Known as “The Silent Killer”, high blood pressure in women is as serious a condition for women as it is for men. Typically, there are no clear symptoms of high blood pressure in women which makes detection difficult. Sometimes headaches or dizziness (when you normally don’t experience either) may be an early warning sign and is certainly reason enough to visit your physician to have your blood pressure checked. Other then readings obtained from actually testing blood pressure, it is unlikely you will be aware of having the condition. Factors such as diet, obesity, family history of hypertension, smoking and your alcohol intake can all contribute to high blood pressure. A diet rich in fat and/or salt is also a contributing factor to high blood pressure and will need adjusting should your doctor diagnose high blood pressure.
The diagnosis becomes fairly common place when a blood pressure reading is taken by a trained practitioner. When readings are higher then the normal range twice or more consecutively, your practitioner will likely recommend ways to combat the disease. Treatment for high blood pressure will often involve lifestyle changes including adjustments to diet and exercise. Alcohol intake may need to be lowered and salt intake monitored closely. In more serious cases, medications may well be an option in conjunction with the changes in lifestyle and diet.
Left untreated, high blood pressure may lead to kidney failure, increase the risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular conditions. There is no indication that age is a contributing factor or that there is more risk to men then to women. Many women will put off seeking treatment for high blood pressure or for symptoms of heart attack thinking it “can’t happen to me”.
When diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is not necessarily a death sentence. Instead it can be treated as a ‘wake up’ call that indicates a change is in order. Begin by adjusting your diet, continue by getting more exercise, limiting your alcohol consumption and if you smoke, stop! High blood pressure symptoms in women may not be easy to detect, but when they are do yourself and your family a favor, pay attention and help yourself enjoy a longer and healthier life.