High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK. The condition, which is also known as hypertension, puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs. Eating an unhealthy diet and not doing enough exercise raises your chances of the deadly condition. You could be at risk of high blood pressure if you often develop painful headaches, it’s been claimed.
Headaches are one of the more common warning signs of hypertension, according to Bupa.
While headaches are very common and aren’t usually a sign of anything serious, you should see a doctor if your headaches start very suddenly and are excruciatingly painful.
You could also be at risk of the condition if you often feel dizzy, have unexplained stomach pain, or even have frequent nosebleeds.
“Sometimes high blood pressure is caused by another health problem you already have. But most of the time there’s no obvious cause,” said Bupa.
“High blood pressure has few obvious symptoms. But it can be identified by regular checks and treated through changes to your lifestyle as well as medication.
“A significant majority of people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms and aren’t aware of their condition.
“But rarely, high blood pressure causes one or more of the following: headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, nose bleeds, stomach pain.
“You may want to see your GP if you get a combination of any of these symptoms frequently. They may indicate high blood pressure or something else that needs to be treated.”
Meanwhile, there are some warning signs that your high blood pressure has escalated to a hypertensive emergency.
If you have hypertension, look out for muscle tremors, difficulty speaking, coughing up blood, or a tingling in your hands or feet.
A hypertensive emergency is where your blood pressure rises to dangerously high levels, and can cause permanent damage to your blood vessels.
You could lower your chances of developing high blood pressure by cutting back on the amount of salt in your diet.
Everyone should aim to eat less than 6g of salt in a single day – the equivalent to about a teaspoonful.
Regular exercise is also crucial for avoiding high blood pressure. Aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week.
Speak to a doctor or pharmacist to have your blood pressure checked.
All adults over 40 years old should check their blood pressure at least once every five years.