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What to know about high blood pressure

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What is high blood pressure?

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body. As it travels, the blood delivers oxygen to the body's vital organs.Sometimes, a problem in the body makes it harder for the heart to pump the blood. This could happen, for example, if an artery becomes too narrow.Persistent high blood pressure can put a strain on the walls of the arteries. This can lead to a variety of health problems, some of which can be life threatening.

Signs and symptoms :

Most people with high blood pressure will not experience any symptoms, which is why people often call hypertension the "silent killer."

However, once blood pressure reaches about 180/120 mm Hg, it becomes a hypertensive crisis, which is a medical emergency.

At this stage, a person may have:

  •     a headache
  •     nausea
  •     vomiting
  •     dizziness
  •     blurred or double vision
  •     nosebleeds
  •     heart palpitations
  •     breathlessness.

Symptoms in women :

Hormonal factors mean that the risk of high blood pressure may be different in males and females.

Factors that can increase the risk of high blood pressure in females include:

  •     pregnancy
  •     menopause
  •     the use of birth control pills.

During pregnancy, high blood pressure can be a sign of preeclampcia, a potentially dangerous condition that can affect the woman and her unborn baby.

Symptoms of preeclampsia include:

Symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  •     headaches
  •     vision changes
  •     abdominal pain
  •     swelling due to edema.

 

Causes :

High blood pressure can occur when certain changes happen in the body or if a person is born with specific genetic features that cause a health condition.

It can affect people with:

  •     obesity
  •     type 2 diabetes
  •     kidney disease
  •     obstructive sleep apnea
  •     lupus
  •     scleroderma
  •     underactive or overactive thyroid
  •     congenital conditions, such as Cushing's syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma

Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.

Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.

Wikipedia

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