High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects millions of people in the United States. It is known as the silent that can increase your risk of developing several diseases such as heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. It is a condition that needs immediate attention as most people do not experience these symptoms unless their blood pressure is dangerously high. People who experience symptoms of hypertension may also experience a severe headache. But is it a coincidence, or is there a link between the two?
A study published in the Iranian Journal of Neurology found that headaches due to high blood pressure occur on both sides of the head. While some studies suggest that hypertension can cause headaches may occur because it affects the blood-brain barrier, other studies advocate the contradicting idea that most people do not experience headaches if their blood pressure is high. We talked to Dr Siri Kamath, General Physician, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, to understand the link between the two.
Is there a link between high blood pressure and headaches?
Dr Siri Kamath says, “Hypertension has long been known as a silent killer as it is a major risk factor for stroke and coronary artery disease, kidney and eye problems. These complications can potentially happen without a warning.” Also Read – Air pollution may up risk of cardiovascular diseases; lowering your BP may reduce the effect
“Headache as a symptom is most likely to occur only once BP crosses 180/120 mm Hg, at which level the possibility of the above-mentioned complications is high. Therefore, it is important not to neglect the importance of regular BP checks after the age of 35 years, especially if an individual is leading a sedentary life,” he explained.
How Can You Control High Blood Pressure?
No matter what the cause, making some lifestyle changes can help you manage hypertension. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your life:
Lead A Physically Active Life
We can stress this point enough! Studies have shown that getting some exercise is enough to reduce the need for blood pressure medication. Being physically active is also essential to keep your unhealthy body weight in check as people who are overweight are more likely to experience hypertension.
Limit Salt Consumption
Reducing salt consumption can help decrease blood pressure as well as the risk of developing heart diseases, stroke, and coronary heart attack. Dr Kamath recommends limiting your salt consumption to less than one teaspoon a day to keep your blood pressure in control.
Have At Least 5 Servings Of Fruits And Vegetables A Day
A healthy diet is crucial for reducing and maintaining optimal levels of blood pressure. It is important to have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to keep your blood pressure in control, according to the expert. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet that contain nutrients such as potassium and magnesium that help alleviate BP levels.
Get Regular BP Checks
Some people do not even know that they are suffering from hypertension until they check their blood pressure. This is the reason why it’s important to get an accurate BP reading to get a clear picture of your risk of heart disease and stroke. Normal blood pressure levels are less than 120/80 mmHg. No matter your age, it is essential to keep your blood pressure under this level to mitigate the risk of developing health problems.
This post first appeared on The Health Site