Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About High Blood Pressure

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  • High blood pressure may lead to stroke if it damages arteries connected to the brain, depriving this vital organ of oxygen and nutrients
  • You can die from uncontrolled high blood pressure, as it causes a variety of fatal complications, such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure

Q: Can high blood pressure cause a heart attack?

A: Yes, the progressive damage caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure may eventually lead to a heart attack. This life-threatening condition usually occurs when the artery that supplies blood to the heart (also called the coronary artery) slowly becomes narrow and hard due to the buildup of cholesterol on the artery walls — this process is also known as atherosclerosis.

Blood clots may form within the artery as it narrows and hardens, consequently interrupting the flow of blood to your heart muscles. Once this happens, your heart will no longer receive the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function properly — and this will ultimately lead to the damage or death of heart muscles, which is also known as a heart attack.1,2

Q: Can high blood pressure cause stroke?

A: Yes, high blood pressure may lead to stroke if it damages the arteries that are connected to the brain, depriving this vital organ of oxygen and nutrients. There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke is caused by clogged blood vessels, whereas a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when the arteries to the brain burst.3

Q: Can you die from high blood pressure?

A: Yes, you can die from uncontrolled high blood pressure, as it causes a variety of fatal complications, such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure.4

Q: Does smoking cause high blood pressure?

A: Yes, smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for hypertension, since it may increase your blood pressure and heart rate by narrowing your arteries, hardening your arterial walls and increasing your risk for blood clots. These negative effects also make you more susceptible to heart attack or stroke.5

Q: What can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure?

A: There are many factors that may cause your blood pressure reading to suddenly increase, including strenuous physical activities, smoking, cold weather, and strong emotions such as stress, anxiety and anger. Certain medications, alcoholic drinks, herbs and illegal drugs may also cause your blood pressure readings to spike.6,7

Q: What does high blood pressure feel like?

A: High blood pressure generally doesn’t cause any symptoms, which is why it’s also called the “silent killer.” It may even go undetected for years, since hypertensive people may feel fine even though their blood pressure levels are elevated. However, extremely high blood pressure levels may cause warning signs of organ malfunction, including:8

Severe headache

Fatigue

Chest pain

Difficulty breathing

Heart palpitations

Vision problems

Q: What is considered a dangerous blood pressure reading?

A: A blood pressure reading is considered dangerously high when it’s higher than 180/120 mmHg. This condition is known as hypertensive crisis. Seek immediate medical attention if your blood pressure reading reaches this range, since it may put you at risk of life-threatening complications like organ damage, stroke or heart attack.9

Q: What are some good lifestyle and dietary changes for controlling high blood pressure?

A: You can keep your blood pressure level under control simply by exercising regularly — 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity workouts will do. Exercising not only strengthens your heart, but it may also help you prevent obesity, which is a major risk factor for high blood pressure.10

You should also make sure that you’re eating a nutritionally balanced diet that’s rich in healthy fats, potassium and magnesium. Avoid processed foods, since they’re usually high in sugar, trans fat and grains, all of which may put you at risk of hypertension by contributing to insulin resistance.

You should cut down your alcohol and caffeine intake too, since they may cause your blood pressure to rise. Reducing your stress levels may also help you gain better control of your blood pressure. There are many ways to alleviate your stress, including yoga, breathing techniques and meditations.11

MORE ABOUT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

High Blood Pressure: Introduction

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood Pressure Range

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

High Blood Pressure Causes

High Blood Pressure Medications

High Blood Pressure Treatment

How to Control High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Remedies

High Blood Pressure Side Effects

High Blood Pressure Headache

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

High Blood Pressure Prevention

High Blood Pressure Diet

Essential Oils for High Blood Pressure

Herbs for High Blood Pressure

Supplements for High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure FAQ

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