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Why is Elevated Blood Pressure a “Silent Killer”?

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You are feeling good, things at home and work couldn’t be better. The weekend is coming and you can’t wait to relax. You just have to see your doctor for a regular checkup tomorrow and then you will be off to enjoy your plans for the weekend. But, at the doctor’s visit you are informed that your blood pressure is high. “What! But I feel so good, I’ve got energy, I’m able to multitask at work and home”, you cry out. You can’t believe it.

Why is ]]> high blood pressure ]]> “silent”?

The above scenario is very common for many individuals with high blood pressure. High blood pressure may be found incidentally during a routine doctor’s visit or while checking your blood pressure at a grocery store. Few people will experience ]]> blood pressure symptoms ]]> like headaches, vision changes or nausea unless their blood pressure is extremely high. Our bodies are able to recognize and compensate for most changes. For example, the body causes ]]> arteries to expand or contract ]]> to accommodate for and lower the rising blood pressure. This explains why high blood pressure is “silent” – we can’t feel it.

Why is high blood pressure a “killer”?
First, normal blood pressure should be around 120/80. It is normal that it will fluctuate based on your activity, emotion, pain, time of day, age, etc. Second, our bodies allow for this blood pressure change by expanding and contracting arteries and veins, changing blood volume, heart rate, electrolytes levels, etc. Third, factors such as genetics, smoking, artery disease, cholesterol, heart, liver and kidney problems and more, may increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. Our bodies try to “fix” or balance the high blood pressure yet it becomes harder and harder to do so over time.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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