What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like
High blood pressure or hypertension may signal that your heart is working harder than usual and if left untreated, it can take a serious toll on the health of your cardiovascular system. But does it cause signs and symptoms? And what does it feel like?
What does hypertension feel like?
There is usually no sign and symptom of high blood pressure. But if the level goes up significantly, there may be certain signs and symptoms to occur.
Hypertension is also called as a silent killer. Many times it doesnt cause any symptoms until your blood pressure level is extremely high. In fact, many people with hypertension dont realize when they have it.
The most effective way to keep monitoring the fluctuation is by taking regular checkups. Taking a test for hypertension is simple and practical.
You dont need a blood test like in checking the levels of your cholesterol and blood sugar. Even you can take the test on your own at home.
There are now available many home blood pressure monitor kits that you can use practically. And you dont need to get prescription from your doctor to purchase one.
Although there is no specific sign and symptom of hypertension, people may experience one or some of the following symptoms when their blood pressure is extremely high :
If you in-doubt to your symptoms, consult more with your GP /doctor for more advice and clearly diagnosis.
How about chest pain?
Having A Support System Can Make A Difference
When times get stressful, tapping into a support network may be just what you need to stay on track with your heart health.
If you’re in need of extra motivation or just want to connect with someone with a health concern similar to you, consider joining an online support network.
In addition, virtual telemedicine platforms have provided a new array of opportunity for facilitating quick and frequent visits with your health care provider, which can help you keep up with and reinforce the effective strategies that can help control your blood pressure.
You may also find these additional resources helpful:
How Blood Pressure Is Measured
Blood pressure testing stations can be found in pharmacies, workplaces, and medical clinics. You can also buy a blood pressure monitor online or at your local pharmacy.
To measure blood pressure, a cuff attached to a monitor is placed on your arm. The cuff is then inflated with an air pump until its pressure stops blood flow from your brachial arterythe major artery found in your upper arm.
As the cuff deflates, the device measures the pressure when blood starts flowing again . Once the cuff is completely deflated, the device gauges the lowest pressure between beats .
Typically, more attention is given to the systolic pressure reading, as systolic blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over the age of 50. Still, both readings are used to make a diagnosis.
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Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks
One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.
When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.
“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.
Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”
It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.
And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
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While Youre Lying In Bed As Sick As A Dog With The Flu And Wondering If This Is Raising Your Blood Pressure Youre Right
The flu even the common cold can actually cause your blood pressure to go up.
But this doesnt happen in every single case, however. Its possible but not guaranteed.
When you have a cold or flu, you may have an increased heart rate , says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
This could cause your blood pressure to elevate, adds Dr. Besser. Also, any stressful situation can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure.
Lastly, some cold and flu medications have an ingredient that can raise your blood pressure.
If you already have a hypertension diagnosis, youll want to avoid taking any cold or flu medications that contain decongestants.
For example, the cold medication Coricidin HBP does not contain a decongestant.
Other Treatment To Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
There are some natural health products that you may hear about to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It is not clear if some vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins can lower risk. But it is clear that some natural health products, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, do not lower risk.footnote 3
Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Tell your doctor if you plan to use natural health products. Your doctor can make sure they are safe for you.
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What Do The Diastolic And Systolic Numbers Mean
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff and recorded as two numbers, for example, 120/80 mm Hg . Blood pressure measurements are usually taken at the upper arm over the brachial artery.
- The top, the larger number is called the systolic pressure. This measures the pressure generated when the heart contracts . It reflects the pressure of the blood against arterial walls.
- At the bottom, the smaller number is called the diastolic pressure. This reflects the pressure in the arteries while the heart is filling and resting between heartbeats.
Is There A Cure For High Blood Pressure Can You Die
Lifelong control of hypertension will minimize the risk of developing heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and a variety of other illnesses. Unlike other illnesses in which medications are taken for only a short period of time, high blood pressure medication is usually expected to be taken for the rest of the individual’s life. It is uncommon, but not rare, that significant lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure readings to normal.
Untreated or poorly controlled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. That is why high blood pressure is called “the silent killer.”
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How Does Illness Cause Blood Pressure To Rise
There are a number of ways in which a severe cold or flu, particularly if you are running a fever, can cause a higher blood pressure reading. Anytime you get a fever, your body is working to fight off an infection. Fever raises your temperature, speeds up your heart rate and raises your blood pressure levels. This increased blood pressure is due to “vasoconstriction” a narrowing of blood vessels. If you have a fever, a blood pressure exam is likely to show that your blood pressure is elevated.
An increase in your heart rate can also occur during other kinds of bacterial or viral infection, including bronchitis, pneumonia and strep throat. This happens in response to your heart’s extra oxygen demands, so your system can fight off the infection. A heart-rate increase can also raise your blood pressure. Dehydration from fever or infection can raise your blood pressure, too.
- There are a number of ways in which a severe cold or flu, particularly if you are running a fever, can cause a higher blood pressure reading.
Is There Is A High Blood Pressure Diet
In about half of people with high blood pressure, limiting sodium intake by eliminating table salt, cooking salt, and salty and processed foods can reduce blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. Losing weight and participating in regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure further.
If these lifestyle changes and choices don’t work, medications should be added. The medications have been proven to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney problems.
- Aim for a healthy weight range for your height and body type. Your health care practitioner can help you calculate a healthy target weight.
- Even a small amount of weight loss can make a major difference in lowering or preventing high blood pressure.
- You must burn more calories than you take in to lose weight.
- Crash or fad diets are not helpful and may be dangerous.
- Some weight loss medications also carry major risks and may even elevate blood pressure, and great caution is advised in using these drugs. Please ask your health care practitioner or pharmacist for help in deciding if a weight loss medication is appropriate for your situation.
Exercise or Increase Physical Activity
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High Blood Pressure Facts
What every adult should know about high blood pressure, or hypertension
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
Other Inconclusively Related Symptoms
A variety of symptoms may be indirectly related to, but are not always caused by, high blood pressure, such as:
- Blood spots in the eyes: Blood spots in the eyes are more common in people with diabetes or high blood pressure, but neither condition causes the blood spots. Floaters in the eyes are also not related to high blood pressure. However, an eye doctor may be able to detect damage to the optic nerve caused by untreated high blood pressure.
- Facial flushing: Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate. It can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers such as sun exposure, cold weather, spicy foods, wind, hot drinks and skin-care products. Facial flushing can also occur with emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise all of which can raise blood pressure temporarily. While facial flushing may occur while your blood pressure is higher than usual, high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing.
- Dizziness: While dizziness can be a side effect of some blood pressure medications, it is not caused by high blood pressure. However, dizziness should not be ignored, especially if the onset is sudden. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
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High Blood Pressure And Nausea Or Vomiting
- Medical Author: Dan Brennan, MD
Reviewed on 6/15/2020
These symptoms are present in a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Perhaps you ate something that didn’t agree with you or you were exposed to a viral illness. Please keep track of your blood pressure and if you have concerns, then please contact your doctor right away.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
Looking For A List Of Symptoms
If you are looking for a list of symptoms and signs of high blood pressure , you wont find them here. This is because most of the time, there are none.
Myth: People with high blood pressure will experience symptoms, like nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing.
Truth: High blood pressure is a largely symptomless silent killer. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life.
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Treating High Blood Pressure With Medicines
If lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure to your goal, you may need to take daily medicines as well.
Medicines controlbut usually don’t curehigh blood pressure. So you will probably need to take them for the rest of your life. Most people need to take two or more medicines.
- High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?
Some people find it hard to take their medicines properly. They may feel it’s too much troubleespecially when they don’t feel sick. Or they’re worried about side effects. Some people find it hard to keep track of when and how to take their medicines.
If you have trouble taking high blood pressure medicines for any reason, talk to your doctor.
Learn What Works For You
If you have high blood pressure, educate yourself before you decide to take over-the-counter medication:
- Read labels
Many over-the-counter medicines are labeled safe for people with high blood pressurekeep a watchful eye out for these labels. Also be sure to look out for medications that having a warning label such as Do not use this product if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.
- Avoid excess salt
One reason many over-the-counter meds increase blood pressure is due to large amounts of salt . If you have high blood pressure, aim for 1,500 mg of sodium or less per day, including sodium found in many over-the-counter medicines.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure
When you begin taking an over-the-counter medication, make sure to monitor your blood pressure if you have or are at risk for high blood pressure.
- Play it safe
Talk with your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you take or plan to take if you have high blood pressure.
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Take Your Medicine As Usual
Insulin is a life-saving medication. Take your insulin as usual, even if you have been feeling very sick and vomiting. Ask your doctor, if necessary, how to adjust your insulin dose based on blood glucose test results.
If you are taking other diabetes-related medications to help manage your blood sugar levels, take these medications as you usually would, even in cases where you have been vomiting. Do not stop taking your medication even if you cannot eat.
If at any time you become doubtful about taking your medication or grow unsure about what the proper dose and time to take your medication should be, contact your healthcare team immediately.
Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues
High blood pressure can be the first indication of a serious underlying condition. When a patient comes in with high blood pressure, doctors will check their urine and kidney function do an electrocardiogram to check the size of the heart and look for lung changes.
Stress on the blood vessels makes people with hypertension more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms. Correspondingly, chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.
In some women, pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to preeclampsia. Postpartum blood pressure typically goes back to normal levels within six weeks. However, some women who have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy may be more likely to develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases as they age.
Some of these medical issues can also cause spikes in high blood pressure .
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