This is a health condition affecting every third American adult. There are more than 70 million who are affected by it. In fact, even if you already don’t have it, you are among the other one-third who are most likely to have this condition. This problem is high blood pressure, also called ‘hypertension’.
Even if you don’t have it, you are at a very high risk of developing it. This is why it is so important to know if you have any kind of high blood pressure symptoms (Source)
What is unique about high blood pressure is that this condition in itself is not a problem. The problem lies in that it can cause various dangerous health conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, chronic heart failure, and even kidney disease.
The unfortunate thing about high blood pressure is that most people will show no symptoms even if they have very high blood pressure readings. This is why almost one-fifth American adults are suffering from this condition and still don’t know that they have it.
Exercise and diet are two most crucial tools to help in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure in natural and effective way. Even our mainstream medicine accepts this.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure & Life Expectancy
Is high blood pressure a disease? Yes, it is a common disease that involves blood flowing through the arteries and blood vessels at higher pressure than normally.
The United States looses around $46 billion every year due to hypertension. The country spends all this money on the involved medications for treating the symptoms, on health care services, and the loss in terms of missed work days.
Harmful beta-blockers are normally prescribed as the standard medical treatment to patients with elevated blood pressure. Patients are given diuretics and ACE inhibitor drugs, and are also asked to limit salt in their diet. All of these can be helpful but they never address the roots of the problem. On the other hand they can create more problems. It is common for everyone to encourage the fear of salt for the good of our health. But the truth is that reducing consumption of salt by extreme levels to fight high blood pressure symptoms is a highly contentious, debatable, and even destructive thing with many reasons (Source).
Blood pressure refers to the force with which the blood pushes against the arterial walls when the heart pumps the blood. You will have high blood pressure when the force is excessively high on the walls. As already mentioned, most people suffering from high blood pressure can have almost no signs or symptoms. But when you check the blood pressure readings, you will find them to be extremely high.
Measuring Blood Pressure
Measuring blood pressure involves 2 numbers that tell 2 different types of pressures. They are:
- Systolic Pressure – This blood pressure refers to the pressure produced when your heart beats to pump blood.
- Diastolic Pressure – It refers to the pressure when your heart rests between beats.
The ranges for blood pressure are as following (Source)
- High Blood Pressure (Stage I): 140 to 159 / 90 to 99
- High Blood Pressure (Stage II): 160 or higher / 100 or higher
- Prehypertension: 120 to 139 / 80 to 89
- Normal Blood Pressure: 120 / 80
As already mentioned above, usually there will be no symptoms of high blood pressure when there is increase in your blood pressure. However, extremely high blood pressure can have certain warning signs. These can be:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pains
- Vision changes
- Earn nose / buzzing
If you are 50, your total life expectancy is going to be around 5 years longer if you have normal blood pressure compared to people with hypertension (Source).
So it’s important to ensure that your high blood pressure symptoms remain within control.
What Can High Blood Pressure Cause?
In 2013, over 360,000 Americans died with high blood pressure being the contributing or main underlying cause. That comes down to a staggering and troubling figure of 1,000 people dying of it everyday.
When you have high blood pressure, your risk of developing these dangerous health conditions increases significantly (Source):
- First stroke: Around 8 out of every 10 people who have their first stroke already have high blood pressure.
- First heart attack: Almost 7 out of 10 people who have their first heart attack are high blood pressure patients.
- Problems of the eye: The blood vessels can become thick, narrow and get torn due to high blood pressure. This can cause vision loss.
- Chronic heart failure: around 7 in 10 people who have chronic heart failure are high blood pressure patients.
- Memory problems: When you have uncontrolled hypertension, it can have an impact on your normal ability to learn, remember and think. People having high blood pressure commonly suffer from problem with understanding concepts or memory.
- Metabolic syndrome: Symptoms of hypertension can also increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. This condition refers to the combination of 3 or more of the health problems including high blood sugar, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, or low levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
- Aneurysm: Hypertension can also weaken the blood vessels and also make them bulging. This leads to formation of aneurysm. Aneurysm ruptures can threaten your life.
How are High Blood Pressure & Low Blood Pressure Different?
The risk of developing high blood pressure and low blood pressure is usually associated with the aging process because of the normal changes that come to your body. The two can be compared as following:
High Blood Pressure
When blood pressure increases, usually you will not see any symptoms. But if you have extremely high blood pressure, you can experience the following signs:
- Chest pains
- Irregular heartbeat
- Ear noise / buzzing
- Vision changes
You should also know about these alarming facts related to both high blood pressure and its symptoms:
- Around 70 million adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. That’s 1 in 3 adults or around 29% of adults.
- Not more than 52% of those having high blood pressure are able to keep their condition under control.
- Almost 1 in 3 adults in the country are having prehypertension. This condition refers to having higher than normal blood pressure but less than the high blood pressure range.
- The United States looses around $46 billion annually on high blood pressure in the form of medications for treatment, health care services costs, and missed work days.
Low Blood Pressure
The following blood pressure ranges will give you a comparison between low, high and normal blood pressure:
- Low blood pressure / hypotension: Under 90 / 60
- Normal blood pressure: Under 120 / 80
- Prehypertension: 120 to 139 / 80 to 89
- High blood pressure (Stage I): 140 to 159 / 90 to 99
- High blood pressure (Stage II): 160 or higher / 100 or higher
You should know about the following stats associated with low blood pressure:
- If you have chronic low blood pressure without any symptoms, most of the time it is not serious.
- It can become worrisome when your blood pressure drops abruptly and your brain doesn’t get required blood supply. This can cause lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Usually, this sudden drop in blood pressure occurs when you rise abruptly from lying down or stand suddenly from sitting position. This is one kind of low blood pressure and is called orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension. Standing for long periods of time can also cause a different kind of low blood pressure known as neurally mediated hypotension.
- Buildup of plaque in the blood vessels can affect blood flow to your brain and heart muscle with age.
- Around 10-20% of those above 65 suffer from postural hypotension.
When it comes to low blood pressure, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t have any symptoms. Most doctors claim that chronically low blood pressure is concerning only when there are clear signs and symptoms associated with it. These include:
- Unusual thirst and dehydration
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Lack of concentration
- Fainting (known as syncope)
- Blurred vision
- Shallow, rapid breathing
- Cold, pale, clammy skin
You can also have low blood pressure occur along with the following:
- Heart problems
- Prolonged bed test
- Decline in blood volume
- Endocrine problems
- Neurally mediated hypotension
- Severe infection (septic shock)
- Some medications like diuretics and various drugs for treating hypertension; drugs for Parkinson’s disease, heart medications like beta blockers; drugs for erectile dysfunction, especially when combined with nitroglycerin; tricyclic antidepressants; alcohol and narcotics. Various over the counter and prescription drugs may also cause low blood pressure if you take them with HBP medications.
- Allergic reaction (anaphylaxis): Are you highly sensitive to foods like peanuts, drugs like penicillin, or to wasp/bee stings? You can have higher risk of anaphylactic shock. This is an allergic reaction which can be fatal at times. Such shock can come with breathing problems, swollen throat, itching, sudden and big drop in blood pressure, and hives.
- Nutritional deficiencies – If your body becomes deficient in essential vitamins B12 and folic acid, it can lead to anemia and anemic symptoms. This can further cause low blood pressure.
Your Diet & Food Concerns for High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Around two-third of people clinically suffer from hypertension or prehypertension. This shows how big a health issue it is and it has to be addressed fast. If you have blood pressure symptoms, the following suggestions can help you improve it in natural and easy ways.
Taking improved diet is among the most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure.
Which Foods Should You Avoid?
These foods can worsen your high blood pressure symptoms: