High Blood Pressure Readings
Taking high blood pressure symptoms seriously
My aunt had high blood pressure which, I suppose, was not as well managed as it could have been, since it led to a heart attack that killed her at age 61. Back then, heart disease was thought of as something that affected mainly men. Most people were not aware that women often do not experience the stereotypical symptoms of heart attack: crushing chest pain, sweating and referred pain in the left arm. My aunt thought she had simply been having severe episodes of heartburn – uncomfortable, but not worrisome. It was not until she collapsed at work that anyone realized something was seriously wrong, and by the time she made it to the hospital it was too late.
Understanding and managing hypertension is critical. Blood pressure, measured in millimeters of mecury (mmHg), refers to the force exerted on your arterial walls as your heart pumps blood through your body. Systolic pressure is the maximum pressure exerted as your heart contracts, and diastolic pressure is measured when your heart is at rest between heartbeats. A high blood pressure reading is one with a systolic pressure over 140 or a diastolic pressure over 90.
High blood pressure symptoms can include chest pain, irregular heartbeat, buzzing in the ears, nosebleeds and tiredness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. In Most of the time, however, there are no noticeable symptoms, so adults over 18 should have their blood pressure checked at every annual checkup.
High blood pressure readings do not need to be a death sentence. In addition to prescribing medications for hypertension, your doctor will likely recommend some lifestyle changes to better manage your blood pressure. Exercising regularly, losing excessive weight, not smoking and limiting alcoholic beverages can all greatly reduce the risk of serious complications. A high blood pressure diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy and low in sodium and saturated fats is also essential.