Does High Blood Pressure Put You at Risk of Stroke?

There are a lot of different medical risks that a person can face. Many people in America have to deal with high blood pressure. This can also be referred to as “hypertension”. Hypertension may seem like a minor issue to some, but for those who leave it untreated, death is commonly the result. Hypertension on its own isn't fatal, but it causes people to undergo a Stroke or to suffer from heart disease.

Stroke is one of the most related potential causes from untreated high blood pressure. What does having a stroke really mean though? How does blood pressure affect this? How can you recognize it and how do you get it treated if you’re suffering from it? Read on through this article to help answer these questions.

What is a Stroke?

Many people hear the term stroke and assume it’s something to do with the heart. It’s often linked together and people refer to it as “heart and stroke” risk. While directly related, a stroke technically has absolutely nothing to do with the heart. A stroke is actually an issue with the brain.

The brain requires oxygen in order to function at a high level. That’s part of why there’s a proven link between staying fit and brain activity. That oxygen reaches the brain through blood that is being pumped by the heart. If a heart struggles and is unable to pump blood, then a person is likely to undergo a stroke. This firm link between the two issues has led them to be studied in tandem in many research situations.

High blood pressure can be quite the cause of stroke. This is because high blood pressure will often shrink and damage blood vessels. These narrow blood vessels can leak out blood. This will mean less blood actually moving through the system. Once there’s not enough blood going to the brain, the stroke is inevitable.

What is Considered High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is measured with two different numbers. These numbers contain the pressure while the heart is contracting and moving blood, and the number while it’s at rest. The higher number is during the heartbeat and is given first. Ideal blood pressure is ranked at below 120/80.

Not everyone is created equally however. Many people who are larger or taller have higher blood pressure because the heart is forced to pump blood farther into the body to reach the extremities. Doctors will be able to determine if it’s an unhealthy situation. People who are potentially at a risk of having a stroke will find their blood pressure to be in the range of 180/120. It’s very high and can cause a lot of damage to blood vessels.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure Leading to Stroke

By now you may feel that high blood pressure is worrisome. The need now is to determine if you or someone you care about might be suffering from high blood pressure. There are many symptoms that may indicate that you are a sufferer of high blood pressure. The following list are common symptoms that are observable:

  • Fatigue and Confusion - Those who suffer it may feel dazed and unable to think as they normally would.
  • Irregular Heartbeat - Your heartbeat may pump at a rate different than normal.
  • Headaches - These are often severe and debilitating headaches.
  • Vision Issues - People may have blurry vision when they have high blood pressure.
  • Shortness of Breath - This will often occur at surprisingly times at rest instead of just during heavy physical exertion.

Treatments of High Blood Pressure

There are several different options that will assist in reducing the risk of stroke and high blood pressure. Some of these are medicinal, but many of them are more about changing a person’s lifestyle.

The best changes to reduce high blood pressure start with a change of lifestyle. Smoking is a serious cause of high blood pressure and needs to be cut out. Considering the health benefits to quitting smoking, it’s generally a good idea anyway. Keeping an active lifestyle is crucial as well. Regular exercise will help the body push blood pressure more appropriately. A healthy and balanced diet is crucial as well. This likely means more vegetables, and less sodium.

As mentioned, there are also medicinal options. Typically these will not be prescribed by a doctor immediately, unless the hypertension is already incredibly high. The goal will be to reduce your blood pressure through lifestyle first, and medication second. As always, check with your doctor for treatment options for you.


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