Hypertension is a common heart-related issue. Also known as high blood pressure, it is often a symptomless condition. But if it goes on untreated, it can have serious repercussions.

This article will discuss hypertension symptoms, so you know what to be aware of.

How Do I Know if I Have High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure rarely has symptoms. You can only tell if you have it to continue monitoring it. You may do this by having regular doctor visits or by going into your local pharmacy to use their blood pressure machine.

If your doctor decides your condition is severe enough, they may even provide you with a device that allows you to measure your blood pressure at home.

What is Considered High Blood Pressure?

A blood pressure measurement consists of two numbers. The first number is your systolic blood pressure which measures the stress in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number is your diastolic blood pressure which measures the tension in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

Different medical experts have varying opinions on what high blood pressure is. Some define high blood pressure as consistently above 140/90mm Hg or higher (a 2017 standard), while others describe it as always over 130/80 mm Hg or higher (a 2003 standard).

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or higher. If your blood pressure elevates beyond this point, your doctor may diagnose you with high blood pressure or put you at risk for high blood pressure.

What are the Causes of High Blood Pressure?

Several things can cause high blood pressure. These include:

  • Being Overweight: If you are overweight, your body must work harder to carry nutrients and oxygen through your blood. This causes an increase in pressure in your arteries.
  • Too Little Potassium in Your Diet: Potassium can balance sodium in your cells. It smooths the muscle cells in your arteries, so they relax and lower blood pressure.
  • Inactive Lifestyle: Exercise promotes blood flow through your arteries and releases natural hormones and cytokines that relax blood vessels.
  • Drinking Too Much Alcohol: Two or more alcoholic drinks per day activate the adrenergic nervous system, restricting blood flow and causing high blood pressure.
  • Stress: Stress can significantly increase blood pressure.
  • Certain Medications: Certain medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cough and cold medications can cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • Some Chronic Conditions: Chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea increase the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Low Vitamin D in Diet: Research suggests a vitamin D deficiency may be linked to high blood pressure. It is believed that vitamin D affects an enzyme in your kidneys that’s related to blood pressure. More studies are needed to establish the connection.

What Conditions are Related to High Blood Pressure?

Several conditions can occur if blood pressure gets out of control. These include:

  • Heart Attack and Heart Disease: High blood pressure causes arteries to become less elastic, making it difficult for them to carry blood and oxygen through the body. If blood cannot reach the heart, it can cause a potentially fatal heart attack. Heart failure may occur if your heart can’t pump enough blood to reach the organs.
  • Stroke and Brain Issues: High blood pressure can affect the heart’s ability to send blood and oxygen to the brain. This can cause brain cells to die, resulting in a stroke. High blood pressure can also lead to poor cognitive functions and increase the risk of dementia as you grow older.
  • Kidney Disease: People with high blood pressure and diabetes are at an increased risk for kidney disease.

How Can I Keep my Blood Pressure Under Control?

There are several things you can do to keep blood pressure under control. These include the following:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet with adequate amounts of potassium and vitamin D and avoiding alcohol and sodium
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Not smoking
  • How Lutherville Can Help

If you are dealing with high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications to keep it under control. Lutherville can help by making sure you stay on top of your meds. Our refill app lets you easily refill your prescriptions, set medication reminders, and communicate with our pharmacy staff in real-time.

High blood pressure is not easy to deal with, but you can reduce your risk of a severe condition with proper management. Lutherville will be by your side to help you reach your wellness goals. Contact us to find out how we can assist you in improving your health outcomes.