to include more fruits, veggies, and whole-grain products in your diet. Experts recommended that you consume just under one teaspoon of sodium per day. It would be best if you kept salt intake below this level to avoid or manage high blood pressure.
Remember that most restaurant foods, particularly fast food and cold cuts, and frozen foods, are high in salt. To flavor your meals, you may choose to use herbs and spices instead. These simple changes can help you prevent high blood pressure and even improve your health.
Certain medications are also used to treat high blood pressure. You may consult our healthcare providers if diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes fail to lower your blood pressure. There are four major drug classes that we commonly use to treat high blood pressure:
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
We will consider the impact of these drugs on any other health conditions that you may also have. Also, we’ll look into any other prescription drugs you’re taking. Would you like to know whether you need to take medication to manage your symptoms? It’s a good idea to see a reliable healthcare provider. A doctor can properly diagnose and treat your condition before it gets worse.
Get Affordable Access To Quality Healthcare
A medical examination with our healthcare providers can help you know if you are dealing with high blood pressure. We may prescribe medicine to control your blood pressure and suggest stress-relieving techniques, such as meditation. We can also help you make healthy lifestyle changes, like exercising regularly and switching to a low-sodium diet.
High blood pressure can become a silent killer if not managed properly. It can cause fatal medical emergencies and financial problems. Are you concerned about unexpected medical bills as a result of your health condition? Now is the time to consider your options. You can get world-class quality care while saving money with our assistance. Contact Angel Plan in Red Oak, TX today and inquire about our comprehensive healthcare membership plans.