Do I Have High Blood Pressure?

A favorite pastime for many is looking up physical symptoms online to figure out if the internet can provide more insight than your physician. This is one of the great revolutions of the century because, in researching why you might have toe pain, you can narrow it down to things like bunions, arthritis, gout and toe cancer. So that will quell your fear until the doctor’s appointment.

The best and worst part of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is that you’re not likely to experience any symptoms at all. Almost one third of cases exhibit no symptoms. This also means it’s imperative to undergo screening if you think you might be at risk. If you suffer from hypertension without symptoms, it’s like being burned on your hand without any nerve endings. It’s great that you don’t feel pain, but you’re also going to lose your hand and have a prosthetic replacement, slowly but surely turning into Darth Vader.

The most common symptoms of hypertension include:

Causes for hypertension are quite mixed. Some are caused by poor lifestyle choices, and others are predestined by the cosmos, a.k.a. genetics.

If high blood pressure is sustained over time, your blood vessels and organs can sustain damage. The good news is that many of the causes are well within your control through lifestyle changes. This isn’t to say you have to sign up for the next Iron Man challenge (although that isn’t a bad idea), but small changes in diet, like cutting out sugar and going for walks every day can mean the difference between visits to the hospital and visits to Copacabana in a flower shirt sipping daiquiris with your friend Marge who had to get away from the kids for a few days. Be a good friend to Marge. Stay in good health.

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