Archive for category Hypertension
Hypertension is common amongst senior citizens. It is a part of the ageing process. Unfortunately for us, as we grow older we are also likely to reap the harvest of years of poor lifestyle choices in the form of type 2 diabetes and being overweight. Both of which make our blood pressure higher than it need be. Just because we are feeling the passage of years does not mean there is nothing we can do about it.
First of all, we must accept that there is no cure for high blood pressure (BP). All we can do is manage our condition and take effective action to keep our BP within the range of normal levels for our age.
Here are some practical tips for managing your hypertension:
# 1. Monitor your own blood pressure at home: Your doctor will advise you what he or she considers to be a normal BP range for your age. Regularly measuring our own BP:
* can reassure us that our readings are within the range considered normal for our age; and
* can give an early warning of a potential problem if the trend is upwards.
# 2. Keep active: According to the UK’s Arthritis Society, movement is the best medicine. There is a wide variety of low impact exercise that we can take, such as walking, swimming, dancing and cycling. The key thing is to build this form of exercise into our daily routine. It has the following benefits:
* it lowers our blood pressure – the beneficial effects can last for almost a day; and
* t helps us to control our weight.
# 3. Have a healthy diet: What we eat can dramatically affect our BP readings. Adopting a healthy balanced diet can help manage our hypertension. Follow these simple tips:
* cut down on your consumption of highly processed, high fat foods and reduce your sodium intake.
* eat more grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables – especially green vegetables.
* Replace your sodas and high caffeine drinks with water. Try to drink about eight 250ml glasses of water each day. This will keep your body properly hydrated and your arteries and blood vessels will retain more of their elasticity. The loss of this elasticity as we age is thought to be one factor contributing to hypertension in senior citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
High blood pressure, or hypertension, generally has either no outward symptoms; if they are there, they may be very vague and mild. In most of the cases, people are unaware of the disease until a doctor happens to check their blood pressure as a part of a routine check-up. In fact, hypertension is called a silent killer. The only way to know about the existence of hypertension is to get one’s blood pressure checked. Therefore, many doctors advise that it is advisable to get one’s blood pressure checked regularly.
However, there are certain mild or vague symptoms that may act as pointers. For example, a patient may have a constant discomfort, which is, not feeling comfortable with himself. He may not be able to identify what is wrong, but strongly feel that something is wrong. If left unattended, he may become worse.
Some patients experience a mild or heavy, consistent headache, especially a pulsating headache behind the eyes. Dizziness and flushed/red face are also symptoms of hypertension. People with severe hypertension experience blurred or impaired vision and fits or black outs.
Other symptoms such as fatigue, nervousness, palpitations, racing or irregular heartbeats, chest pain suggest hypertension caused by other conditions. Bleeding in the retina, also known as retinal hemorrhage, or from the nose (Epistaxis) may be indicative of high blood pressure. Cramping in the leg while walking, excess perspiration, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, shortness of breath and restlessness are other possible symptoms of hypertension. In rare cases, the high blood pressure may cause heart attacks, kidney failure or brain swelling, which can lead to drowsiness and coma. Disturbed levels of consciousness such as sleepiness and even seizures in severe cases of hypertension, may occur.
These symptoms may sometimes manifest in a patient with normal blood pressure also. If left untreated, hypertension can cause damage to the brain, eyes, kidneys, and heart.