Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
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High blood pressure is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a major cause of premature death. The condition increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and other severe illnesses. Clinical Director at the pharmacist Medicine Direct, Hussain Abdeh, has talked to the Express.co.uk about the lesser known symptoms of blood pressure to watch out for, which indicate that you need medical help.
The NHS is specific about what healthy blood pressure is. 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg are considered healthy blood pressure amounts.
The easiest way to find out if you fit in this bracket is to get it tested.
But there is also a set of symptoms you should know that indicate dangerously high blood pressure.
One of the lesser-known symptoms is blurred vision, explains Mr Abdeh.
“Changes in your vision have been found to be a sign that you may be at risk of a serious health problem caused by high blood pressure,” he said.
High levels of blood pressure can damage or compromise the blood vessels in your eye – leaving you with a condition called hypertensive retinopathy.
According to the medical organisation Midtown Atlanta Nephrology, “these tiny blood vessels in the backs of your eyes can even bleed and this can lead to blurry vision”.
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Worryingly, if your blood pressure remains untreated, you can lose your vision entirely.
Other severe symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds.
Mr Abdeh added: “Feeling dizzy can also be a sign of high blood pressure that is not always well known.
“You may feel like the room is spinning, which can signify very high blood pressure.”
Dizziness is caused because the restricted blood flow due to having a high blood pressure reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain.
Causes of high blood pressure
Blood pressure is affected by a variety of factors; diet and exercise are the better-known ones, but stress can also increase blood pressure levels.
When your body responds to stress, it releases substances such as cortisol and fibrinogen into the bloodstream.
Fibrinogen is a chemical that at natural levels is designed to stop bleeding by causing blood clots. But in excess, these blood clots can cause severe issues.
Cortisol on the other hand can cause an increase in heart rate, and ultimately blood pressure.
Other factors known to cause high blood pressure include:
- Tobacco use
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Working on night shifts.
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