The first question raised by people wanting to know about hypertension is ‘what is hypertension’. Well, a short definition would be that ‘it is sustained high blood pressure… a major health problem’. In other words, it is a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mm Hg. It puts a strain on the heart for more oxygen and in the process, causes the walls of the arteries to harden.
Hypertension is known as the ‘silent killer’ as a person suffering from high blood pressure does not know he or she has it till he or she gets a stroke or a heart attack.
The second question then obviously relates to hypertension symptoms which are nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision or double vision, dizziness, chronic headaches, fatigue, nose bleeds, heart palpitations, ringing or buzzing in the ears, etc.
There are two major hypertension causes – the first one is genetic predisposition, that is, a family history of hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes and the second one is environmental factors such as age and state of hormone.
Factors contributing to hypertension in women are smoking, overweight, high sodium intake, high cholesterol, drinking, lack of physical activity, hysterectomy, menopause and heredity.
To control hypertension, women should take the following measures:
- They must control their eating habits by lowering the salt intake, fat intake and avoiding sodium-rich foods – fat clogs the arteries and salt helps in shooting up the sodium level abnormally high causing swollen legs/feet and dehydration.
- They need to eat food rich in potassium; it will help to adjust the water levels in the body.
- They must keep a strict watch and control over their weight. Overweight women should try to reduce their weight which in turn, would lower their blood pressure (a problem that goes with the overweight). Reducing weight means eating less starches and sugar and following a very strict fitness/exercise regime.
- Exercises would not only keep the pressure low, they would also help in effective pumping of blood by the heart. Actually, exercises imitate nitric oxide, a substance that opens the blood vessels.
- They should take a lot of rest but make sure that they do not to get sleep apnea – it can cause stress level to increase and blood oxygen level to decrease.
- They need to manage their anger, anxiety and stress levels through relaxation techniques like taking a vacation, enjoying a hobby or taking an hour break from the daily routine work.
- They should and must avoid smoking and drinking. Nicotine increases the blood pressure by causing the heart to pump blood faster than the required rate. Alcohol blocks the vital minerals from reaching certain parts of the body.
Hypertensive women need to be careful; if they can control it, then what’s the need for lengthy treatments? Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts about hypertension in women. Don’t forget to subscribe our RSS to receive latest updates.