MYTHS OF HYPERTENSION SYMPTOMS

There’s a common misconception that people with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, will experience symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing. The truth is that HBP is largely a symptomless condition. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life. Everybody needs to know their blood pressure numbers, and everyone needs to prevent high blood pressure from developing.
-Myth of symptomatic headaches
The best evidence indicates that high blood pressure does not cause headaches except perhaps in the case of hypertensive crisis (systolic/top number higher than 180 OR diastolic/bottom number higher than 110).
In the early 1900s, it was assumed that headaches were more common among people with high blood pressure. However, research into the subject doesn’t support this view. According to one study, people with high blood pressure seem to have significantly fewer headaches than the general population. Headaches or the lack of headaches are not reliable indicators of your blood pressure. Instead, work with your doctor and know your numbers.
-Other inconclusively related symptoms
You should not try to evaluate your symptoms in an attempt to self-diagnose high blood pressure. Diagnosis should only be made by a healthcare professional. A variety of symptoms may be indirectly related to HBP but are not always caused by HBP, such as:
-Blood spots in the eyes
-Facial flushing
-Dizziness

Although it is not caused by HBP, dizziness can be a side effect of some high blood pressure medications. Nonetheless, dizziness should not be ignored, especially if you notice a sudden onset. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. HBP is one of the leading risk factors for stroke.






BETA BLOCKERS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that reduce your blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, the heart beats more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing blood pressure. Beta blockers also help blood vessels open up to improve blood flow.
Some beta blockers mainly affect your heart, while others affect both your heart and your blood vessels. Which one is best for you depends on your health and the condition being treated.
Examples of beta blockers include:
-Acebutolol (Sectral)
-Atenolol (Tenormin)
-Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
-Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL)
-Nadolol (Corgard)
-Propranolol (Inderal LA, InnoPran XL)







Uses for beta blockers
Doctors prescribe beta blockers to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as:
-High blood pressure
-Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
-Heart failure
-Chest pain
(angina)
-Heart attacks
-Glaucoma
-Migraines
-Generalized anxiety disorder
-Hyperthyroidism
-Certain types of tremors

DEADLY RISK OF A SILENT HEART ATTACK!

A silent heart attack is a heart attack that has few, if any, symptoms. You may have never had any symptoms to warn you that you’ve developed a heart problem, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Some people later recall their silent heart attack was mistaken for indigestion, nausea, muscle pain or a bad case of the flu.
The risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as those for a heart attack with symptoms. The risk factors include:
-Smoking or chewing tobacco
-Family history of heart disease
-Age
-High cholesterol
-High blood pressure
-Diabetes
-Lack of exercise
-Being overweight







Having a silent heart attack puts you at a greater risk of having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack also increases your risk of complications, such as heart failure.
The only way to tell if you’ve had a silent heart attack is to have imaging tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or others. These tests can reveal changes that signal you’ve had a heart attack.
If you wonder if you’ve had a silent heart attack, talk to your doctor. A review of your symptoms, health history and a physical exam can help your doctor decide if more tests are necessary.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE FACTS

High blood pressure (hypertension) is designated as either essential (primary) hypertension or secondary hypertension and is defined as a consistently elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mm Hg.
High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” because it often causes no symptoms for many years, even decades, until it finally damages certain critical organs.
Poorly controlled high blood pressure ultimately can cause damage to blood vessels in the eye, thickening of the heart muscle and heart attacks, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), kidney failure, and strokes.
Most antihypertensive medications can be used alone or in combination. Some are used only in combination. Some are preferred over others in certain specific medical situations. And some are not to be used (contraindicated) in other situations.
Several classes of antihypertensive medications are available, including ACE inhibitors, ARB drugs, beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, and peripheral vasodilators.
The goal of therapy for hypertension is to bring the blood pressure down below 140/85 in the general population and to even lower levels in diabetics, African Americans, and people with certain chronic kidney diseases.
High blood pressure (hypertension) in pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia or eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy). Pregnant women should be monitored closely by their obstetrician for complications of high blood pressure.







Lifestyle adjustments in diet and exercise and compliance with medication regimes are important factors in determining the outcome for people with hypertension.
High salt intake, obesity, lack of regular exercise, excessive alcohol or coffee intake, and smoking may all adversely affect the outlook for the health of an individual with high blood pressure.

OBESITY TREATMENT

Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is more than just a cosmetic concern, though. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. You may need to work with a team of health professionals, including a nutritionist, dietitian, therapist or an obesity specialist, to help you understand and make changes in your eating and activity habits.
You can start feeling better and seeing improvements in your health by just introducing better eating and activity habits. The initial goal is a modest weight loss — 5 to 10 percent of your total weight. That means that if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kg) and are obese by BMI standards, you would need to lose only about 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9.1 kg) to start seeing benefits.
All weight-loss programs require changes in your eating habits and increased physical activity. The treatment methods that are right for you depend on your level of obesity, your overall health and your willingness to participate in your weight-loss plan. Other treatment tools include:
Dietary changes
-Exercise and activity
Behavior change
-Prescription weight-loss medications
-Weight-loss surgery






HYPERTENSION: WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

You’ll likely have your blood pressure taken as part of a routine doctor’s appointment.
Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years starting at age 18. Blood pressure should be checked in both arms to determine if there is a difference. Your doctor will likely recommend more frequent readings if you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Children age 3 and older will usually have their blood pressure measured as a part of their yearly checkups.

If you don’t regularly see your doctor, you may be able to get a free blood pressure screening at a health resource fair or other locations in your community. You can also find machines in some stores that will measure your blood pressure for free, but these machines can give you inaccurate results.There are two types of high blood pressure.
Primary (essential) hypertension
For most adults, there’s no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.
Secondary hypertension
Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:
Kidney problems
Adrenal gland tumors
Thyroid problems

Certain defects in blood vessels you’re born with (congenital)
Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
Obstructive sleep apnea






STRESS TEST RISKS

A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster than it does during most daily activities, an exercise stress test can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise.
An exercise stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored.
Your doctor may recommend an exercise stress test if he or she suspects you have coronary artery disease or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). An exercise stress test may also be used to guide your treatment if you’ve already been diagnosed with a heart condition.
An exercise stress test is generally safe, and complications are rare. But, as with any medical procedure, it does carry a risk of complications.
Potential complications include:

-Low blood pressure. Blood pressure may drop during or immediately after exercise and cause dizziness. It usually goes away when you stop exercising.
-Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Arrhythmias brought on by an exercise stress test usually go away shortly after you stop exercising.
-Heart attack (myocardial infarction). Although very rare, it’s possible that an exercise stress test could provoke a heart attack.






CHILDREN OBESITY DANGERS!

Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Some children have larger than average body frames. And children normally carry different amounts of body fat at the various stages of development. So you might not know just by looking at your child if his or her weight is a health concern. Childhood obesity can have complications for the physical, social and emotional well-being of your child.
Physical complications

-Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes in children is a chronic condition that affects the way your child’s body metabolizes sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
-Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome isn’t a disease itself, but a cluster of conditions that can put your child at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or other health problems. This cluster of conditions includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and excess abdominal fat.
-High cholesterol and high blood pressure. Your child can develop high blood pressure or high cholesterol if he or she eats a poor diet. These factors can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries. These plaques can cause arteries to narrow and harden, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
-Asthma and other breathing problems. The extra weight on your child’s body can cause problems with the development and health of your child’s lungs, leading to asthma or other breathing problems.
-Sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which your child may snore or have abnormal breathing when he or she sleeps, can be a complication of childhood obesity. Pay attention to breathing problems your child may have while sleeping.
-Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
-Early puberty or menstruation. Being obese can create hormone imbalances for your child. These imbalances can cause puberty to start earlier than expected.






TAKE CARE OF YOUR HYPERTENSION!

High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
-You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:
-Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
-Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
-Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure.
-Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally.
-Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss.
-Metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a cluster of disorders of your body’s metabolism, including increased waist circumference; high triglycerides; low high-density lipoprotein (HDL); or “good,” cholesterol; high blood pressure; and high insulin levels.
-If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have other components of metabolic syndrome. The more components you have, the greater your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
-Trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Trouble with memory or understanding concepts is more common in people with high blood pressure.






SYMPTOMS OF “THE SILENT KILLER”

One in every three adults in the United States suffers from a condition that may lead to coronary heart disease or stroke, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. High blood pressure, or hypertension, means the force of blood hitting against the walls of the arteries is high enough to cause damage. For an adult, the systolic BP should stay under 120. The bottom number, or diastolic, remains less than 80. Anything above those numbers is an indicator of potential risk.
-The Silent Killer
Hypertension is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it is often present with no obvious symptoms. When blood pressure rises, your symptoms may be negotiable. To monitor BP, medical professionals automatically take a reading with every visit. You should have your blood pressure taken at least once every two years.
-Prehypertension
The early stage of the condition is when you are most likely to show some signs of a problem. The medical community defines prehypertension as a systolic rate of 120 – 139 and a diastolic in the range of 80 – 89. Possible symptoms include:
-Mild, dull headache
-Dizzy spells
-Nosebleed
-Hypertension

When the blood pressure reaches the level that you are hypertensive, symptoms will disappear. A person is hypertensive when the systolic BP goes above 140 and the diastolic is over 90. Hypertension has two stages. Once the blood pressure exceeds 160/100, you are in stage 2. Neither stage produces symptoms.
Video: Stroke







-Hypertensive Crisis
Hypertensive crisis means there is a sudden spike in the blood pressure taking it over 180/120. Symptoms of a hypertensive crisis include:
-Chest pain
-Severe headache
-Confusion
-Blurred vision
-Nausea
-Vomiting
-Anxiety
-Shortness of breath
-Seizures

The person having the crisis may become unresponsive over time. Hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency.