Nearly, half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. And the number grows significantly for women post-menopause. The doctor will diagnose you with high blood pressure if you consistently have a reading of 140/90. The optimal level of blood pressure is 120/80. Undiagnosed high blood pressure in later stages can lead to complications like organ failure and strokes. So, the best treatment for this is early detection of symptoms and prevention.
You could be suffering from high blood pressure even without being aware because there are no signs in the early stages. Certain possible symptoms that can be noted in women are:
1. You might suffer from dull to severe headaches depending on the level of the blood pressure reading.
2. Women may develop a lethargic attitude with a constant feeling of drowsiness. This might lead to somnolence.
3. The affliction of high blood pressure can cause mental confusion, dizziness, and anxiety in women. This can result in convulsions.
4. There could be ringing or buzzing in the ears.
5. High blood pressure can cause visual disruptions (blurred and dimness) and changes in vision. This might lead to blindness if blood pressure is not controlled at the right time.
6. You might suffer from heart flutters and shortness of breath at frequent occasions.
7. When blood pressure spikes suddenly there could be nose bleeding.
8. There will be increased frequency of urination.
9. Nausea and vomiting are other signs of high blood pressure.
Pregnancy-induced blood pressure has its own specific signs like sudden weight gain, presence of protein in urine (test with pH indicator), face and neck swelling, abdominal pain and visual disturbances (double vision, flashes and dark spots).
A healthy lifestyle will help women to manage high blood pressure. The adaptations required into your daily routine are:
1. Exercise daily for 30–60 minutes as physical activeness lowers the risk of getting high blood pressure.
2. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as obese women are more susceptible to high blood pressure. This is because of the deposition of fats in arteries which hinders circulation.
3. Reduce the intake of salt as it prevents blood pressure from rising.
4. Dietary supplements may also help to prevent rise in blood pressure. Make potassium rich foods, like yogurt, bananas and avocados, a part of your diet. The intake of green leafy vegetables, dry peas, and beans should be increased to raise the level of magnesium. Garlic has been observed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Reduce the consumption of high-calorie and fatty food.
5. De-stress yourself. This can be achieved by taking proper rest, practicing yoga and meditation.
6. Stop smoking as it injures the blood vessels and stimulates the process of hardening of arteries.
7. Avoid non-aspirin painkillers like Tylenol and other over the counter NSAID, i.e., non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A study has shown that there are higher chances of high blood pressure in women consuming these medications on a regular basis. Aspirin still remains one of the safest medicines for pain relief.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should I go for a blood pressure examination?
You should get your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you have a family history of a high or low blood pressure, then more frequent checkups is required. The optimal level is 120/80.
2. Do the chances of developing high blood pressure increases after menopause?
Blood pressure usually increases after menopause. This could be as a result of hormonal changes or increase in body mass index.
3. How can pregnancy-induced high blood pressure be avoided?
Regular visits to the doctor and following all their recommendations may help prevent this. Adequate rest, balanced diet, restriction of salt uptake, etc, can be helpful.
4. Do contraceptive pills cause high blood pressure?
Yes, in certain women birth control pills lead to rise in blood pressure. But this solely depends on their physical and medical conditions.