Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common condition amongst Americans. Those who suffer from it have a raised chance of developing health problems including stroke and heart failure, so it is important that you keep an eye on your blood pressure and seek treatment if it starts creeping up to dangerous levels.
Although most of us know that hypertension is a serious issue, we are also largely unaware of what it is or the symptoms it produces. To clear up any uncertainties, we’ve put together a list of facts you probably didn’t know about hypertension below.
1. Many people do not notice the symptoms of hypertension.
There is a reason why hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” – its symptoms are difficult to detect and can easily go unnoticed for years. For those who do experience symptoms, the most common include dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms or have not had your blood pressure checked for a while (particularly if you are older), then it is imperative you ask a medical professional for a check-up.
2. People with hypertension need to watch their salt intake.
Salt can make hypertension must worse and increase one’s chances of developing conditions such as heart failure. As a general rule, people with high blood pressure should try to keep their daily intake of salt below 1500 milligrams.
3. Anxiety can produce similar symptoms to hypertension.
Anxiety causes blood pressure to spike. If these spikes happen on a regular basis, the heart and blood vessels may start to become damaged in a similar way to the damage caused by hypertension. In this way, people who suffer from anxiety may wish to look after their mental health in order to keep vascular ailments at bay.
4. Blood pressure levels can shoot up in the doctor’s office.
Patients who feel a little nervous in medical settings often find that their blood pressure readings are much higher than they should be. This is because blood pressure can spike when a person is feeling worried or edgy. If you can feel your heart pounding and your hands sweating during a check-up, make sure to inform your doctor so that they can take this into account when assessing your blood pressure reading.
5. Almost half of the adult population in the US has hypertension.
Shockingly, over 100 million people in the US suffer from hypertension. In fact, the lifetime risk of developing the condition for the average American is 90%.
6. Estrogen can offer a level of protection against hypertension.
Women often experience increased blood pressure levels after menopause when their estrogen levels drop, as the hormone is thought to offer protective benefits against hypertension.
7. Hypertension may be controlled with herbs and a healthy lifestyle.
People with hypertension are not condemned to a life of health issues. Indeed, many people are able to successfully lower their blood pressure by taking simple, natural steps such as stopping smoking, lowering salt intake, and ingesting certain herbs such as basil, cardamom, ginger, hawthorn, and celery seed.