We have all heard the term high blood pressure. And we all know it is unhealthy. But do you know why it is unhealthy? What symptoms it can cause and how to prevent it? We will cover all the answers and much more in this video.

This video is part of a videoseries on cardiovascular diseases and treatments. Find the playlists here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaG3Bo3L0gX4RW4KCNLMonBoVENz-SKM_

How does your heart work?
Your heart is a muscle, which pumps blood through your body with every contraction. Your blood flows from your heart through the arteries to your organs and muscles. And then back to the heart through your veins.
Your heart beating is a cycle, consisting out of a period of contraction. Which is called systole and the period of relaxation. Which is called diastole. As you can imagine this has a huge impact on your blood pressure.
Those of you who ever received their blood pressure results know this. As you will be provided with two number, one representing the diastolic blood pressure and one representing the systolic blood pressure. Both are given as millimeters of mercury.

Why is a high blood pressure dangerous?
Your blood vessels are damaged over the years. This can lead to the buildup of plaques of fat, cholesterols and other substances in your arteries. In medical terms this is called Atherosclerosis.
If these plaques become big enough, they can obstruct the entire blood flow of a blood vessel. Or these plaques can rupture and form blood clot. Both may lead to insufficient blood flow, damaging your organs, which could ultimately cause serious complications of cardiovascular disease.

This process of atherosclerosis can be sped up and increased by several risk factors; being overweight, diabetes, lack of physical exercise, high cholesterol levels, smoking and yes… a high blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure?
A normal blood pressure would be a systolic pressure of 90-120 and a diastolic pressure of 60-80 mmHg.
At a systolic pressure of 130-139 mmHg and/or a diastolic pressure between 80-89 mmHg there would be a stage 1 hypertension. Which is the medical word for high blood pressure.
From at least a systolic pressure of 140 or a diastolic pressure of at least 90 mmHg there is a stage 2 hypertension.

Symptoms of high blood pressure:
In most people this often does not cause any symptoms. However, the higher the blood pressure becomes the more likely it is to cause symptoms. It may lead to; Severe headaches, nosebleed, fatigue, confusion, vision problems, chest pain, difficulties breathing, irregular heartbeat, blood in your urine, pounding in your chest/neck/ears, dizziness, nervousness, sweating, facial flushing and blood spots in your eyes.

How can you prevent a high blood pressure or how could you lower it?
This all starts with an healthy lifestyle.
So stop smoking, limit your alcohol consumption, exercise at least 150 minutes each week, consume a balanced diet (with low levels of saturated fat, salt and sugar. Eat plenty of fibres, fruit and vegetables), maintain an healthy weight, have a structured sleeping schedule (7-9 hours of sleep each night) and decrease stress (by maintaining social contacts, doing fun activities and relaxing).

Treatment of high blood pressure:
In some cases changing your lifestyle will only get you so far. Your doctor might than recommend several medications to help you lower your blood pressure. Your doctor might prescribe you: Diuretics; Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors; Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs); Calcium channel blockers; Alpha blockers and lastly Beta blockers.

– Disclaimer: this video and the comments are meant purely informational! This is not medical advice! If you are looking for medical advice always contact your own doctor. –

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1: Beckerman J. (2020). Symptoms of High Blood Pressure. WebMD.
2: Falck S. Cavaco Silva J. (2018). What are diastole and systole in blood pressure? Medical News Today.
3: NHS. (2019). Overview – High blood pressure (hypertension). NHS.
4: Mayo Clinic Staff. (2021). High blood pressure (hypertension). Mayo Clinic.

* The images in this video are used for educational purposes only. Most of the images and video material in this video come from https://www.canva.com/.

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