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Dizziness and headaches? These symptoms may indicate that you are at risk of high blood pressure

Did you know that headache and dizziness can tell you about high blood pressure? When these symptoms come, the blood pressure can be critically high.

Why is the high blood pressure limit so tight?

Elevated blood pressure is harmful to the blood vessels and exposes, for example, to atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, memory disorders, stroke and blood vessel bleeding. High blood pressure is dangerous because a person can’t feel it. Symptoms will only come when the pressure is already in critical readings. There may be headaches and dizziness.

In the studies, it has not been possible to determine the exact limit value in which blood vessel changes are initiated, and therefore there are different target values for blood pressure. Blood pressure is ideal when the upper pressure is below 120 mercury millimeters (mmHg) and a lower pressure below 80 mmHg. Up to 20 units rise in upper and 10 units at lower pressure double or triple the risk of coronary heart disease or brain related death. Normal blood pressure is below 130/85, satisfactory 130-139 / 85-89 and elevated above 140/90 mmHg.

If a person has other risk factors for arterial disease, the target value of the blood pressure is lower. Risk factors include, for example, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, and close family heart diseases.

What kind of dietary changes will improve the blood pressure?

Salt is the most significant blood pressure booster, so it is worth reducing. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that individuals consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day. Yet, the average sodium intake for Americans age two and older is more than 3,400 mg per day.

Most of the salt is obtained as a hidden salt, ie with food. Bread, ready meals, cheeses and spice mixtures often contain plenty of salt. The amount of salt is explained in the labeling of food packaging.

Plenty of vegetables make weight management easier and overweight increases blood pressure.

1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium

1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium

3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium

1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium

Do I have to give up alcohol?

Because of vascular health, you do not have to become absolutist, but moderation is in place. For men, the limit for the use of the risk is 14 times per week, seven for women.

A single dose of beer or glass of wine with food does not affect blood pressure. However, people are individuals, and the effects of alcohol on different people are different.

The use of tobacco products appears in the blood pressure, as they increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and increase blood pressure through it. Snuff is as dangerous as tobacco.

Will supplements affect high blood pressure?

Omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure but studies suggest that large omega-3 doses are needed. The good effects have come mainly to elderly people who already have hypertension. However, the decrease in blood pressure is so small that it is not advisable to eat supplements just for that.

Omega-3 fatty acids act on platelets, i.e. blood coagulation, so their excessive use can increase the risk of bleeding.

The harder I work and exercise, the better the pressure is, or what?

Exercise raises blood pressure momentarily, but when it is done regularly it will lower it. It is true that hard interval training, ie HIIT training, has effectively lowered blood pressure and blood lipid values in the subjects. Still, because of the blood pressure, there is no need to go to the extremes. Blood pressure drops with all kinds of exercise, walking, running as well as gym trainings - and with everyday activity. Most importantly, exercise is regular and is done in some form, preferably every day.

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How much should a person lose weight?

If the blood pressure is elevated and the person has overweight, losing weight is beneficial: after the weight loss, medicines that are already in use can often be reduced or the patient can get rid of them completely. Generally, this is usually a five to ten percent weight loss.

Significant overweight is a case when the body mass index is 30 or more.

Is stress management useful?

Momentary rush and disputes are not dangerous. But if work stress or relationship problems last long, blood pressure can rise. Long-term mental pressure causes a cortisol stress in which the secretion of cortisol hormone that accelerates the body increases. Stressed people can’t take care of themselves properly, which is also reflected in blood pressure.

Different relaxation methods do not appear directly in the blood pressure. They can be useful if they can handle, for example, a sense of urgency.

How fast and effective lifestyle changes are?

Usually changes in exercise, weight and diet are reflected in measurable values over a period of some months. If the blood pressure is only slightly elevated, the impact of lifestyles can be expected after about six months.

If a person has other risk factors for arterial disease besides high blood pressure, lifestyle changes may be monitored for a couple of months. Then it is considered whether the direction is correct or whether medication is needed.

How often should blood pressure be measured?

If the blood pressure is measured in the age of thirty and it has been ideal, the next time it can be considered within five years. So far, it is not better to wait if lifestyle becomes more unhealthy or the weight increases.

Blood pressure often tends to rise with age, and therefore, at middle age, the measurement intervals are shortened to two years. If the blood pressure is elevated, the doctor will tell you the correct measurement interval.

Increased blood pressure is common and is not symptomatic, everyone should buy a blood pressure monitor. It also measures heart rate and reveals the atrial fibrillation of the heart that is susceptible to stroke. Pharmacies and health centers have blood pressure monitors designed for customers.

A little elevated blood pressure does not need to be measured daily: a weekly monitoring every couple of months is a good pace. The measurement is done in the morning and in the evening.

When is hypertension medication needed?

Medication is needed, despite the lifestyle modification and changes, the overpressure is repeatedly over 140 mmHg or lower than 90 mmHg.

Healthy lifestyles are of course important even if the patient uses antihypertensive drugs. It is preferable to reduce bad habits than to increase the number of tablets.

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