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High blood pressure: The signs to look out for warning of a hypertensive crisis

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High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and is a common disease that develops when blood flows through your arteries at higher than normal pressures. A person doesn’t usually have symptoms from high blood pressure until it has caused serious health problems. That is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. In these difficult times it is strongly recommended to have a high blood pressure monitor to keep aware of your numbers especially if prone to having higher than normal readings. A hypertensive crisis is when the numbers get out of control and become too high. What are the signs to look out for warning a hypertensive crisis may be occurring?

A hypertensive crisis is a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke.

Extremely high blood pressure is when the top number (systolic pressure) is 180 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher or the bottom number (diastolic pressure) is 120 mm Hg or higher it can become dangerous as the blood vessels are becoming damaged.

The blood vessels become inflamed and may leak fluid or blood.

As a result, the heart may not be able to pump blood effectively.

A hypertensive crisis is divided into two categories: urgent and emergency. In an urgent hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high, but your doctor doesn’t suspect you have any damage to your organs, said the Mayo Clinic.

The health site continued: “In an emergency hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high and has caused damage to your organs.

“An emergency hypertensive crisis can be associated with life-threatening complications.”

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The site listed the potential symptoms to spot of a hypertensive crisis which include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

If your blood pressure reading is 180/120 or greater and you are experiencing any other associated symptoms of target organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, or difficulty speaking then this would be considered a hypertensive emergency, warn The American Heart Association.

The health site advised to not wait to see if your pressure goes down but to rather call for emergency help.

“If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, track your blood pressure and medications.

“If possible, during an emergency, having these logs with you can provide valuable information to the medical team providing treatment,” it added.

Many people in the UK are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.

According to a research review published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, adults who practice yoga with breathing and relaxation exercises at least three times a week may have lower blood pressure than people who don’t.

Researchers have found through various studies that when people with high blood pressure did yoga three times a week in sessions that also included breathing and relaxation exercises, they experienced average decreases of 11 mmHG more than control groups in systolic blood pressure and six mmHG more in diastolic blood pressure.

Along with getting some form of exercise and learning to be calmer, following a well-balanced diet with a reduction in salt use will also help to lower your risk of either high blood pressure or a hypertensive crisis.

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