4 Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a medical condition that occurs due to increased pressure of blood against the walls of blood vessels.

When it occurs periodically, it usually does not pose a threat.

On the other hand, for people who have chronically high blood pressure, over time, it can lead to damage to blood vessels and the buildup of deposits on them. These deposits often lead to atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by partial or complete blockage of the arteries. Due to this blockage, the flow of blood and oxygen is hindered or prevented, depriving the brain and heart of the blood and oxygen they need. As a result of this deficiency, they cannot function normally, and the risk of stroke and heart attack becomes very real.

As you can see, high blood pressure can trigger a chain reaction that is far from harmless.

Now, the key question: Is it possible to recognize that you suffer from high blood pressure before it’s too late? Yes, but it is very difficult—especially if you do not measure it regularly. High blood pressure almost does not present symptoms, which is why it is known as the “silent killer.”

You might wonder about claims that symptoms of high blood pressure include facial redness, frequent nosebleeds, or a feeling of “pressure” in the head. All these are incorrect information!

However, a few symptoms can indicate that something is wrong and require detailed examination in laboratory diagnostic facilities in Belgrade.

What is considered high blood pressure?

You are probably aware that the normal blood pressure value is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Does this mean that any value higher than this is considered high blood pressure? No. Variations of a few units up or down are not alarming.

For blood pressure to be considered high, it needs to exceed the threshold of 130/80 mmHg.

Additionally, there are three stages of hypertension:

  • Stage 1 hypertension, characterized by a systolic pressure ranging from 130 to 139 mmHg and a diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mmHg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension, with a systolic pressure greater than 140 mmHg and a diastolic pressure greater than 90 mmHg.
  • Hypertensive crisis, where the systolic pressure is greater than 180 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is greater than 120 mmHg.

A hypertensive crisis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention!

DNA chain
High blood pressure can be caused by genetics.

What causes high blood pressure?

The data held by the Serbian Hypertension Association indicates that every second person in our country suffers from high blood pressure. Among them, only 33.9% have been diagnosed with hypertension and are receiving treatment for it.

The numbers are truly alarming. But why do so many people have issues with regulating their blood pressure?

There are several causes of high blood pressure, with the most significant and common culprits considered to be:

  • Genetics
  • Improper diet that includes consuming too much salt and fatty foods and not enough fruits and vegetables
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Early symptoms of hypertension are often subtle. However, if you notice any of the following four symptoms, or especially more of them, consider getting a blood pressure monitor and seeing a doctor.

1. Headache and brain fog

Mild but chronic headaches can be the result of hypertension, as well as the so-called “brain fog.” People suffering from brain fog often feel confused, forgetful, have difficulty focusing, and have a weaker ability to solve problems. However, these symptoms are usually not noticeable until the pressure really gets very high.

2. Bloating accompanied by difficulty urinating

High blood pressure is often closely related to diabetes and kidney disease, and some people may experience bloating and/or difficulty urinating as a side effect. Therefore, pay attention to how often you urinate and to what extent, and if there are changes, consult a doctor.

3. Sudden deterioration of vision

Hypertension often affects the blood vessels in the eyes and causes them to swell. As a result, sudden changes in vision may occur, such as blurred vision.

A person looks through glasses and cannot see well because of the high blood pressure.
Sudden changes in vision may be due to hypertension.

4. Diziness

A sudden feeling of dizziness and loss of balance can be early signs of a stroke caused by hypertension. If the dizziness is associated with something obvious, such as standing up suddenly, or if it goes away quickly, you probably don’t need to worry. However, if it persists, do not ignore it and seek medical attention immediately.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. Is high blood pressure hereditary?

Yes, high blood pressure can be hereditary. If you have family members with high blood pressure, you are more likely to have the same problem.

2. What tests should I do if I have high blood pressure?

If you suffer from hypertension, it is recommended that you undergo the following examinations and tests:

  • Biochemical tests, particularly blood glucose levels, blood cholesterol levels, and tests to determine kidney function (urea, creatinine, and creatinine clearance).
  • Urine tests, for a more detailed check of kidney function and the presence of proteins in the urine.
  • EKG, to assess heart function and detect any abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound examination of the heart (echocardiogram) to evaluate its condition and function.
  • Eye examination, to check the condition of blood vessels in the eyes.

It is highly likely that your doctor will ask you to wear a Holter monitor for 24-hour blood pressure monitoring to better assess variations throughout the day and night.

The doctor writes something on the ECG results
ECG is used to diagnose hypertension.

3. How can I lower high blood pressure without drugs?

There are several ways to lower high blood pressure without medication. First, change your diet by reducing salt intake and increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Introducing regular physical activity can also help, especially if you are overweight. Additionally, limit alcohol intake, quit smoking, and try to reduce stress levels through relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing.

Be proactive – your blood pressure will thank you!

High blood pressure is a serious issue that can have severe consequences if not controlled. It’s true that it isn’t always easy to detect. However, symptoms, although subtle, do exist, and those who pay attention to their health should notice them. Even if you don’t have symptoms, it’s a good idea to get a blood pressure monitor to check if it’s under control. Furthermore, if you don’t currently have the healthiest lifestyle habits, making positive changes certainly won’t hurt. Reduce salt intake, eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and try to reduce stress. This way, you will not only keep your blood pressure under control but also reduce the risk of developing other serious illnesses.

 

Sources:

HIPERTENZIJA U SRBIJI – Udruženje za hipertenziju Srbije. (2020, February 29). Udruženje Za Hipertenziju Srbije. https://www.uhsrb.rs/hipertenzija-u-srbiji/

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