Blood pressure is measured by placing systolic blood pressure over diastolic blood pressure (i.e. 120/80 mm Hg). Your systolic reading indicates blood pressure when your heart is beating and your diastolic reading indicates blood pressure when your heart is resting in between beats. Usually, the first number (systolic) is more important and is used to decide whether your blood pressure is too high or too low. Stage 1 hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when your systolic reading is between 130-139, and Stage 2 is anything greater than or equal to 140.
Measuring your blood pressure is the most reliable way to determine if you have Stage 1 or 2 hypertension, and symptoms usually don’t occur. This is why high blood pressure is nicknamed the “Silent Killer” since it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia, and heart failure without exhibiting symptoms in most cases. However, in some situations, symptoms may arise, so it’s important to be aware of these 4 things that may be signs of high blood pressure.
1. Chest pain
Chest pain is often a primary symptom of a heart-related disease or complication. It can also be caused by heavy lifting or any physical trauma to the chest, but if chest pain occurs without any physical exertion, it may be a sign of a heart problem. High blood pressure, heart disease and poor blood circulation to the heart (heart attack) are the most common sources of chest pain.
2. Trouble sleeping
Having trouble sleeping can be a symptom of many different things, both major and minor, but hypertension can also be a contributor to this issue. You should always consult a doctor if you’re consistently sleeping poorly since good sleep helps your blood regulate stress hormones and supports your nervous system. High blood pressure can be both a cause and a result of sleeping trouble, so it’s an important sign to look out for.
3. Fatigue, confusion, or dizziness
Hypertension causes major damage to your blood vessels, and as a result, makes it more difficult for your heart to circulate blood. Poor blood circulation makes it harder for your brain to get the oxygen it needs, which can result in fatigue, confusion, or dizziness, often follows a severe headache. If your brain consistently doesn’t get the blood it needs due to high blood pressure, it could cause a brain aneurysm or stroke.
4. Difficulty breathing
As mentioned before, high blood pressure makes it harder for your body to circulate blood, which can be a major problem for your respiratory system. Blood vessels in your lungs may not be able to efficiently transfer oxygen to the rest of your body, making breathing during everyday activities a struggle. This is known as pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in your lungs.