High blood pressure greatly increases the risk of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and sudden cardiac arrest. According to some statistics, one in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure – a staggering statistic when all the possible implications of having the condition are taken into account.
In addition to the regular medical check-ups, there are also signs that our bodies send us which should not be ignored and can be valuable early indicators that can preserve our health. Since there are many people that live unaware of their high blood pressure, here are the most common symptoms that mean a doctor’s check-up is in order, to avoid a full-blown health crisis later in life.
1. Dry skin and premature aging
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If you generally take good care of your skin, but you still frequently experience dry skin and premature wrinkles, you may be experiencing high blood pressure. These symptoms are commonly found in females, especially those between the ages of 40 and 49.
Regular aging aside, it is rapid wrinkling or sagging that might be indicators of something going wrong internally.
2. Frequent urination
More often than not, frequent urination is caused by something routine, such as a bladder infection. Nevertheless, it can also be a warning sign that you are experiencing hypertension. This condition occurs because the heart muscle weakens when the blood pressure is too high, sometimes leading to damaged capillaries in the kidneys.
Left untreated, hypertension can lead to kidney disease or even renal failure.
3. Stomach pain
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If you often experience mysterious stomach pains that have proven difficult to diagnose in the past, such ailments might have something to do with your blood pressure. Studies have shown that most of the patients experiencing chronic diarrhea, bloating, and cramps see improvement when placed on a healthy diet with sufficient exercise.
4. Eye damage
Although vision tends to naturally worsen with aging, blood spots, sudden vision loss, or fluid build-up may be indicators of something much more serious. Similarly to kidneys, eyes also depend on a healthy flow of blood in order to function properly, meaning if they get either too much or too little, or blockages get in the way, eyesight tends to deteriorate much more rapidly.
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Sudden dizziness does not usually accompany cardiac arrests, but it is one of the first symptoms stroke victims experience. Among other things, hypertension increases the risk of stroke, therefore this is something that should not be ignored.
If you experience sudden spells of dizziness, especially ones that are paired with blurred vision, numbness, or confusion, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Unless you are a young parent, or you suffer from insomnia, you shouldn’t have to live with chronic fatigue. Constantly feeling weak and tired can mean a number of things, and high blood pressure is often one of them.
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Obesity is usually a cause and not necessarily a symptom of high blood pressure. It is, however, important to understand the risk factors involved with carrying extra weight. Obesity not only brings on the ailments associated with hypertension, it can also mean you are much more likely to develop diabetes and high cholesterol in the future.
What to do
Consulting your physician should always be your first step. If you are diagnosed with hypertension or pre-hypertension, make sure you have a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and take prescribed medications if necessary.
The good news is, high blood pressure is reversible in most cases, so look at it as a second chance to change your lifestyle and reclaim your health!
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.