Know your risk
You may think your blood pressure is fine because you feel fine. But did you know that most people with hypertension won’t notice any physical signs? “High blood pressure doesn’t have any symptoms until you are significantly at risk of having organ damage,” says family physician Dr. Richard Ward with Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network. “It’s wrong for people to think that ‘I feel well, therefore I can’t have high blood pressure.'”
What do the numbers mean when blood pressure is taken? The top number – your systolic blood pressure – measures the amount of pressure your blood puts on the walls of your blood vessels when your heart pumps. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, or the resting pressure between heartbeats. If your blood pressure measures 120/80 or below, it’s considered healthy. But if it measures 140/90 or above – or 130/80 if you have diabetes – you need to be treated.
While anyone can develop high blood pressure, certain individuals are more likely than others to have a problem. Want to calculate your risk? Here are five signs you might have hypertension.