What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like (Symptoms)?

High blood pressure or hypertension can be a signal that your heart is working harder than usual – and if left untreated, it can be very harmful for your cardiovascular system. But will you experience any noticeable symptom when you have it? And what does it feel like? Unlike in high cholesterol, sometime hypertension can generate some noticeable signs. These signs may be very bothersome, but at least they can make you aware that there is something wrong with your body so thus you can take appropriate steps earlier to treat the problem and prevent other serious complications.

What does hypertension feel like?

Many times, the existence of high blood pressure (particularly at early stage such as at the stage of prehypertension) is not followed with noticeable symptoms. Even when it reaches dangerous high level, it may also not cause any symptom. Furthermore, the raised of blood pressure can occur gradually with age.

image_illustration18These are some reasons for why hypertension can be called and categorized into the ‘silent killer’ health problem. In fact, many people with hypertension don’t realize when they have it.

The clearly option to keep monitoring the fluctuation is by taking regular checkups. Taking a test for hypertension is simple and practical.

You don’t need to take a blood test like in checking the levels of your cholesterol and blood sugar. Even you can take the test on your own at home. There are now available lots of home blood pressure monitors that you can use practically. And the good news, generally you don’t need to get prescription from your doctor to purchase one.

However, sometime there are also some symptoms that may occur when your blood pressure rises higher than normal.

If the raised blood pressure levels do generate signs and symptoms, these may include (according to an article published on the official site of the American Health Association):

  1. Confusion /fatigue may occur.
  2. You experience sudden severe headache without clearly reason.
  3. Pain of your chest may also occur.
  4. If you experience chest pain, it may also be followed with difficulty breathing.
  5. You may find blood in the urine when you pee.
  6. Heartbeat problem may also occur, particularly such as your heart that beats irregularly or even extremely irregular.
  7. Poundings in the ears, neck, or chest.

Some of these symptoms are still debatable. While they may occur due to hypertension, they may also be triggered by other health problems!

If you in-doubt to a symptom that you are experiencing, consult more with your GP /doctor for more advice and clearly diagnosis.

The role of high blood pressure in causing fatigue /confusion

Fatigue usually comes after doing certain activity that make you move a lot physically. It also occurs when you are being hunted with a tight schedule or deadline.

In general, anything that makes your heart works harder can be potential to cause fatigue.

In the case of hypertension, the high pressure inside the arteries is the signal of when the heart works harder. When you have high systolic pressure (the pressure inside arteries when your heart beats), it’s harder for your heart in pumping the blood. Harder your heart works means you are easier to get fatigue.

How does hypertension cause headache?

The issue of headache due to hypertension is still debatable. There may be a link between hypertension and headache, but in fact there is still no scientific evidence to confirm this issue.

Currently, experts cannot explain clearly the link of both problems. Headache due to hypertension may occur when there is less blood that flows to the brain.

The more interesting result comes from a study in Norway that showed the contradictive result. According to this study, hypertensive people may be less likely to develop headache than others.

Baroreceptor-mediated hypoalgesia that is induced when the systolic pressure rises may have contribution to reduce headache prevalence in people with high blood pressure.

How about chest pain?

Chest pain is the symptom of different health problems such as heart attack (especially in men) and other cardiovascular diseases. It may also be present when you have hypertension.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol in the bloodstream can be great combination to cause atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can be very harmful for the blood flow inside your blood vessels. It can narrow the diameter of a blood vessel.

When there is an atherosclerosis that develops in a wall of blood vessel that link between the heart and the lungs, chest pain is one of early symptoms that may occur.

The affected flow of blood rich in oxygen from the lungs to the heart is a serious condition. When your heart doesn’t get adequate supply of blood rich in oxygen, you may suffer ‘pain of chest’.

The issue of difficulty breathing due to hypertension

According to an article published on the official site of the U.S National Library of Medicine, pulmonary hypertension is one of common causes of difficulty breathing.

The right side of the heart pump blood to the lungs through blood vessels (pulmonary artery that connects between heart and lungs) to pick up oxygen. Then the blood will return back to the left of the heart through pulmonary veins.

When a blood vessel of lungs are getting narrowed due certain factor (such as atherosclerosis), it cannot distribute and carry as much blood! As a result, this can create more pressure against the wall of blood vessel that connects your heart and lungs (a medical condition called pulmonary hypertension).

Pulmonary hypertension can make your heart work harder to pump the blood to the lungs which then put you at greater chance of getting difficulty breathing and chest pain.

Blood in urine and high blood pressure

Most cases of hypertension are closely influenced with diet and lifestyle factors – this type is called essential hypertension. But there is also a type of hypertension where certain health condition has much more effect in increasing systolic and diastolic blood pressure – this type is called secondary hypertension.

To identify the cause of your hypertension, your doctor may ask you to take a urine test. In this test, a sample of your urine will be closely examined to measure the amounts of protein, sugar, and even blood in your urine.

If small amounts of blood and /or small amounts of protein are found in the urine, this may point to the problem of your kidneys. And in fact, kidneys problem is the major cause in secondary hypertension.

Additionally, diastolic pressure is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart doesn’t beat (between beats).

How about with irregular heartbeats?

Sometime high blood pressure may also be followed with heartbeat problem, especially like irregular heartbeats. In fact, there are many medicines prescribed by doctor to treat hypertension is intended to help stabilize the heartbeats.

Since high blood pressure can cause your heart work harder than usual, this also can be potential to affect the heartbeats.

Medically, irregular heartbeats are called arrhythmia. It can occur with a normal rate of heartbeat. The normal heartbeat rate is about 50-100 beats /minute. There is also a chance for arrhythmia to occur with the rapid-heartbeats or slow-heartbeats.

Hypertension and coronary heart disease are not the single reason behind irregular heartbeat problem. If you have had personal history of a heart attack, there is chance for it to cause an injury to your heart which then may also have an effect on your heartbeats.

A recovery after a surgery, heart muscle’s changes, and excessive salt in the bloodstream (one of risk factors of hypertension) are other common causes of irregular heartbeats.

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