Even though high blood pressure is considered the "silent killer", you may be one who has symptoms possibly before having a stroke or CVA.
Working with patients at home, some patients do experience the typical signs of high blood pressure:
pounding in the ears
If you can just picture pressure in your head, then you would remember the signs of high blood pressure.
There are other patients who told me that they experienced a small pain in the back of their head or they had an increase in urination.
If someone is a diabetic, increased urination could be a sign of the blood sugar being high. So having high blood pressure and diabetes can be tricky. If you are a diabetic and experiencing increased urination and a headache, the first thing you want to do is test your blood sugar with your blood sugar machine to rule out hyperglycemia (or high blood sugar).
My father knows when his blood pressure is up because he has a headache that just won't go away and then checking his blood pressure, it usually is up.
When my father initially started on blood pressure medication, he denied he had high blood pressure. When he would not take his blood pressure pills, his blood pressure would go sky high. I had to explain to him that when his blood pressure is in the acceptable range as per your doctor, it is because he is taking his blood pressure pills. He then decided to take his blood pressure pills because then he understood what made his blood pressure normal was the pills.
High cholesterol can cause a stroke too. Make sure you keep your cholesterol levels within normal range. I have an uncle whose cholesterol level went over 500, and he had a stroke which paralyzed his one side. Till this day, he doesn't have use of one side of his body.
Also from my experience, the patients who added salt to their diet, did have increased blood pressure. When they reduced their salt intake, their blood pressure went down. You need to talk with your doctor as to whether she/he wants to put you on a low sodium diet. Most of my patients with high blood pressure are on a lower salt diet. If they continue on the lower salt diet, their blood pressure does improve.
You can use other herbs instead of salt. Do not use salt alternatives unless your doctor specifically told you that you could. The salt alternatives contain potassium. This can really throw your salt and potassium levels off in your body.
Some herbs that may be useful are garlic, chives, onions, Mrs. Dash products.
Note: If you are on a blood thinner or Coumadin then ask your doctor if you can take garlic.
There are different types of blood pressure medications and if one doesn't work, then don't be afraid to ask your doctor to switch to another until your blood pressure becomes stable.
There are patients who wake up with high blood pressure. If you are taking 2 different blood pressure medications, you may want to ask your doctor if you can take one in the morning and one at suppertime or before you go to bed. Always make sure you put a little food in your body when taking your medications so not to upset your stomach.
Don't take high blood pressure lightly because if your blood pressure goes to high, you can have a stroke. A stroke is really debilitating initially and you may never get the full use of your one side that was affected.
Our blood pressure chart will show you if your blood pressure is high, low, or normal.