Hypertension is a serious health disorder where blood pressure levels are higher than normal, consistently. While the normal blood pressure reading is 120/80, hypertension can cause it to go up to 130 – 139/80 – 89.
If left untreated, this disorder can lead to adverse events like stroke, heart failure or kidney disease.
Now that you know how serious hypertension is, you probably are curious about how to recognize it. Here’s where things get murky – there are no apparent symptoms. Hence it becomes difficult to identify it without blood pressure readings.
There are a few signs of hypertension that may occur in patients where blood pressure goes up to 180/120. These include:
- Nausea & vomiting
- Blurred vision/double vision
- Chest pain
At this stage, it is critical to seek medical care immediately.
It is advisable to get routine health checkups, which include blood pressure readings. If levels are higher than normal or remain high for an extended period, your doctor will recommend more tests, such as cholesterol screening, blood and urine tests, ECG or ultrasounds to identify what’s causing the issue.
Along with tests and necessary medication, it is essential to incorporate certain lifestyle changes. The following changes may help prevent and treat hypertension:
- A healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains
- 30 minutes of physical activity, five times per week
- Managing stress via yoga or meditation
- Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- Reducing salt in food and avoiding sodium-rich packaged foods
As the popular saying goes, prevention is better than cure. By following a healthy, low-fat and low-sodium diet along with daily physical activity, you can keep hypertension away.