Hypertension, or high blood pressure, are two terms that describe the same condition. Hypertension risks putting an extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Also, high blood pressure causes kidney disease and is linked to some forms of dementia.
You probably have high blood pressure if your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90, or higher, over a number of weeks. That’s the clinical definition. There are no obvious signs or symptoms so the only way to know is to have your blood pressure measured. Many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, so to get an accurate picture your doctor will take a number of blood pressure readings to see what it’s doing over time.
Lifestyle plays a big part in determining high blood pressure, so here are a few things to know. You run a higher risk of developing high blood pressure if:
Aging, ethnic origin and family history can also contribute to high blood pressure. But these are all issues your doctor will know to look out for.
There are a wide range hypertension treatments available and most doctors will recommend one of these four options:
Many women with high blood pressure have a normal pregnancy and deliver healthy babies so high blood pressure in pregnancy doesn’t have to be a problem. The best advice is to plan the pregnancy in discussion with your doctor. The medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure may affect the development of the baby, so your doctor may want to change your regime. You should also have closer than normal blood pressure monitoring throughout your pregnancy.
If you think you’re running the risk of high blood pressure, go see your doctor and get it checked out. There are lots of high blood pressure treatments available and one of them is sure to be right for you, if it turns out you need to be treated.
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