The consequences to women and high blood pressure are as serious as those for men, so controlling it is just as important for women, especially as they get older. For women, there is a higher percent of developing a heart attack and coronary heart disease by about twenty-five percent. And, know that high blood pressure affects women of all ages.
It is said that three out of four women who have high blood pressure are aware of it, but only one of them has it under control. That is scary. It means seventy-five percent do not have it under control.
When you have high blood pressure your heart works harder than it should, putting stress on your heart muscle and arteries. Learning and instituting better ways to control your stress is critical. Stress can and do take a toll on your overall health, setting you up for heart disease.
High blood pressure increases the pressure inside the left ventricle, the pumping chamber of the heart, but this elevated blood pressure causes your hearts to work harder just pumping the oxygenated blood to your tissues and organs.
At first the heart tries to compensate for the increased pressure by thickening the heart muscle. But the thickening of your heart muscle predisposes women and high blood pressure to arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats.
My family has a history of irregular heart beat and I have personally experience it. Let me tell you it is frightening when your heart is pumping out of control. When this occur I start breathing deeply along with coughing deeply alternatively, to help regulate the pumping - slowing things down. It helps a lot.
Whenever you have heart arrhythmias you doctor usually send you to get set up with a Holter monitor that you wear for twenty-four hours. It does a ECG recording of the heart's rhythm.
The Holter monitor evaluate palpitation or skipped heartbeats. It is like a small tape-recorder the size of a beeper with tiny electrodes applied to the chest. By analyzing the twenty-four hour recording your doctor can identify any abnormal rhythms.
You should be aware that if you take decongestants that can also increase your heart rhythm. Also, you should check for thyroid problems, that also increases your heart's rhythm.
Often times the first symptom of women and high blood pressure is short of breath after the least exertion. If you get short of breath when you exert yourself do not ignore it. Tell your doctor and make sure there is a record of your blood pressure readings.
Also, when high blood pressure in women, especially, remains untreated, the changes your heart enlarging and your heart muscle weakens.
Most women and high blood pressure are protected from heart disease until they go through menopause. Experts believe that the female hormone estrogen plays a protective role. Further women hearts are proportionately smaller than men's. And, when we develop the first signs and symptoms of heart disease, we are usually ten years older than men and going through menopause.
Read more on high blood pressure while pregnant.
First check with your doctor to find out if you are okay to start an exercise program. If you have experience a heart attack, you should start your exercise program in a monitored cardiac rehabilitation center, just to be safe.
Otherwise, start an individualized exercise program with aerobic exercise being the foundation on preventing heart disease. Regular aerobic exercise benefits your heart, help raise your HDL, good cholesterol and lower your LDL, bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
They say just walking three times a week, for half an hour each day, reduces women and high blood pressure risk of heart attack by thirty-five percent. By the way, you can incorporate exercise into your daily living without going to a gym.
Activities like scrubbing your kitchen floors, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, washing windows, gardening, carrying your own shopping bags and walking within your neighborhood. You can do these moderate activity on a daily basis and you will start to reap the rewards of staying healthy.
Exercising improves your mood and releases endorphins, a brain chemical that is a natural mood elevator.