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Blood Pressure can has severe effects on physical and mental health. Experts share deeper insights about its effects.
Hypertension: Stress is a normal reaction of our body towards a fight or flight situation. Sometimes, too much stress can lead to high blood pressure, but not necessarily. Hypertension or High blood pressure (BP) is a common problem among people in today’s time. And most of the time people are not even aware of it. If left untreated, it may become deadly. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) key facts on hypertension, it is a major cause of premature death worldwide. An estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30–79 years worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries. Further, its facts sheet stated that an estimated 46% of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have the condition.
BP affect both physical and mental health. It is also called a ‘ silent killer’ for a reason. Before we dive deep into about it, one should understand the basics first. What exactly is hypertension and how is it developed?
WHAT IS HYPERTENSION OR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure abnormally rises to undesirable levels. It is the increased force exerted by blood against the walls of the artery. According to Dr. Sunil Wani, Consultant, Cardiology at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg.
High blood pressure is defined as a level greater than 130/80 mm Hg or 140/90 mm Hg according to various guidelines. As most of the time, there are no noticeable signs of hypertension, it is also called ‘the silent killer’.
Symptoms of Hypertension
- Headaches: Sometimes these could be triggered by lack of sleep. However, if you are suffering from a throbbing headache way too often, it could be a sign of high blood pressure
- Nosebleeds: If your nose bleeds not due to sinusitis, then it could be a sign that you your blood pressure is high and needs to get levels checked
- Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath is also an indication for hypertension
- Irregular heartbeat: Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats can also occur in hypertension patients. This happens due to uncontrolled pressure at which blood exerts force against artery walls
- Chest pain: Due to shortness of breath in hypertension patients, in extreme cases, it could also lead to chest pain
EFFECTS OF HYPERTENSION
How it impacts physical health
BP raises a significant risk to damage the brain, heart, kidneys, and blood vessels. Ignoring blood pressure symptoms can prove to be fatal and lead to a stroke, heart attack including heart failure and kidney failure, if not diagnosed early and treated appropriately.
Accurate measurement in hypertensive people gives a clear picture of the cardiovascular risk.
How it impacts mental health
Dr Wani further, exclusively, shared with india.com that ” As people don’t check their blood pressure in time, they can experience headaches, dizziness, ability to function normally etc. all these will lead to mental health, depression or the severity of the headache can make the person so irritable and very angry. All these problems can all mental health issues.” Dr Wani further advice, ” Visit your nearest hospital that has a full-time availability of specialised doctors for personalized advice and treatment.”
Tips for Accurate BP Measurement
- The correct-sized BP cuff needs to be put on the bare arm
- Having an empty bladder is advisable, a full bladder can increase BP readings
- Patients should sit still with back support and feet on the floor
- Avoid talking while measuring BP readings
- The arm should be supported at the level of the heart
- Avoid consuming food, caffeine, alcohol 30 minutes before measuring
- If monitoring blood pressure at home, minimum of three readings to be recorded and the average of the last two readings can be considered for the reading
While there is no cure, make lifestyle changes that matter, enhance quality of life by eating a well-balanced diet, limit salt and alcohol consumption, regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, manage stress, quit smoking, take your medications properly, and work together with your doctor. These protocols can go a long way and reduce health risks.