Women can also suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension that can lead to health complications, so it is important to detect it early. In addition, despite being a disease that can appear at any time, in the case of women increases the risk during menopause.
High blood pressure has increased among women in recent years due to causes such as smoking, poor diet or work-related stress. Characteristic risk factors such as family history, suffering from a metabolic disorder and being over 35 years old have an influence. It is also important to bear in mind that the contraceptive pill is related to the increase in blood pressure.
The normal blood pressure for women is 120/80 and is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Oxygen in the blood recharges the body and if the blood pressure is high the arteries expand, if it is low they contract.
What is blood pressure?
Also called blood pressure, blood pressure is necessary for blood to circulate throughvessels and can carry oxygen to all tissues of the body and nutrients that are needed to maintain activity. This is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries, and when the heart pumps it into the arteries it is higher and is called systolic pressure. Between beats of the heart the pressure is lower and is called diastolic.
The systolic and diastolic are the values used to measure the blood pressure that determines the general state of health. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, weakness, fainting or drowsiness, and is called hypotension. In the case of hypertension, serious illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes or kidney failure can occur.
Blood pressure values:
- Normal blood pressure: 90/60 to 130/90 mm mercury. For women the normal is between 120/80.
- Low blood pressure: This occurs when there is a drop of 20 mm above the usual values.
- High blood pressure: If the 140/90 mm is exceeded, hypertension occurs.
- Prehypertension: When the value is between 130/80 and 140/90 mm it is time to start monitoring and taking measures such as quitting smoking and leading a healthier lifestyle.
It is important to monitor blood pressure values to avoid hypertension or hypotension.
Factors that affect a woman’s blood pressure
- Age : With age, blood pressure increases and after 50, one out of every two women has high blood pressure. However, this is not a determining factor, as many have an influence.
- Lifestyle: Lack of exercise influences the onset of hypertension, as well as unhealthy diet and stress. Consuming caffeine, nicotine or birth control pills also increases the risk of high blood pressure.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy causes blood pressure to change, for example progesterone dilates blood vessels and this causes the pressure to drop. In addition, the heart works harder to pump the blood that brings nutrients and oxygen to the placenta, this can increase blood pressure.
- Weight: Increased blood pressure is related to weight gain. Fats are deposited on the inner lining of the arteries. This causes the width of the artery to decrease and blood pressure to increase.
- Menopause : After menopause, blood pressure increases due to the drop in estrogen levels that maintain it. In addition the hormonal imbalance can cause you to gain weight.
- Family inheritance: A person who has parents with high blood pressure is more likely to have it. For this reason, regular monitoring is important and necessary.
Blood pressure can be affected during pregnancy.
Biological causes of increased blood pressure:
Imbalance between fluids and salt in the kidneys: Salt in the body is regulated by the kidneys through excretion of potassium and retention of sodium and water. An imbalance can increase blood volume and this causes high blood pressure.
Alteration in the renin angiotensin aldosterone system: This system produces the hormones aldosterone and angiotensin. The first controls the balance of fluid and salt levels in the kidneys, the second can narrow or shrink blood vessels.
Imbalance of the sympathetic nervous system: This system plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure, such as respiratory rate and heart rate.
Changes in the structure and function of blood vessels: The immune system, as well as the angiotensin pathway, can harden arteries, both small and large, and this affects blood pressure.
Symptoms of high blood pressure:
Hypertension usually does not show clear symptoms until it causes complications in other aspects of our health. However it can be identified through some as:
- Blurred vision and eye inflammation
- Ringing in the ear
- Lack of concentration
- Drowning during physical exertion
- When it is a severe hypertension blood can be given in the urine
Complications and consequences:
- Aneurysm: When abnormal bumps appear on the wall of the arteries. They do not show symptoms until they grow large enough and press on nearby structures, rupture, or block the flow of blood.
- Chronic Kidney Disease: Occurs when the blood vessels of the kidneys become narrowed.
- Cognitive conditions: Memory loss, lack of concentration, and difficulty finding words can occur.
- Eye injuries: When the vessels in the eyes burst or bleed and blindness or changes in vision occur.
- Heart Attack: When the heart stops receiving oxygen by blocking the flow of blood.
- Heart Failure: Occurs when the heart does not pump enough blood. This causes shortness of breath, tiredness, swelling of the feet, ankles, and legs, neck veins, and abdomen.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease: Occurs as plaque builds up in the arteries of the legs and affects blood flow in this area.
- Stroke: Blocking the flow of blood that has oxygen and does not reach the brain leads to stroke. It leads to sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face and extremities, difficulty speaking, understanding and seeing.
How to treat high blood pressure?
It is always necessary to see a doctor for diagnosis and guidance. Here are some tips for avoiding hypertension:
- Walk, exercise and avoid being sedentary.
- Don’t smoke, if you do quit.
- Reduce the salt in your diet and choose the best sea salt.
- Drink plenty of water, at least two liters a day.
- Eat all kinds of vegetables and fruit.
- Don’t drink as much tea and coffee, moderate the caffeine.
- Watch your weight and don’t put yourself under stress.