When it comes to high blood pressure (or hypertension), you may not know you have it. Nearly one-third of patients with high blood pressure never learn about their condition. The only surefire way to diagnose hypertension is through regular blood pressure checkups. Therefore, it’s crucial that you attend regular screenings, especially as you age.
In extreme cases, you’ll start to notice the symptoms of high blood pressure without a diagnosis. By then, the condition has seriously worsened. Of course, treatment is still available, even after symptoms are present. Lifestyle changes and management techniques can make a significant difference.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
In women, high blood pressure symptoms are generally the same as they are in men. With hypertension, you may experience:
- Severe headaches
- Fatigue or confusion
- Visual impairment
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- A pounding in the chest, neck, and ears
Despite the fact that hypertension is commonly associated with men, both men and women experience high blood pressure in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. After the onset of menopause, women actually face a higher risk of hypertension than men. Before age 45, men are more likely to develop hypertension. After that, women are at greater risk.
As previously mentioned, hypertension often goes unnoticed until it escalates in severity. Without proper diagnosis, you may never realize you suffer from high blood pressure. Unfortunately, uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to serious health complications. The symptoms listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.
Typically, high blood pressure is associated with stroke or kidney failure. Over time, hypertension erodes the blood vessels in your body, leading to chronic high blood pressure that contributes to heart attack risk. If a woman is pregnant, high blood pressure is even more worrisome. Both the mother and the baby could be at risk.
Checking Blood Pressure
The most efficient way to test your blood pressure and keep tabs on the condition is to visit your primary care physician regularly. You can also invest in an at-home blood pressure monitor or use a public one found at most drugstores.
It is important to know your blood pressure at each stage in life. If you notice a significant increase, seek evaluation from a heart care specialist immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the situation could become.
If you want to prevent high blood pressure in your later years, it’s important to manage the risk factors. These risk factors include an unhealthy diet, a habit of smoking, and a distinct lack of physical activity. Exercising for at least 150 minutes per week can help prevent high blood pressure and combat these risk factors. Also, don’t forget to include healthy fats and protein in your diet while avoiding saturated fats.