How To Know If I Have High Blood Pressure And How To Lower It? Here Is What To Know

Let’s find out ‘How To Know If I Have High Blood Pressure And How To Lower It?’ Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, is a dangerous yet widespread disorder that affects an increasing number of individuals.

“Nearly half of adults in the United States (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure more than 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mmHg, or are taking medication for hypertension,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even worse, according to the CDC, “Only approximately 1 in 4 individuals (24%) with hypertension have their condition under control,” and many people don’t even know they have high blood pressure because there are frequently no symptoms.

 

How To Know If I Have High Blood Pressure And How To Lower It? Here Is What To Know
How To Know If I Have High Blood Pressure And How To Lower It? Here Is What To Know

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the majority of people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, even when their readings are dangerously high. Years may go by while you have high blood pressure with no signs or symptoms. A few high blood pressure sufferers could have:

Does Pregnancy High Blood Pressure Affect Your Heart Years Later?

-Headaches

-Shortness of breath

-Nosebleed

These symptoms are general, though. They typically don’t manifest themselves until high blood pressure has become serious or life-threatening.

Knowing who is at risk, how to lower blood pressure, and warning signs can be life-saving. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share what to know about hypertension and how to tell if you have it. Hypertension is a serious health condition that, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications like heart disease and stroke. The CDC reports, “In 2020, more than 670,000 deaths in the United States had hypertension as a primary or contributing cause.”

High Blood Pressure Is Dangerous

How To Know If I Have High Blood Pressure And How To Lower It? Here Is What To Know
How To Know If I Have High Blood Pressure And How To Lower It? Here Is What To Know

 

The executive director of UCI Health Family Health Centers, Dr. Jose Mayorga, MD, informs us that “high blood pressure makes the heart work harder. This is not your bicep, despite the fact that our hearts are unique muscles. Because it pumps blood inefficiently and puts you at danger for heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes if left unchecked, you don’t want it to get huge and thick. I enjoy educating my patients about high blood pressure in this way. When using a garden hose, water flows extremely pleasantly, smoothly, and with minimal pressure if your thumb is not placed over the nozzle.

What happens when you place your finger over the nozzle? Water shoots out quicker and more forcefully as the pressure rises. This is what is taking place when your blood pressure is high. This force is striking every internal organ in your body, including your kidneys, eyes, and brain. This damages the body over time, and in some cases the damage is irreversible and can result in blindness, strokes, and even kidney failure. Actually, diabetes is the second-leading factor in kidney failure after hypertension.

Untreated high blood pressure can cause issues with your kidneys, heart, mental health, eyesight, and other organs, according to Clearing Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacob Hascalovici, MD, PhD. It can also wear you out, causing fatigue and pain and increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

“High blood pressure is so dangerous because it makes the heart work harder as it pumps blood through the body; this extra work, because the heart is a muscle organ, causes the left ventricle to thicken, which puts the person at risk for heart disease, heart attack, and cardiac death. Elevated blood pressure can also cause stroke. The pressure placed on the arteries that supply blood a person’s body also puts them at risk for heart disease, heart attack, and cardiac death.

 

Everyone Is At Risk

Woman have her blood pressure checked by female doctor.
Everyone Is At Risk

 

Dr. Mayorga accentuates, “High blood pressure is a concern that affects everyone. In both the United States and the rest of the globe, it is the most common chronic illness. Some people have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, such as those who smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, have an unhealthy diet (high in fats, salt, and sugar), don’t exercise, are overweight or obese, use tobacco products, or are tobacco users. The elderly and people with a family history of high blood pressure are other people who are at risk.”

Women, African American men, people who consume a lot of sodium, as well as those who are sedentary or inactive, are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, says Dr. Hascalovici. “Anyone could develop high blood pressure, so everyone should regularly monitor their blood pressure with their doctor.”

According to Richards, “At 55% for men and 44% for women, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is more common in men than in women, and it affects African Americans more frequently than Caucasians and Hispanics combined. In addition to gender and race, persons who engage in particular lifestyle choices are more likely to acquire hypertension. These practices include smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, being sedentary, and adhering to a poor diet, particularly one that is high in sodium. Obesity and a family history of hypertension both increase a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure.”

 

High Blood Pressure Is Known As A Silent Killer So Don’t Skip Doctor Visits

Doctor Checking Blood Pressure Of Male Patient
High Blood Pressure Is Known As A Silent Killer So Don’t Skip Doctor Visits

 

As per Dr. Mayorga, “The majority of the time, it is a medical disease that does not manifest any evident signs until it is too late. Many people go months, perhaps even years, without realizing they have hypertension (high blood pressure). This is why everyone needs a primary care physician and should get regular checkups. You can get immunizations to protect against deadly diseases as well as screening tests like checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar during these medical appointments.”

According to Dr. Hascalovici, “High blood pressure might exist without a person being aware of it. Regular health exams are crucial for this reason. You should specifically inquire about your blood pressure results if your doctor doesn’t mention them.”

CDC claims, “Only a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider can determine if you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure may be quickly and painlessly measured. SMBP monitoring, also known as self-measured blood pressure (SMP) monitoring, is something you should discuss with your medical team. Because high blood pressure typically has no warning signs or symptoms and many people are unaware they have it, it is referred to as the “silent killer.””

Richards asserts: “Because high blood pressure can occur without any symptoms, it is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer.” When high blood pressure is left unregulated or untreated due to being asymptomatic or ignoring signs, this might result in a stroke or heart attack. This is why it’s crucial to get your blood pressure tested by your primary care physician or by a device you have at home.

When symptoms do arise, high blood pressure is frequently ignored or mistaken for other health issues like stress. Severe headaches, exhaustion, changes in vision, an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and possibly nosebleeds are some of the most typical signs of high blood pressure.”

 

High Blood Pressure Isn’t Inevitable And Can Be Prevented

High Blood Pressure Isn't Inevitable And Can Be Prevented
High Blood Pressure Isn’t Inevitable And Can Be Prevented

 

Continually, Richards “The best way to lower your high blood pressure is to change your lifestyle habits that cause it. For example, you should reduce or stop smoking, drink less alcohol, engage in even light to moderate physical activity, and incorporate a diet high in whole foods and low in sodium. It’s critical to understand your risk if you want to reduce and/or avoid high blood pressure.”

Dr. Mayorga believes, “Eating well and exercising regularly are two highly effective ways to control high blood pressure. Regular physical activity or exercise helps decrease high blood pressure. This might not be sufficient if your job requires you to perform unrelated tasks because our bodies are very productive and quickly adapt to routines. As a result, it won’t increase calorie burn. Even if you engage in the same activity every day, you might not lose more weight, especially if your diet is subpar. You should still schedule additional physical activity because of this.

Eating a diet high in healthy grains, fruits, and vegetables and low in saturated fat and cholesterol are other approaches to reduce high blood pressure. According to studies, this can reduce high blood pressure by as much as 11 mm Hg. Furthermore, for many overweight people (with a BMI >/= 25), reducing 5–10 pounds helps control or avoid high blood pressure. According to some studies, even 2.2 pounds of weight loss can lower blood pressure by 1 mmHg.

 

Eat Less Salt

pouring salt on french fries
Eat Less Salt

 

According to Dr. Hascalovici, “Consume less salt. Because salt makes your body retain water, which strains your veins more, it raises your blood pressure. Unfortunately, eating in a traditional American approach makes it simple to consume a little too much salt. But even a tiny reduction in your regular salt intake can benefit. To further assist, cook your own meals whenever possible, substituting flavorful spices for salt, and avoid highly processed foods, fast food, and heavily salted items whenever possible.”

According to Dr. Fernando Elijovich, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, “When you consume too much salt, your blood vessels are unable to expand within 30 minutes. Heart attacks, strokes, and other issues are some of the long-term effects of persistently high blood pressure.”

“The good news is the benefits of cutting back on excess salt also show up quickly. If you significantly reduce how much salt you eat, your blood pressure goes down within hours or days.And keeping it low can make a significant long-term difference,” says Dr. Cheryl Laffer, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. And that was rather remarkable.

 

Keep Stress Low

stressed out woman
Keep Stress Low

 

As per Dr. Hascalovici, “You should take all reasonable steps to minimize stress. Your body creates hormones while you’re under stress to assist you deal with a potential emergency or whatever is worrying you out, which causes your heart to beat more quickly and more stress hormones to circulate. High levels of stress might eventually cause high blood pressure. Stress can be managed through exercise, sleep, good friends, meaningful work, and taking quiet moments to slow down. To reduce stress, some people meditate, get massages, go on nature hikes, or use mind-body practices.”

The Mayo Clinic states that “over the long run, reducing your stress level might not immediately reduce your blood pressure. However, employing stress management techniques might benefit your health in other ways. Learning effective stress reduction strategies can result in positive behavioral changes, including those that lower blood pressure. There are numerous methods for controlling stress. For instance:

  • Simplify your schedule. Consider taking a few minutes to evaluate your schedule and to-do lists if you frequently feel hurried. Look for time-consuming pursuits that aren’t really significant to you. Reduce the amount of time you allot for these pursuits or stop them altogether. Inhale to unwind. You can unwind by taking long, deep breaths.
  • Exercise. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Prior to beginning a new exercise regimen, make sure to get your doctor’s approval, especially if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • Try yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation help you relax while strengthening your body. Additionally, these methods may reduce your systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg or more.
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