High Blood Pressure - Causes, Risks, and Symptoms
2 Nov 2022
The heart is a hollow muscular organ or as doctors call it a “muscle pump” that moves blood through our body. Blood pressure, also called arterial pressure, is the pressure that the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries. It is one of the body’s vital signs and is an important indicator of a person’s health. Persistently high blood pressure can be a sign of hypertension and is a risk factor for many diseases. That’s why we met with Dr. Ivan-Asen Shishmanov, a cardiologist and member of the Medical Advisory Board of Medrec:M, who informed us about the risks of high blood pressure and shared health tips.
Hypertension and why you should not underestimate it
Doctor Shishmanov explained that high blood pressure is permanent and should not be underestimated because it can lead to other serious diseases. Some of them are kidney damage, retinal damage, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular accidents, including heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from high blood pressure do not suspect that they have this problem, because the disease often occurs without notable symptoms.
Although persistently elevated blood pressure may have no symptoms, especially when it comes to less variation in values, hypertension is associated with complaints such as:
- shortness of breath
- blurred vision
- bleeding from the nose
- ringing in the ears and others
Therefore, the specialist advised, even if you have no symptoms, to visit a cardiologist prophylactically every six months or once a year.
High blood pressure is more often a primary disease, but it can also be a consequence of another health problem. The cardiologist explained that some factors such as gender, age, and family predisposition cannot be changed, but others depend on us. The specialist advises to move and do sports regularly, stick to a balanced healthy diet and maintain an optimal weight, reduce the intake of salt and alcoholic beverages, and stop smoking to reduce blood pressure within normal limits.
Blood pressure values and how to monitor them?
Dr. Shishmanov explained that two types of blood pressure are measured. One is systolic - the blood pressure when the heart contracts and the other is diastolic - the blood pressure between heartbeats. According to the parameters of the World Health Organization (WHO), the optimal blood pressure is up to 120 mmHg systolic pressure and up to 80 mmHg diastolic pressure. Hypertension is usually defined with values higher than 140 - 159 mmHg systolic and 90 - 99 mmHg diastolic.
The doctor advises to regularly monitor and record blood pressure when there is a diagnosed health problem related to it, to inform your treating doctor accordingly. This could most easily happen in digital form, for example in our phones. An extremely convenient and easy-to-use option is the Medrec:M health application, in which it is possible to enter both blood pressure values and many other health indicators such as temperature, blood saturation, cholesterol levels, etc. Through it, you can also set alarms for receiving prescribed therapy for hypertension or other diseases.