Symptoms of high blood pressure

Symptoms of high blood pressure

The blood pressure (BP) is needed to maintain adequate blood flow in the vascular system. It is determined by the heart’s pump function (cardiac output) and the vascular tone of the arteries (peripheral resistance). The alteration of one of these components, or both. Can lead to a chronic increase in blood pressure (26), defined as arterial hypertension. In this article, we will give you a complete guide about the symptoms of high blood pressure.

 Generality: Symptoms of high blood pressure

Arterial hypertension, which is also called high blood pressure in current Italian, is a condition (rather than a pathology). That is characterized by the presence of high blood pressure in the arteries. Of the streets to the flow of blood.

According to the Italian Society of Hypertension, there are about 15 million people who suffer from this condition in Italy. However, only half of them are aware that they have a blood pressure problem. Almost 20% of them are at health risk. The presence of hypertension should not be neglected. Because in the long term, it involves an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and aneurysms. High blood pressure is one of the most important modifiable cardiovascular risk factors.

The high prevalence of this condition, it’s a considerable impact on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The documented the efficacy of antihypertensive therapy in terms of reducing the incidence of major cardiovascular events. Such as sudden death, myocardial infarction, and stroke justify the high degree of attention and resource absorption that the identification and treatment of arterial hypertension deserve in all the world.

In the case of hypertension, the reference values ​​to be taken into consideration are:

  • diastolic or minimum blood pressure greater than 90 mmHg;
  • systolic or maximum blood pressure above 140 mmHg.

If even one of the two parameters is high, the person with blood hypertension is considered. Furthermore, hypertension is generally distinguished into primary or essential and secondary.

Essential arterial hypertension

Essential hypertension is a condition that affects 95% of people with high blood pressure. This is characterized by the lack of causes specific and identifiable and not due to secondary causes. Symptoms of high blood pressure values ​​beyond the norm are usually the consequence of alterations in complex mechanisms that regulate the pressure itself. Many factors contribute to the rise in blood pressure. Including the lifestyle without physical activity, incorrect nutrition, and even the racial component. It was called essential hypertension because the first doctors who studied this condition realized that it was common in people of a certain age.

Secondary hypertension

In the remaining 5%, the increase in blood pressure may be due to the presence of congenital or acquired diseases. Which mostly affect the kidneys, adrenals, heart and vessels or – in minor cases. To the intake of certain drugs (cortisone, sprays nasal passages, birth control pill). In this case, we speak of secondary arterial hypertension. Which generally resolves with the treatment of the pathology that causes it.

Portal hypertension

The increased pressure in the portal vein, the vein that carries blood. From the intestines and spleen during digestion to the liver, is called portal hypertension. A blockage causes this increase in the flow of blood through the liver.

In portal hypertension, symptoms of high blood pressure may be silent at first, although increased blood pressure can lead to several complications, such as:

  • varies,
  • digestive and gastrointestinal bleeding,
  • ascites (formation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity),
  • renal and hepatic insufficiency.

The blockage in blood flow to the liver that leads to portal hypertension has several causes, including:

  • cirrhosis of the liver,
  • hepatitis,
  • alcohol abuse,
  • thrombosis,
  • liver cancer.

On a diagnostic examination, the presence of portal hypertension is highlighted by:

  • dilation of the portal vein, the diameter of which is considered normal if it does not exceed 12 mm;
  • stiffness of the portal system when breathing ;
  • increase in the size of the spleen,
  • ascites,
  • presence of collateral circles.

To correct portal hypertension, there can be several ways of intervention. From the adoption of a balanced diet to the intake of drugs, to surgery for the most severe cases. Endoscopy may be necessary to block any bleeding. The doctor will evaluate your personal situation and decide the best treatment to adopt.

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Isolated systolic hypertension

Typical of the elderly, isolated systolic hypertension occurs when the maximum systolic pressure is elevated. While the diastolic pressure is below the values ​​considered normal.

This is a condition that should not be underestimated as it risks causing cardiovascular diseases. To assess the severity of isolated systolic pressure. It is good to consider the difference in values ​​between the minimum and maximum pressure. The greater the gap between the two. The greater the traumatic effect of pressure on the arterial wall, which loses its own elasticity.

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Isolated systolic hypertension has specific causes. Such as the increased peripheral resistance of the vessels. The increased cardiac output or even the reduced elasticity of the vessel walls.

Although it is a disease that develops more frequently in the elderly. It is not uncommon that it also affects young people, especially men, who are active in sports. But it can also affect obese young people with metabolic syndrome.

Malignant hypertension

Hypertension is not all the same in terms of severity: it distinguishes, in fact, into mild, moderate and severe. Malignant arterial hypertension also falls into the latter category. But it is also rare since it affects 1% of those who suffer from hypertension. This condition occurs when blood pressure rises suddenly and dizzily over a few months. In fact, in malignant hypertension, the values ​​are equal to or greater than 120-180 mmHg.

Two causes lead to this pathology:

  • high blood pressure that is not treated or is neglected,
  • discontinuous or inadequate treatment for high blood pressure.

To avoid serious situations. It is a good idea to check your blood pressure and inform your doctor periodically. If the values ​​are not normal.

Hypertension in pregnancy: Symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy

Hypertension in pregnancy is a transient condition that occurs. When the values of the blood pressure increase during the nine months of pregnancy. So it affects about 8% of pregnant women.  Which can be fatal in the most serious cases – to both the mother and the unborn child. Also, in this case, there is a narrowing of the arteries that prevents the flow of blood. The same from which the baby gets nourishment in utero – is regular. The most direct consequence is the stunted growth of the fetus.

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Among the symptoms related to increased pressure in pregnancy are:

  • headache and dizziness,
  • sudden weight gain,
  • blurred vision,
  • abnormal swelling,
  • water retention,
  • feeling of heaviness.

Certainly, a low-calorie diet, low in calcium, zinc and proteins. Together with alterations in the immune system and a malfunction. But the placenta increases the risk of developing high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Also, in this case, it is good to keep pressure monitoring. Checking it cyclically and contact your doctor if the values ​​are not normal.

Diastolic hypertension

Diastolic pressure is what is commonly defined as “minimum”; we speak of isolated diastolic hypertension when its values ​​rise and exceed 90 mmHg. While the maximum or systolic pressure remains normal.

Diastolic arterial hypertension usually affects young people more because. They are more prone to playing sports that require a certain degree of physical effort.

In the case of diastolic hypertension, the causes that can favour this condition are:

  • stress and anxiety,
  • congenital heart malformations,
  • an improper diet, too high in fat, salty foods,
  • a sedentary life,
  • the use of alcohol, caffeine and smoking,
  • high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

There may also be secondary causes, including:

  • thyroid dysfunction,
  • diabetes,
  • adrenal gland tumours,
  • taking medications,
  • abuse of some drugs.

In most cases, however, it is not possible to trace a triggering cause. Which is why we speak of primary or idiopathic hypertension. Despite having only one parameter out of the ordinary. Since it alone is sufficient for one to speak of a condition of hypertension. With the risk of developing other more serious pathologies.

Symptoms:  of high blood pressure

The main symptoms of hypertension are:

  • headache, especially in the morning,
  • dizziness and lightheadedness,
  • tinnitus and tinnitus (ringing in the ears),
  • vision changes (presence of bright spots in the visual field)
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epistaxis (nosebleeds).

It must be said that the symptoms of high blood pressure are not always present. That something is wrong until secondary diseases related to the presence of high pressure.

Among the complications most common which may arise if high blood pressure is not treated there are:

  • hypertensive retinopathy,
  • nephropathies,
  • heart disease,
  • heart attack,
  • aortic aneurysm,
  • atrial fibrillation.

If hypertension is found, what to do to avoid much more serious situations? First of all. As it was good to keep the pressure under control. It is not enough to measure it once.

The causes

In about 92-95% of cases, hypertension is not attributable. The greatest difficulties in elaborating a pathogenetic hypothesis valid. For all forms of essential hypertension derive mainly from the fact that the factors capable of stably modifying. Because the blood pressure values are multiple, complex and difficult to quantify.

  • genetic factors ;
  • environmental factors ;
  • factors related to physical exercise ;
  • factors related to psychosocial stress.

In about 5-8% of cases, hypertension has a known etiopathogenesis (chronic renal failure, hypersecretion of catecholamines in pheochromocytoma.

 More than the causes of hypertension, it would be better to talk about risk factors that lead to hypertension. Among these, as mentioned above, there are:

  • familiarity: if one or more members of the family develop hypertension there is a greater probability of suffering from it;
  • age: the older you get, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure. In fact, as we age, the walls of the blood vessels tend to lose their elasticity;
  • being overweight or obese ;
  • lack of physical activity ;
  • diabetes ;
  • cigarette smoking ;
  • alcohol ;
  • stress.


Although the drug treatment of hypertension has undergone significant developments in recent decades. The frequency of death from arterial hypertension has increased by approximately 6.8% according. To the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

With arterial hypertension are unaware of the disease, 14.8% of hypertensive patients do not receive any treatment.  Does not receive adequate treatment as their blood pressure values ​​exceed the limits of the norm defined. By the most important international organizations dealing with hypertension (<140 / 90 mmHg).

The main purpose of hypertension therapy is to lower its values so that the related risks can be drastically reduced. Studies show that a 10% reduction in tension values ​​leads to a 40% reduction in mortality. From cerebrovascular disease and a 20% reduction in coronary disease.

The preferential use of the combinations of two drugs in the same pill (pre-established associations). From the beginning of the treatment and try to reach the therapeutic objectives. In the as little time a possible, ideally within the first three months.

The treatment of hypertension also includes – whether it is mild or severe hypertension. A change in lifestyle and nutrition: physical activity – even a 30-minute walk. A day or light physical activity is enough – combined with a ‘more balanced diet.

In cases of severe hypertension and when lifestyle precautions alone are not enough. The doctor can evaluate the prescription of drugs. Which the patient will have to take for life, in most cases, as they are dose-dependent. Medicines for hypertension include:

  • diuretics, help the disposal of mineral salts and sodium in particular;
  • calcium antagonists, induce vasodilation and thus help to control blood pressure;
  • sympatholytics, act on the mechanisms of the central nervous system to control pressure;

Diet for hypertension

When we diet for high blood pressure is essential to bring the normal values. We should not think about major upheavals, more than anything else. So it is about adopting some good habits and eliminating some foods that do not contribute to health.

The most suitable foods for hypertension are:

  • fruits and vegetables, which are rich in fibre,
  • legumes,
  • pasta and whole grains, which contain higher amounts of fibre,
  • fish to be eaten at least 2-3 times a week.

Instead, to avoid or reduce are:

  • salt, especially refined salt: you should not consume more than 5-6 grams per day. Paying attention also to that contained in industrial foods.  In its place, you can use spices that help flavour the dishes and make them more delicious. Even gomasio based on crushed sesame seeds with the addition. Of whole sea salt rich in vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and zinc;
  • saturated fats, which should not exceed 7% of the total daily calories. On the other hand, good fats are beneficial, such as those contained in olives, avocado, bluefish, oily fruit and nuts;
  • milk and dairy products, if you really can’t avoid it, opt for the lean ones;
  • alcohol and beverages containing caffeine: therefore also pay attention to carbonated drinks.


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