Symptoms Of Hypertension
Signs of High Blood Pressure in Women

Guide to signs of high blood pressure

getting regular headaches?

Signs Of Hypertension

Contents

What Are The Symptoms of Hypertension?
Other Complications And Warning Signs

More than half of all women aged over 55 have high blood pressure. After the age of 65, 83 percent of black women and 66 per of white women have the condition.


Other Useful Articles

Hypertension Guide
What Is Blood Pressure?

What Are The Symptoms of Hypertension?

Nearly one in three American adults have hypertension, and many of them do not know it. This is because in the vast majority of cases hypertension produces no symptoms and for this reason it is called a silent killer. If you are aged over 40 you should have your blood pressure checked every 2 years for signs of elevation. Slightly elevated blood pressure is known as prehypertension, and if left untreated is likely to turn into full blown hypertension.

In rare instances advanced hypertension (where it is likely to be at the life-threatening stage) may cause:
• Headaches
• Dizziness (read other reasons, why am I feeling faint?)
• Tiredness/Fatigue
• Nosebleeds

No Warning Signs
As most people with high blood pressure do not experience any warning signs, the first symptom could be a complication such as:
Stroke - basically a brain attack.
• Heart attack, or mini stroke.
• Kidney disease.
Congestive heart failure (CHF).
• Blindness caused by burst blood vessels in the eyes.

Hypertension gradually constricts the arteries (in particular the arterioles, the smallest arteries in the body). One possible consequence is an enlarged heart as the heart muscle expands to work harder to pump blood through the narrowed arteries. As the heart enlarges, it starts to work less effectively resulting in CHF. If the arteries become damaged in the process they can burst, causing blood to leak into the brain (stroke) or the eyes (causing blindness). It also sets the stage for atherosclerosis because as the arteries become damaged they become more prone to plaque forming and gradually become clogged. This is one of the main causes of angina attacks, heart attacks and chest pain in women. If an artery supplying blood to the kidneys becomes blocked it can cause kidney failure.

Other Complications And Warning Signs

If you have any of the risk factors for hypertension (for example you are black, have diabetes, or if you are obese and smoke, see causes of high blood pressure), or are receiving treatment for high blood pressure, in particular if your doctor has prescribed blood pressure drugs, you should become familiar with the symptoms of the following heart conditions:

Heart Attack Symptoms: See diagram
• Sudden crushing chest pain that starts in the center of the chest and lasts longer than a few minutes.
• Pain spreads to one (usually left) or both arms, back, jaw and neck.
• Shortness of breath
Pounding heartbeat.
• Nausea, vomiting or severe indigestion.
• Dizziness with weakness.
• Cold sweats with no obvious reason.
• Suddenly feeling extremely tired.

Symptoms of Stroke: See diagram
• Weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body.
• Mental confusion, trouble understanding or speaking.
• Trouble walking, vertigo, loss of coordination or balance.
• Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
• Severe headache with no identifiable cause.

Symptoms of Heart Related Chest Pain
• Pressure, tightness or fullness in the chest.
• Crushing searing pain that radiates to your neck, jaw, shoulders and arms, particularly the left arm.
• Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, it can go away and come back again and varies in intensity.
• Shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating or nausea.

Symptoms of Angina
Chest pain that:
• Is bought on by an activity that makes the heart work faster - for example, exercise, stress and cold temperatures.
• Starts in the left side of the chest and radiates down the left arm.
• Sometimes extends to the jaw, arm, shoulder or back.
• Does not come as a surprise, the patient can usually predict what activity will cause an attack.
• Lasts a few minutes and disappears with rest or with taking nitrate medications.
• May be described as an unpleasant sensation of fullness in the chest. A sensation similar to indigestion.
• Is sometimes described as 'squeezing'.
• During an attack the person looks pale and becomes very quiet.

Next: read how doctors give a hypertension diagnosis.

  Related Articles on Symptoms Of Hypertension

For more on the topic, see the following:

• All about high, low and normal blood pressure readings
• If you are at risk, consider buying a home blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on your readings. It is also worth reading about hypertension prevention to see what changes you can make yourself.

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