You Could Have High Blood Pressure and Not Know It

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects more than 100 million Americans. That’s 50% of all adults in the country. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know they have it. 

One of the big problems with hypertension is that it may not show obvious symptoms until it causes a heart attack or stroke. In this blog, Michael Avaricio, MD, of Advanced Cardiac Care explains what hypertension is and how you can monitor it.

When symptoms occur

Sometimes, high blood pressure can produce symptoms. Unfortunately, they don’t always follow a set progression, they’re not specific to hypertension, and they’re not present in everyone who has hypertension. Since symptoms generally only occur during late stages of high blood pressure, they aren’t a reliable way to detect or self-diagnose the condition.

Symptoms of hypertension can include:

If you have any of these symptoms and a reason to suspect they may be related to high blood pressure, seek medical attention immediately, since this could be a hypertension crisis, which may cause a heart attack or stroke.

Tracking high blood pressure

Using an inflatable blood-pressure meter for your arm is the only way you can accurately monitor your blood pressure. Do know, though, that not all meters are created equally. For example, cuff size can influence accurate readings, and public machines, such as those in pharmacies, may not provide you with consistent results.

Personal blood-pressure meters for home use are affordable and easy to use. You should confirm the readings with the results you get at your doctor’s office to confirm their accuracy. With a personal meter, you can track your blood pressure daily or even throughout the day.

Hypertension risk factors

Your risk of developing high blood pressure can climb due to:

Age

Your risk of developing high blood pressure can rise with age.

Alcohol intake

Consuming several drinks a day is enough to boost blood pressure levels.

Too much salt and too little potassium

These chemicals work in balance, and when salt levels get too high, this can lead to water retention, which can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

Tobacco use

Using tobacco causes blood pressure to rise in the short-term, and it will cause long-term damage to blood vessels.

Overweight and inactive

The more you weigh, the harder your heart has to work to supply blood to your body. If you’re sedentary as well, this can aggravate the problem.

Stress

High levels of worry and stress can raise your blood pressure.

Other diseases

Diabetes, sleep apnea, kidney disease, and other chronic conditions can increase your blood pressure.

There are plenty of treatment options for high blood pressure, from medications to lifestyle changes. The first thing to do, though, is to see what your blood pressure is. To learn what your blood pressure is and find out how you can control it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Cardiac Care today.

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