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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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