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Women and Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know

Blood pressure is the rush of blood pushing against the inside lining of the arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, takes place when that force elevates and remains higher than average for a given duration of time.

This condition can damage the blood vessels, heart, brain, and other organs. About one in three American citizens suffer from high blood pressure, but women are especially at higher risk.

The “Silent Killer”

Blood pressure can rise without any obvious symptoms. You can have high blood pressure without any signs until you suffer a stroke or heart attack.

Certain people may experience severe high blood pressure that causes nosebleeds, headaches, or dizziness. Due to the fact that hypertension can creep up on you, it’s crucial to track your blood pressure regularly.

Complications

Without proper diagnosis, you may be unaware of your blood pressure rising. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in serious health problems, including raising your likelihood of a stroke or kidney failure.

The harm to blood vessels that happens because of chronic high blood pressure can also contribute to heart attacks. If you’re pregnant, high blood pressure can be incredibly dangerous for both you and your baby.

Keeping Track of Your Blood Pressure

The best method to determine whether you have hypertension is by taking a look at your blood pressure. This can be performed at the doctor’s office or at home using a blood pressure monitor.

You should be familiar with your typical blood pressure. If you see a notable increase since the last time you checked, you should notify your primary healthcare provider.

Contributing Factors

Some women who take birth control pills may detect a slight elevation in blood pressure. It is worth noting, however, that this generally applies to women who have suffered from high blood pressure before, are overweight, or have a family history of hypertension.

If you’re pregnant, your blood pressure may increase, so getting checkups frequently and monitoring it are highly recommended.

Both women with pre-existing high blood pressure and women without any history of high blood pressure may go through pregnancy-induced hypertension, which is similar to the more severe condition known as preeclampsia.

About Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a condition that impacts approximately five to eight percent of pregnant women. In the women affected, it often shows once 20 weeks of pregnancy have passed. It is quite uncommon for this condition to take place early on in pregnancy or even postpartum.

The symptoms include high blood pressure, headaches, potential liver or kidney issues, and even unexpected weight gain and swelling.

Preeclampsia can be a critical condition, as it contributes to roughly 13 percent of all maternal deaths throughout the world. This condition can be manageable, though. It usually goes away within two months after the baby’s birth.

The following groups of females are most susceptible to preeclampsia:

  • Teens
  • Women in their 40’s
  • Females who’ve had more than one pregnancy
  • Females that are obese
  • Females with a history of hypertension or kidney problems

Ways to Prevent High Blood Pressure

Experts advise the following tips to prevent high blood pressure in both women and men:

  • Work out at least 30 to 45 minutes every day, five days out of your week
  • Follow a diet that’s not too heavy in calories and low in saturated fats
  • Schedule frequent health checkups with your primary healthcare provider

Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Family Medical Center

At Family Medical Center in Edinburg, we can determine your risk of high blood pressure and help determine the best approaches to keep your blood pressure at a healthy range, while also ensuring your overall health.