Blood travels through your body by way of your circulatory system, a network of veins, arteries, and blood vessels that journey all over and back to your heart. Blood pressure is what makes this possible, and it’s accomplished by your heart pumping blood up to 100 times a minute, all day, every day.
When your blood pressure stays consistently higher than your system can manage, you’re dealing with high blood pressure, or hypertension, and almost half of Americans struggle with it whether they know it or not.
While both men and women struggle with this potentially life-threatening problem, there are differences in the signs of high blood pressure for each gender. If you live in the Beverly Hills, California, area, and you’re trying to cope with hypertension, Dr. Shawn Veiseh and our dedicated medical staff can help.
Let’s examine the causes of hypertension, the risk factors in both sexes, and the signs that are unique to women.
Causes of hypertension
Not only are there two kinds of hypertension (primary and secondary), but your issues can come and go under specific circumstances including in health care settings, at home, and while you sleep.
Primary hypertension (the most common form) can be the result of several factors, including inactivity, unhealthy eating habits (high amounts of sodium and alcohol), and aging. Secondary hypertension can result from kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, recreational drug use, renal vascular diseases, and tobacco use.
Risk of hypertension in men and women
Normal blood pressure is generally higher in men than women, though women tend to be at higher risk of hypertension as they get older.
Hypertension is often tied more to men, but reports from the American Heart Association show that women make up half of the population struggling with this disease. The actual number may vary with different ethnic groups, but no matter how you slice it, women are largely at just as high a risk for hypertension as men.
Hypertension signs unique to women
Many signs are common in both sexes, such as arrhythmia, nosebleeds, vision problems, chest pain, and fatigue; but in some cases, it lives up to the silent killer moniker and may have no symptoms at all. However, high blood pressure can cause some signs in women that are less common in men, like:
1. Red spots in front of your eyes
This is a sign more common in older women and happens as a result of broken blood vessels in your eyes.
2. Urinary frequency changes
This is more common in pregnant women, but other factors may play a role, such as menopause and even birth control.
3. Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms that often go together, this is something that can happen during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
4. Skin changes
This can mean flushed skin or edema, which is a swelling in your skin or other organs.
Whether you’re a man or woman, if you’re exhibiting symptoms of hypertension or other cardiovascular problems, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh and his team today to reduce your risk of complications. Call our office or schedule a visit online.