- High blood pressure over 140 mm Hg and 90 mm Hg is dangerous
- Consistent high blood pressure can lead to life threatening conditions
- A healthy lifestyle can prevent high blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition in which the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels is consistently high. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, hypertension is consistent reading of 140 mm Hg (millimetres of mercury). Whereas, the American Heart Association suggests that hypertension occurs when systolic blood pressure is 130 mm Hg or above. However, if your high blood pressure is high only for a day, or gets high periodically, is it as risky as someone with high blood pressure?
When should you take high blood pressure seriously?
Cardiologist Dr Sameer Gupta says that consistently high blood pressure which is over 140 mm Hg and 90 mm Hg, is definitely a cause of concern. "If your two or three readings are high, it means that you have a higher tendency of high blood pressure," says Dr Sameer.
On times when you are angry or too stressed, your blood pressure is definitely going to be high at that point of time. But this does not mean that you are suffering from high blood pressure, the condition. If your blood pressure is high when you are relaxed, at rest and feeling peaceful, then it most likely infers that you have hypertension. "It is thus important to check your blood pressure at the right point of time," adds Dr Sameer.
Doctors agree that there has never been a positive aspect to high blood pressure apart from the time when heart is failing. "Having high blood pressure is almost always a bad thing. I have never seen a positive of high blood pressure except when your heart is failing and you need a certain amount of blood pressure to prevent multi-organ failure," explains Dr Siddhant Bhargava, fitness and nutritional scientist.
In most cases, having high blood pressure is dangerous and is a warning sign of other more serious conditions. "If you have been experiencing headaches or random nose bleeds, make sure you get checked because it could be the beginning of something much larger," he warns.
According to Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, "sudden burst of hypertension can cause bleeding from vessels surrounding the brain leading to a stroke or paralysis."
"Persistent high blood pressure can lead to hypertrophy of the heart muscles (which means the walls of your heart enlarges and thickens), which ultimately leads to cardiac issues. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels leading to kidneys as well. Persistent hypertension can also lead to blindness in some cases," informs Dr Mufffazal.
The bottom line
It has to be noted that while momentary high blood pressure needn't be a worrying concern, it might be a warning sign of persistent high blood pressure or some other underlying health condition. The best thing to do - in case your blood pressure reading is high - is to get it checked by a doctor.
(Dr Sameer Gupta is Interventional Cardiologist at Metro Hospital, Noida and MP Heart Clinic, Greater Kailash)
(Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Co-Founder, Fitness & Nutritional Scientist, Food Darzee)
(Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, Founder and Cheif Surgeon - Digestive Health Institute)
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