High Blood Pressure Symptoms

What is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension):

Blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of blood being pumped through your blood vessels and the resistance to this pumping.  High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when this blood pressure is too high.  Blood pressure increases the narrower your arteries are, since there is more resistance to the blood passing through.  Generally, high blood pressure develops over time, so symptoms don’t tend to be obvious.  It’s also a very common condition in today’s age.

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A blood pressure reading is made up of a top number (systolic pressure) and bottom number (diastolic pressure) and is measured using a pressure cuff.  The systolic pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries during the heartbeat, and diastolic pressure is the pressure between beats. The table below shows the healthy and unhealthy blood pressure readings, for systolic and diastolic pressure.

(Holland, 2021).

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:

High Blood Pressure symptoms may take years or decades to become noticeable.  Symptoms such as dizziness, flushing and blood spots in the eyes usually only come up when the condition becomes more serious.  During a hypertensive crisis, you may also experience a blood nose, chest pain, difficulty breathing, changes in vision and headache.  Urgent medical attention is required during a hypertensive crisis.

The most effective way of finding out if you have high blood pressure is to get regular blood pressure readings when you visit the doctor.  You may choose to get these done twice a year, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure or heart disease.

Effects of High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure can cause damage to your body even without showing symptoms.  Damaged arteries, heart, and brain can all be caused by having high blood pressure.

Healthy arteries are strong and flexible, but high blood pressure makes them tight, tough, and less elastic, which makes it easier for fats to clog them up.  This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

Hypertension makes your heart work harder to pump the blood around your body.  This may make your heart get bigger, which increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

The brain can also be damaged by high blood pressure, as less oxygen-rich blood reaches the brain.  The blood supply to the brain may be temporarily blocked or blocked for a longer amount of time (technically called a stroke), which causes brain cells to die.  Hypertension can also affect your ability to learn, memory, reason, and ability to speak. 

It’s important to treat high blood pressure as soon as possible, since the effects may be non-reversible.

High Blood Pressure: What are the Causes?

The two types of high blood pressure are called primary or essential hypertension, and secondary hypertension.  While primary hypertension tends to develop over time, secondary hypertension can occur more rapidly.  These two types of hypertension have different causes.

Essential hypertension is more common than secondary hypertension and can be caused by a combination of factors such as obesity, high alcohol consumption, living a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, age, and genes.

Secondary hypertension can be more serious than primary hypertension. It may be caused by conditions like congenital heart defects, kidney disease, thyroid problems, chronic alcohol consumption, obstructive sleep apnoea, adrenal gland problems, and side effects of medications and illegal drugs.

high blood pressure

How Can Chinese Medicine Help?

Traditional Chinese Medicine treats many conditions such as high blood pressure, by addressing the core of the issue.  By asking questions about your symptoms, and taking your pulse, practitioners can find out the root cause of your condition. From there, natural techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbs can be used to bring the systems of the body back into balance.  Because the organs in the body are fundamentally related to each other, diseases can be solved by strengthening the weaker organs, so that they are able to regain their normal functions.  

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help, please see our website at https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/.

For more information about high blood pressure and Chinese Medicine, see our website page at https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/high-blood-pressure/.

high blood pressure

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References:

Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Archive for category: High Blood Pressure. https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/high-blood-pressure/.

Phua, S. (n.d.). What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/

Holland, K. (2021, October 27). Everything You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension