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What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like?

What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like?

It is possible to have high blood pressure for months or even years and remain unaware that you are suffering from this chronic condition.

There are two types of high blood pressure. The first is primary hypertension (also known as “essential hypertension”) whereby a person has high blood pressure that worsens over time with no apparent underlying cause. This is usually attributable to genetic factors.

The second type, secondary hypertension, occurs as a result of another disease or condition. It may be due to kidney disease, diabetes and autoimmune conditions such as lupus.

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Why it’s important to measure your blood pressure regularly

If you have high blood pressure you should take steps to improve your health. High blood pressure puts you at risk for a range of illnesses and conditions such as stroke and heart disease. It may also point to an underlying health problem that requires urgent treatment.

It is, therefore, important to monitor your blood pressure. Take it every month using a home monitoring device and be sure to attend regular check-ups as directed by your physician.

What does your reading mean?

Look at the table below to interpret your blood pressure reading.

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    What to do if you have high blood pressure

    If you have a high reading, it is important that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. If the top number is 180 or higher or the bottom number is 110 or above, you must call an ambulance because such high readings indicate a medical emergency known as hypertensive crisis.

    Aside from high blood pressure readings, symptoms include nosebleeds, a bad headache, and dizzy spells. As a hypertensive crisis is rare, you should always take a second reading before calling for help. If you are sure that your reading is dangerously high, seek help without delay. Hypertensive crisis can result in damage to the lungs, swelling in the brain, and seizures.

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    How to control your blood pressure

    If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend one or more forms of treatment. Potential interventions include medication, weight loss and dietary changes.

    • The Dash Diet

    One of the best ways to prevent and manage high blood pressure is to eat a healthier diet. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is often recommended to patients with high blood pressure. It entails reducing levels of cholesterol and sodium.

    There is a strong emphasis on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grain foods. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is also recommended as part of a DASH diet as it is believed to have a protective effect on the cardiovascular and circulatory systems. Those following this diet are also advised to avoid red meat, excess alcohol and coconut oil.

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    • Exercise regularly

    It is also important to exercise regularly. Cardiovascular workouts three times a week between 30 and 60 minutes per session will improve your overall health and help lower your blood pressure. Exercise is also a good way of relieving stress, which may be another factor contributing to high blood pressure.

    • Medications

    If lifestyle modifications do not work, there are several different types of medications that a doctor may prescribe to lower high blood pressure.

    Diuretics, also referred to as “water pills,” are used to remove excess levels of sodium. Beta-blockers may be recommended as a means of slowing the rate blood passes through the veins. Alpha blockers may be employed to help blood flow more freely by preventing the usual mechanism by which the nerves in the body constricts the blood vessels.

    These medications, together with lifestyle adjustments, can help the majority of patients get their blood pressure under control. So if you suspect you have high blood pressure, make an appointment to see your physician today.

    Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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    Jay Hill

    Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2020

    The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

    The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

    You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

    Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

    Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

    An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

    Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

    1. The Paleo Diet

    The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

    The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

    In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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    How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

    The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

    With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

    It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

    Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

    2. Whole30

    The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

    With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

    During the month you are eliminating:

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    • sugar
    • alcohol
    • legumes
    • grains
    • dairy
    • soy

    Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

    At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

    Finding Out How Food Impacts You

    Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

    With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

    This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

    3. The Mediterranean Diet

    The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

    For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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    With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

    • Fruits & vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Legumes & nuts
    • Replacing butter with olive oil
    • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
    • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
    • Moderate amounts of red wine

    Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

    Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

    With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

    4. The Alkaline Diet

    The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

    The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

    Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

    The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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    People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

    One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

    Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

    There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

    The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

    What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

    The Big Takeaway:

    Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

    Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

    Reference

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