When doctors take a person’s blood pressure, they measure the force the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries as it travels through them. If blood pressure is too high for too long, it can cause serious damage to blood vessels. These lesions can lead to a range of complications, some of which can be life-threatening. These can include heart failure, vision loss, stroke, kidney disease, and other health issues. There are ways to manage high blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure often causes no symptoms, but regular screening can help a person know if they need to take preventive measures.

In this article, we look at the causes of high blood pressure and how to treat it.

What is high blood pressure?

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout the body. During its journey, the blood brings oxygen to the vital organs of the body. Sometimes a problem in the body makes it harder for the heart to pump blood. This can happen, for example, if an artery becomes too narrow. Persistent high blood pressure can put pressure on the walls of the arteries. This can lead to various health problems, some of which can be life threatening.

Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, which is why hypertension is often called the “silent killer.”
However, when the blood pressure reaches around 180/120 mm Hg, it becomes a hypertensive crisis, which is a medical emergency.

At this stage, a person may have:

– a headache
– nausea
– vomitings
– dizziness
– blurred or double vision
– nose bleeds
– heart palpitations
– shortness of breath
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see their doctor immediately.

Symptoms in women

Hormonal factors cause the risk of high blood pressure to be different in men and women. Factors that can increase the risk of high blood pressure in women include:

– the pregnancy
– the use of birth control pills
During pregnancy, high blood pressure can be a sign of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that can affect both the woman and her unborn baby.

Symptoms of preeclampsia are:

– headaches
– vision changes
– abdominal pain
– swelling due to edema
All women should follow screening guidelines and attend all health screenings, especially during pregnancy.

Symptoms in Teenagers

Teenagers can develop high blood pressure due to their obesity or an underlying medical condition. Possible medical factors include Trusted Source:

– aspects of the metabolic syndrome, such as type 2 diabetes
– kidney disease
– an endocrine disease, which affects hormones
– a vascular disease, which affects the blood vessels
– a neurological disease
These diseases can have their own symptoms.

Symptoms of high blood pressure, if present, will be the same as for the other groups.

Common causes of hypertension

High blood pressure can occur when certain changes occur in the body or if a person is born with specific genetic characteristics that cause a health problem.

It can affect people with:

– obesity
– Type 2 diabetes
– kidney disease
– obstructive sleep apnea
– lupus
– scleroderma
– an inactive or overactive thyroid
– congenital diseases, such as Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly or pheochromocytoma.
Sometimes there is no apparent cause. In this case, the doctor will diagnose primary hypertension. Consuming a diet high in fat, being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking certain medications also increase the risk.

How to Lower Blood Pressure

Treatment will depend on several factors, including:

– the importance of blood pressure
– the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke

The doctor will recommend different treatments depending on the increase in blood pressure. For mildly elevated blood pressure, he may suggest lifestyle changes and blood pressure monitoring. If the blood pressure is high, he will recommend medication. Options may change over time, depending on the severity of high blood pressure and whether complications, such as kidney disease, develop. Some people may need a combination of several different drugs.

Diet to lower blood pressure

Diet management can be an effective way to prevent and treat high blood pressure.

Plant-based foods

A healthy, balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, vegetable and omega oils, and good quality unrefined carbohydrates like whole grains. People who include animal products in their diet should eliminate all fat and avoid processed meats.

Reduce salt intake

Experts recommend reducing salt intake and increasing potassium intake to manage or prevent high blood pressure. Limiting salt intake to less than 5-6 grams per day may help improve cardiovascular health and lower systolic blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg in people with hypertension.

healthy fats

In moderation, plant sources of fats, such as avocados, nuts, olive oil and omega 3 oils, can be healthy. People should limit their intake of saturated fats and trans fats, which are common in animal foods and processed foods.

The DASH Diet

Health experts recommend the DASH diet for people with high blood pressure. The DASH diet focuses on an eating plan that prioritizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and low-fat dairy products.


Some studies indicate that drinking a little alcohol can help lower blood pressure. However, other studies report the opposite, noting that even moderate alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure. People who regularly consume more than moderate amounts of alcohol will almost always have high blood pressure.


Studies on the relationship between caffeine and blood pressure have yielded conflicting results. A 2017 report concluded that moderate coffee consumption appears to be safe for people with high blood pressure.

home remedies

A range of lifestyle adjustments can help lower blood pressure, such as:

– to manage stress
– stop smoking
– eat healthy
– to exercise
– follow any treatment plan prescribed by the doctor
Discuss any planned lifestyle changes with a healthcare professional before introducing them.

Regular exercise

Most healthy people should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This can be 30 minutes or three sets of 10 minutes a day, five days a week. This amount of exercise is also appropriate for people with high blood pressure. However, a person who has not exercised in a while or who has been newly diagnosed should speak with their doctor before starting a new physical activity program to ensure that the choices they make suit him.

Losing weight

Studies conducted by reputable sources have revealed that a weight loss of just 10% of one’s weight will help lower blood pressure. Weight loss also improves the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

The sleep

Increased sleep alone cannot treat hypertension, but too little sleep and poor sleep quality can make it worse. People who get less than 5 hours of sleep per night are more likely to suffer from hypertension.

Natural remedies

The following can help lower blood pressure:

– meditation, yoga, qi gong and tai chi
– biofeedback and transcendental meditation
– supplements such as garlic, flax seeds, green or black tea, probiotics, cocoa.

Risk factors for the onset of tension

The risk factors for high blood pressure are:

– Age: the risk increases with age because the blood vessels become less flexible.

– Family history and genetic factors: People who have close family members with high blood pressure are more likely to develop it.

– Obesity and overweight: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

– Sedentary lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk.

– Smoking: When a person smokes, blood vessels narrow and blood pressure increases. Smoking also reduces the oxygen content of the blood, so the heart pumps faster to compensate. It also increases blood pressure.

– Alcohol consumption: Drinking a lot of alcohol increases the risk of high blood pressure and its complications, such as heart disease.

– Diet: A diet high in unsaturated fats and salt increases the risk of high blood pressure.

– High cholesterol: More than 50% of people with high blood pressure have high cholesterol. Eating unhealthy fats can contribute to cholesterol buildup in the arteries.

– Mental stress: Stress can have a significant impact on blood pressure, especially when it is chronic. It can result from socio-economic and psychosocial factors.

– Stress: Persistent stress can lead to high blood pressure, and it can increase the risk of making unhealthy choices, such as smoking.

– Diabetes: High blood pressure is often associated with type 1 diabetes. Following a treatment plan to manage diabetes can reduce the risk.

– Pregnancy: High blood pressure is more likely during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Hypertension is also a symptom of preeclampsia, a potentially serious placental disorder.

– Sleep apnea: People with sleep apnea momentarily stop breathing while they sleep. Experts say there are links to hypertension.

When to consult a doctor

Many people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why they should be screened regularly, especially those at higher risk.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.