Just because you are experiencing headaches does not necessarily mean that you have a headache or migraine condition. Instead, your pain could be a symptom of a potentially life threatening disease, which needs treatment. This is why it is always recommended that you get treatment from a doctor for persistent or severe headaches instead of relying on self medication through over-the-counter pain medication.
One possible source of your headaches could be hypertension, also called high blood pressure (HBP.) Hypertension is believed to affect 73 million Americans according to the American Heart Association. As many as 69% of all Americans who experience their first heart attack have HBP as do 74% of those with congestive heart failure.
What is blood pressure?
Hypertension is a condition of high pressure in the arteries. A certain amount of pressure is needed in order to allow the heart to pump blood throughout the blood vessels of the body. The pressure comes from two forces – the strength with which the blood is pumped out of the heart, and then rest period between heart beats.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is considered anything higher than 140/90. High blood pressure can cause the walls of one’s blood vessels to become stretched and damaged, leading to spots of weakness and blockage. If blockages occur in one’s arteries, then the heart has to pump even harder to send blood and oxygen through one’s system. In some cases the heart may not be able to work hard enough to force freshly oxygenated blood through every vein.
What are the risks of hypertension?
If oxygenated blood is not able to travel throughout one’s system, this can lead to tissue damage and damage to the heart itself. Hypertension can lead to increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, kidney disease, hardening of the arteries, eye damage, and stroke.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because it usually does not exhibit any symptoms except in the most extreme levels, known as hypertensive crisis (BP readings of 180/90.) Sometimes headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and/or nausea can be symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way to know if one has high blood pressure is to get tested and diagnosed by a trained medical professional.
Minimizing the risks of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is believed to run in families, have tendency to affect more men than women before age 45, increase with age, linked to poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, being overweight, drinking alcohol and smoking. The best way to manage this condition is to lose weight, exercise, eat a healthy diet, stop smoking, limit intake of alcohol, reduce stress, and take any medications prescribed by your doctor.
High blood pressure may be a silent killer but this is a condition that can be easily and painlessly diagnosed. In fact, if hypertension is diagnosed early on, the damage to one’s body can be minimized. For these reasons if you are worried that your headaches are caused by high blood pressure – do not hesitate to get tested and diagnosed!