What comes to your mind when you hear, know your numbers? No, we're not talking about numerology and definitely not about your grades. We would want to bring your focus on this sleeping volcano which can erupt any moment causing severe malfunction of the central nervous system thereby impacting other vital parts of the body. Hence, it urges every individual, young or old, to get their blood pressure checked at regular intervals. The normal numbers are 120/80, which essentially shows the peak and minimum pressure at which blood flows to the arteries. Anything other than this is considered an irregularity and requires physician intervention.
What are the reasons for the irregularity?
The sedentary lifestyle we lead, our habits (smoking, alcohol, and high sodium intake) stress we undergo on any given day act as catalysts to a high blood pressure, which is also referred to as Hypertension. Hypertension can lead to damaged organs, as well as several illnesses, such as renal failure (kidney failure), aneurysm, heart failure, stroke, or heart attack. Researchers have even reported that high blood pressure during middle age may raise the risk of cognitive decline later in life.
What are the symptoms of Hypertension?
There is no guarantee that a person with hypertension will present any symptoms of the condition. About 33% of people actually do not know that they have high blood pressure, and this ignorance can last for years. For this reason, it is advisable to undergo periodic blood pressure screenings even when no symptoms are present.
Extremely high blood pressure may lead to some symptoms such as:
- Severe headaches
- Fatigue or confusion
- Nausea Problems with vision
- Chest pains
- Breathing problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
How is Hypertension treated?
High blood pressure may be treated medically, by changing lifestyle factors, or a combination of the two. Important lifestyle changes include losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, reducing sodium intake, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol consumption. However, if Hypertension is chronic or induced due to secondary factors like pregnancy for instance, one must consult a physician and decide a course of treatment.