- On many occasions, this condition does not generate symptoms in its initial stages, which causes it to be underdiagnosed.
- Patients are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, or other serious health conditions.
- Some natural aspects such as pregnancy and menopause can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
There is constant talk about the high blood pressure and the health complications it generates. This is a large problem that is affecting more and more people. But although anyone is at risk, there are some risk factors and complications that are directly related to women.
In the first instance, the Dr Kershaw Patelwho is a specialist in Preventive Cardiology at Houston Methodist Hospital, mentions that having high blood pressure makes the heart pump harder. It also causes the arteries to narrow and harden over time. Therefore, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke or other serious health conditions is increased.
The high blood pressure It is considered a silent disease because at the beginning it generates few symptoms or even none at all. For this reason it is diagnosed far below the real cases and for this reason it is underdiagnosed.
Truths that every woman should know
1. The symptoms of high blood pressure in women are very subtle.
In the early stages it is difficult to detect high blood pressure because its symptoms are very common. In women, for example, they include:
- Difficulty breathing
- chest discomfort
It’s easy to see how these symptoms can be confused with anything from the everyday stress, anxiety or even signs of menopause.
2. Don’t wait for symptoms: know your blood pressure and what the numbers mean
Once you check your blood pressure, it’s important to know what the numbers mean in the blood pressure meter reading:
• Normal pressure: less than 120/80 mmHG
• High blood pressure: between 120-129/<80mmHG
• Phase 1 hypertension: between 130-139/80<90 mmHG
• Phase 2 hypertension: between 140/90 mmHG or more
3. Pregnancy can expose high blood pressure
“Many times the diagnosis of high blood pressure occurs during pregnancy. One reason is because the changes that happen at this stage can unmask pre-existing high blood pressure, which during pregnancy is called preeclampsia. This condition is common and it is essential to properly care for both the mother and the baby”, specifies the cardiologist.
The preeclampsia it typically goes away after pregnancy, but it is very important that a woman who has had it take care of herself and have her blood pressure checked regularly by her doctor.
4. The risk of high blood pressure increases with menopause
The menopause, which begins once a woman has 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, usually around age 50; is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.
Menopause and its symptoms is one reason why blood pressure is often underdiagnosed in women who are in this stage of life. For example, symptoms like fatigue and headaches occur with both menopause and high blood pressure.
5. Actions to prevent high blood pressure
• Check your blood pressure regularly
• Maintain a healthy weight and avoid being overweight or obese
• Eat a balanced diet and avoid ultra-processed products.
• Limit salt intake
• Exercise at least 150 minutes per week
• Limit alcohol consumption
• Stop smoking
• Get regular check ups at a health institution
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