Hypertension, or high blood pressure, often remains asymptomatic but can pose serious health risks when left untreated. It increases the likelihood of stroke, heart attacks, and various other health complications. Alarmingly, almost half of hypertensive adults are unaware of their condition. Regular checkups are essential. Fortunately, lifestyle adjustments, physical activity, and medication can effectively manage and maintain healthy blood pressure levels
What is high blood pressure, and why is it dangerous?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the force of blood against artery walls is too high so that the heart must work harder to pump enough blood throughout the body. The extra work can eventually weaken your heart, resulting in heart disease
or a stroke.
The two main causes of high blood pressure are being overweight and eating too much salt. High blood pressure can lead to serious health conditions such as stroke
or heart disease. It can also cause problems with the kidneys and other organs. High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer disease
” because it usually has no symptoms.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, refers to a persistent condition where the force of blood against artery walls remains excessively high. This prolonged pressure causes gradual damage to your arteries and can result in severe complications such as heart attacks
Healthcare professionals often refer to this prevalent condition as the “silent killer” because it typically manifests no noticeable symptoms. Consequently, individuals may remain unaware of any issues while internal damage persists.
- Blood pressure (BP) is quantified as the force exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels. BP readings comprise two numbers:
- Systolic Blood Pressure (the top number) measures pressure on artery walls during heartbeats or contractions.
- Diastolic Blood Pressure (the bottom number) gauges pressure on artery walls between beats when the heart is in a relaxed state.
Healthcare providers quantify blood pressure in units of millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
How can I determine if I have high blood pressure?
The sole method to ascertain whether your blood pressure is elevated is by undergoing a blood pressure assessment. This can be accomplished by scheduling an annual checkup with a healthcare professional, even if you are in good health. High blood pressure often presents no noticeable symptoms, so these routine checkups hold significant importance and can potentially save lives.
If your blood pressure exceeds the normal range, your healthcare provider will advise you on necessary lifestyle modifications and may prescribe medications to help lower your readings.
What qualifies as high blood pressure?
The criteria for high blood pressure can slightly differ depending on your location. In the United States
, healthcare providers classify high blood pressure (hypertension) as:
- A systolic blood pressure (top number) of at least 130 mmHg, and/or
- A diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of at least 80 mmHg.
In Europe, healthcare providers define hypertension as:
- A systolic blood pressure of at least 140 mmHg, and/or
- A diastolic blood pressure of at least 90 mmHg.
How prevalent is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is exceedingly common, affecting 47% of adults in the United States, which equates to roughly 116 million individuals. Among them, 37 million have blood pressure readings of at least 140/90 mmHg. In 2020
, high blood pressure was responsible for or contributed to over 670,000 deaths in the United States alone.
Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that hypertension affects over 1.2 billion people between the ages of 30 and 79. Astonishingly, around two-thirds of these individuals reside in low- or middle-income countries.
Risk Factors for Having High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Possible causes of abnormal bleeding in women:
- Infection: Infections can come from different sources, like a urinary tract infection, an STD, or a vaginal yeast infection.
- Hormonal imbalance: Hormones play an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle, and they can be disrupted by many things like birth control pills, pregnancy, or menopause.
- Polyps: Polyps are growths on the lining of the uterus that can cause abnormal bleeding.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is when uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, and it can cause pain and heavy periods.
- Cancer: Cancer is very rare in women under 40, but it’s always important to rule out this possibility if you have any abnormal bleeding that doesn’t stop after two cycles.
What are the potential risks of abnormal bleeding in women?
Pregnancy is a time of great change in the body. Many women will experience new symptoms, and some may develop health conditions during pregnancy. One condition that can develop during pregnancy is high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be a serious condition, and it can lead to other complications for you and your baby.
High blood pressure develops when too much stress is put on the heart, which makes it harder to pump more blood through the body. In pregnancy, this often happens because of the hormonal changes in your body, which make your heart beat faster than usual. When pregnant women with high blood pressure are not treated or if they do not take proper care of themselves, they may have preeclampsia or gestational hypertension (pre-eclampsia). These conditions can cause serious complications for both mother and baby, including premature birth and stillbirth.
Effects of Having High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Pregnant women with high blood pressure have a higher risk of preeclampsia
and gestational hypertension
. The risk is also higher for the baby if the mother has high blood pressure during pregnancy. High blood pressure during pregnancy is a condition that affects about 5% of all pregnant women. The condition can lead to serious complications for the mother and the baby.
It also increases the risk of preeclampsia, which can be life-threatening to both the mother and her unborn child. High blood pressure during pregnancy can also lead to premature birth, low birth weight, and even death in some cases. Pregnant women need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, watch their diet, and monitor their blood pressure levels during pregnancy. They should be more attentive to any symptoms that may indicate preeclampsia
or gestational hypertension.
Treating High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy and What You Should Know
High blood pressure during pregnancy is a medical condition that should be addressed by a healthcare provider. If left untreated, it can lead to complications for both mom and baby. If you are pregnant and have high blood pressure, you should speak with your healthcare provider about treatment options. Your provider will help you make the best decision for your health and the health of your baby. Call Us Now to Schedule an Appointment!