Early Warning Signs Your Blood Pressure Is DANGEROUSLY High (1 in 5 don’t know they have it!)
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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:
- 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:
- Alcohol: It can narrow your arteries and raise blood pressure. Make sure that you drink alcohol in moderation. If you are a healthy woman, you should not drink more than a single drink per day. Healthy men above 65 also have the same limit. If you are a healthy man under 65, you are allowed a maximum of two drinks a day.
- Trans fats & omega-6 fats: Avoid these fats because they raise blood pressure and cause inflammation. They are present in conventional meats and packaged foods.
- High-sodium foods: As long as you are using good quality salts, you can salt your food without worrying. However, avoid all the high-sodium foods which are processed and canned.
- Sugar: If you consume high amounts of sugar, it is going to increase the risk of high blood pressure. According to studies sugar intake may be even more concerning compared to salt intake with regard to high blood pressure.
- Caffeine: If you consume excess of caffeine, it can also raise your blood pressure. Do you already have high blood pressure? You should reduce how much coffee you drink daily. You should also avoid or reduce other beverages which have high amounts of caffeine. This can also help in preventing caffeine overdose.
Foods Which Can Heal High Blood Pressure Symptoms
- Mediterranean diet: If you have high blood pressure symptoms, you would be doing great by switching to Mediterranean diet. This diet has high amounts of foods containing healthy omega-3 fat oils, seafood, and lots and lots of fruits and veggies. Wild-caught fish (particularly salmon), olive oil, and fruits and vegetables are the best foods in the Mediterranean diet. All of them are helpful in lowering blood pressure in a natural way.
- Fiber-rich Foods: A healthy diet will comprise of unprocessed foods and will have high amount of fiber from fruits, beans, and seeds. This type of food will help in lowering your blood pressure readings.
- Foods high in potassium: The American Heart Association claims that if you want to control blood pressure, your diet should have high levels of potassium. It will help in reducing the negative effects that sodium can have on your body. Potassium helps in balancing the effect of sodium and also lowers blood pressure. So which foods are rich in potassium? The best examples are coconut water, bananas, avocados and melons
- Apple cider vinegar: This is also a potassium-rich food, which has other benefits too. It makes your body alkaline and thus helps in naturally lowering blood pressure.
- Omega-3 rich foods: Include foods rich in omega-3 into your diet to minimize inflammation. The best examples include wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
- Dark chocolate: Include dark chocolate in your diet because it is the healthy type of chocolate. You should choose dark chocolate which as more than 200 mg of cocoa phenols. This ingredient is beneficial in reducing blood pressure.
- Tea: You should especially drink white tea because it is capable of thinning your blood. It can significantly boost your artery function. If you drink white tea regularly for many times a day, it can be helpful in lowering your blood pressure. This can also be beneficial in protecting against the common health problem, stroke. Make sure that you drink white tea daily and twice a day.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms & Supplements
Magnesium: This mineral is highly beneficial in helping relax blood vessels. Its effects can be almost instant in naturally lowering your blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency is a widespread problem and is one of the factors behind high blood pressure. You should start by taking 500 mg of it everyday before going to bed.
Fish Oil: When there is continual inflammation in your arteries over a long time, it can also cause high blood pressure. This is in fact one of the primary causes. There are endless number of studies that show that taking fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids (of type DHA and EPA) helps in reducing inflammation. This is what makes fish oil so beneficial for heart health. Take 1000 mg high quality fish oil dose daily along with your meals. This is a highly effective natural method for lowering your blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10: Also known as CoQ10, Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which is highly beneficial for your heart health. It can be greatly helpful if you have been taking medication for lowering cholesterol or blood pressure. You should take 200-300 mg CoQ10 daily. It works as a wonderful natural remedy if you have high blood pressure.
Cocoa: Cocoa contains flavonols which are beneficial in lowering blood pressure. It is recommended to consume cocoa in powder form. It can also help in improving the blood flow to your heart and brain. Another benefit of cocoa is that it’s a natural vasodilator. The helps increase the level of nitric oxide in blood and also helps with widening blood vessels.
Garlic: If you are unable to add enough garlic to your diet, you can take a supplement in pill or liquid form. It is also a great natural vasodilator. According to a study conducted in 2016, it was found that aged garlic is beneficial in reducing central and peripheral blood pressure in patients having uncontrolled hypertension. Other health benefits of garlic include improving arterial stiffness, different cardiovascular markers and inflammation in patients having higher level of blood pressure .
Best Natural Remedies
Regular Exercise & Increased Physical Activity
Regular exercise and physical activity will help in maintaining healthy weight. It will also help keep your blood pressure under control. It will be best if you do some kind of exercise or physical activity for minimum 20 minutes a day. Adolescents and kids should get higher level of physical activity – at least 1 hour daily.
Control Your Stress
You should reduce your stress because it can increase your blood pressure. You should avoid relaxing after eating more. You should also avoid alcohol and tobacco.
You should practice regular relaxation techniques to help with blood pressure symptoms and with your overall good health. Some of these techniques include meditation, healing prayer, deep breathing. They are natural stress relievers and are beneficial in helping you relax and in reducing blood pressure.
Essential oils are also helpful lowering blood pressure. They do this by working as antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress. They also dilate arteries, and reduce emotional stress. Some of the most effective essential oils for high blood pressure are:
- Sweet marjoram
- Ylang ylang
- Clary sage
The oils can be used in a diffuser. Another way is to add a few drops into a neutral carrier lotion/oil for massaging your body.
Root Causes And Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure
There are almost endless number of risk factors for high blood pressure. Fortunately, most of these factors can be controlled by you:
- Age: The risk of high blood pressure will increase with your age. The problem is more commonly found in men who are around 45. In the case of women, it is more common around 65.
- Race: African-Americans more commonly suffer from high blood pressure. The condition is also likely to develop in them at earlier age compared to Caucasians. They are also at higher risk of suffering from serious complications like heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke if they already have high blood pressure.
- Family history: A family history of high blood pressure also puts you at a higher risk of having it.
- Lack of physical activity: If you lead an inactive lifestyle, you are more likely to have higher heart rate compared to those who are physically more active. Increased heart rate will make your heart to work harder and this will increase the force on the arteries. An inactive lifestyle without much exercise and physical activity can also put you at risk of becoming overweight. Don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle. It can be dangerous to you.
- Overweight: More body weight also means that you will need more blood for supplying all the nutrients and oxygen to different tissues. Higher blood volume in the blood vessels also increases the pressure on the artery walls. Thus, being overweight increases your blood pressure.
- Using tobacco: Most people don’t know it but checking tobacco and smoking can cause temporary increase in blood pressure. Tobacco has chemicals which can also cause damage to the linings of artery walls. This can make arteries narrow and increase blood pressure. Even secondhand smoke is capable of increasing blood pressure.
- Excess alcohol: If you are a heavy drinker, it can gradually cause damage to your heart. You should not drink more than one drink (for women) and two drinks (for men) per day. Otherwise, your blood pressure can get affected in a negative way.
- Excess sodium: When you consume excess sodium or salt, your body retains more fluid. This is going to increase blood pressure.
- Lack of potassium: Potassium works by balancing sodium in your body cells. When you don’t get adequate amount of potassium, your blood stream can have buildup of excess sodium. So make sure that your body never lacks potassium.
- Stress: If your stress levels are high, it can lead to temporarily increased blood pressure.
- Pregnancy: In some cases, pregnancy can also be a factor for high blood pressure.
- Some chronic conditions: having a chronic condition like diabetes, sleep apnea or kidney disease can also increase the risk of developing blood pressure .
High blood pressure occurs mostly in adults, but even children can suffer from it. Many times problems of the kidneys or heart can cause high blood pressure symptoms in children.
An increasing number of kids suffering from high blood pressure are beginning to have the chronic problem at a very young age. Poor lifestyle habits are among the major causes. More and more children now lead a poor lifestyle comprising of lack of physical activity/exercise and consumption of unhealthy diet. This increases the risk of both childhood hypertension and childhood obesity.
- Around 70 million American adults suffer from high blood pressure. That’s around one in every American adult. Out of the remaining adults, a third are highly likely to develop it.
- A fifth of American adults having high blood pressure don’t even know that they are suffering from it. This is because this condition may not show any symptoms even when the blood pressure is very high.
- Systolic blood pressure refers to the pressure when your heart pumps the blood. Diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure when your heart takes rest between beats.
- High blood pressure will increase the risk of different dangerous health conditions like stroke, heart attack, metabolic syndrome, chronic heart failure, memory problems, eye problems, and aneurysm.
- When your blood pressure increases, normally you will not have any high blood pressure symptoms. But extremely high blood pressure can have certain warning signs like headaches, chest pains, irregular heartbeat, confusion, ear noise / buzzing, vision changes, nosebleeds, and tiredness.
- You should avoid the following foods for treating your high blood pressure symptoms: trans fats, omega-6 fats, high-sodium foods, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. On the other hands, the following foods help in treating high blood pressure symptoms: high-potassium foods, Mediterranean diet foods, apple cider vinegar, high-fiber foods, tea, omega-3-rich foods, and dark chocolate.
You can also bring lifestyle changes and use supplements for reversing high blood pressure symptoms.
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