Elevated Blood Pressure - What Do I Do?
A busy lifestyle and constant stress may cause a number of health conditions associated with fatigue and emotional exhaustion. High blood pressure (BP), also known as hypertension, is one of them.
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About a third of the world’s population suffers from this heart condition and when it comes to older age (in fact, as young as above 40) the risks increase significantly.
Hypertension is a primary cause of heart attack and stroke. Quite unsurprisingly, it is often called a silent killer disease since its symptoms are very similar to those of overwork, and patients are often enlightened about their condition only after they get into hospital with a hypertensive crisis.
Hypertension is most commonly manifested in:
- chest pain
- dizziness and headache
- increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- ringing in the ears
- eye floaters
A rapid loss of vision, evening and morning fatigue may also be a sign of high blood pressure.
There are three distinctive stages of hypertension:
Hypertension Stage 1 is characterised by systolic pressure within a range of 140 and 159 mm Hg and diastolic from 90 to 99 mm Hg. At this stage blood pressure will most likely fluctuate, going back to normal and surging at intervals.
Hypertension Stage 2 is more severe, with blood pressure indices reaching 160-179 mm Hg for systolic pressure and 100-109 mm Hg for diastolic. At this stage blood pressure hardly ever goes down to reach a healthy range.
Hypertension Stage 3 is the most alarming state when blood pressure rises to 180 by 110 mm Hg and constantly remains severely elevated.
Hypertension is a progressive disease and, unless treated, will go through the stages we’ve outlined above, reaching, in the end, a hypertensive crisis.
There are two clinically recognized categories of hypertensive crises: a hypertensive urgency and a hypertensive emergency.
- A hypertensive emergency is characterised by severe elevation in blood pressure that leads to progressive organ damage and requires immediate reduction to prevent further harm.
- A hypertensive urgency is also accompanied with severe blood pressure increase, but is not associated with organ damage and may not have any symptoms. In this case blood pressure should be lowered gradually over a stretch of hours or even days.
What Should I Do if I Have a Hypertensive Crisis?
If BP exceeds the healthy limit of 180 by 90 mm Hg, it is critical to call an ambulance immediately. It is also crucial not to panic or try self-treatment.
- Acquire a semi-seated position, put a warm water bottle on your feet or draw a hot foot bath to dilate blood vessels.
- If you regularly take medications to reduce your BP, take an extra dose.
- Try to calm down as much as possible: within a stretch of 3 minutes try holding your breath for 10 seconds every time you exhale. This may help reduce the BP by 20-30 mm Hg through a decrease in heart rate.
- If you feel pain behind the breastbone, put a pill of nitroglycerin under your tongue.
- If you experience a severe headache, take a diuretic pill if this kind of treatment has been used before.
- It is highly recommended to refrain from eating.
What We Can Do to Help You
All you need to do is put on your favorite or newly-purchased fitness tracker, sign in to our app and let us help you keep your blood pressure in check by measuring it regularly and saving the readouts.
Once you are registered and your individual physical data are taken for further calculation of blood pressure rates that will represent YOUR PERSONAL NORM, the application will continuously monitor further dynamics of changes. In our next release, we will notify you of any deviations from your ideal blood pressure rate!