High Blood Pressure – The Silent Killer
Everyone who knew Goodness always remembered him for his appealing personality. He always made people around him laugh with his jokes and jibes, and people affectionately called him ‘Goody Goody.’ Even his wife & kids enjoyed being around him. Then news broke one day that Goody Goody had been rushed to hospital, and later died before the doctors could administer first aid treatment. His doctor later confirmed that Goody Goody died from a silent heart attack. This kind of heart attack is often caused by high blood pressure – the silent killer!
A silent heart attack is a heart attack that occurs without clear symptoms, or sometimes without any symptoms at all. This causes the heart attack to go unnoticed, often being recognized only days, months or even years following its presentation.
Goody Goody’s wife said he never complained of any health challenges prior to his death. In fact, he rarely falls ill since she met him. Now he was gone, leaving his family and friends to mourn his painful demise. What is High Blood Pressure, and how can it be controlled?
What is high blood pressure?
According to Healthline, high blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. Your blood pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping.
High blood pressure is a disease impacting nearly one in three adults globally. It is called the “silent killer” because it usually shows no signs or symptoms. Hypertension typically develops over the course of several years. Even without symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys.
What causes high blood pressure?
There are two types of hypertension: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension develops over time with no identifiable cause. Most people have this type of high blood pressure. Researchers are still unclear what mechanisms cause blood pressure to slowly increase. However, factors like inherited genetic abnormalities, age-related changes in kidney function, and unhealthy lifestyle choices are possibilities. Silent heart attacks occur more commonly in men than in women; however, silent heart attacks are more often fatal for women.
Secondary hypertension often occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. Several conditions that may cause it include kidney disease, use of illegal drugs, side effects of medication, and alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is generally a silent condition. As stated earlier, it may take years or even decades for the condition to manifest obvious symptoms. Even then, these symptoms may be attributed to other issues. Symptoms of severe hypertension can include headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain and blood in the urine.
If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, you will require immediate medical attention. But they don’t occur in everyone with hypertension. Waiting for a symptom of this condition to appear could be fatal. The best way to know if you have hypertension is to get regular blood pressure readings.
Because hypertension is often a silent condition, it can cause damage to your body for years before symptoms become obvious. If hypertension isn’t treated, you may face serious, even fatal, complications. Some complications of hypertension include damaged arteries, damaged heart due to overwork, and weakened brain. Indeed, high blood pressure is the silent killer!
READ MORE: Beware of Glaucoma – The Vision Thief!
Control Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure cannot be cured. But it can be managed effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication. Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.
Here are some lifestyle changes that is necessary to control high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic.
1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline, since blood pressure often increases as weight increases.
2. Exercise regularly, because regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.
3. Eat a healthy diet, especially foods rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
4. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure greatly.
5. Cut back on caffeine, because caffeine can raise blood pressure in people who rarely consume it.
6. Reduce your stress, for chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure.
8. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly
Treatment for high blood pressure depends on what kind of hypertension the patient is suffering from. For people diagnosed with primary hypertension, lifestyle changes may help reduce your high blood pressure. But if the doctor discovers an underlying issue causing the hypertension, treatment will focus on that other condition.
High blood pressure is a serious condition that requires treatment to prevent more severe health problems. As we have seen, many health conditions can be caused by high blood pressure, the silent killer!
My advice to all is this: start taking action to control your blood pressure before it generates into high blood pressure. Eating healthy and resting properly will help protect you from high blood pressure, the silent killer. Regularly visit a doctor to check the condition of your blood pressure, especially if you fall into the high-risk group.
When you do, you stand a better chance of protecting yourself from high blood pressure, the silent killer! If you have any thoughts / experience you wish to share, drop your comments in the comments section below.