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High blood pressure causes
High blood pressure (BP) is dubbed the ‘silent killer‘ as symptoms are uncommon in the initial stages. This results in many people left undiagnosed and untreated. Some people experience the coincidental occurrence of certain symptoms such as headaches, nosebleed and fatigue.
Main factors that contribute to high blood pressure
Smoking and high blood pressure
Smoking is an important risk factor for high blood pressure (BP). When you smoke, your BP is temporarily raised and this increases your risk of damaged arteries. Continuous smoking induces narrowing and stiffness of the arteries which may persist for a decade after smoking cessation.
The effects of tobacco can be disastrous to your health, more so if you are already at risk for high BP. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of secondary cardiovascular complications such as heart attack and stroke, and enhance kidney damage. Even secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease for non-smokers.
If you haven’t given up smoking already, it certainly is well worth to do so not only for BP control but also for your overall health. You can find tips on smoking cessation here.
How to know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure (BP) is dubbed the ‘silent killer‘ as symptoms are uncommon in the initial stages. This results in many people left undiagnosed and untreated. Some people experience the coincidental occurrence of certain symptoms such as headaches, nosebleed and fatigue. While these symptoms should not be ignored, they also are not reliable indicators of high BP. You should consult your doctor for a confirmed diagnosis of high BP.1
Because high BP is usually not accompanied by symptoms, the best way to detect high BP is by always keeping track of your BP reading. Therefore, you should have your BP checked at least once a year as high BP can develop silently. Nevertheless, if you have already developed high BP, timely detection, treatment and monitoring can help keep your BP in check. The following can be used as a guide on when to have your BP checked5
Very high blood pressure readings
If you have very high blood pressure (BP) readings, you may notice the presence of certain symptoms, including6,7:
Don’t take chances. Keep regular tabs of your BP reading and stop the silent killer in its tracks!