High blood pressure symptoms aren’t aways easy to detect because they don’t necessarily make a person feel unwell.
It’s also rare they appear, but if they are apparent, headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain are just a few of the symptoms that can arise.
If the condition is left untreated, a person is at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, gout and vascular dementia, s it’s important to recognise all the signs.
A variety of symptoms may be indirectly related to high blood pressure, but are not always caused by the condition.
According to the American Heart Association, facial flushing can be one of the signs indirectly related to high blood pressure.
It explains: “Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate.
“It can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers such as sun exposure, cold weather, spicy foods, wind, hot drinks and skin-care products.
“Fail flushing can also occur with emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise – all of which can raise blood pressure temporarily.
“While facial flushing may occur while your blood pressure is higher than usual, high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing.
Eating healthily is recommended to help lower high blood pressure readings, and one drink in particular, recommended by experts, is beetroot juice.
In a British Heart Foundation study, drinking a cup (250ml) of beetroot juice a day was found to significantly lower high blood pressure readings.
The nitrates found in beetroot is believed to be the key ingredient in the food to help the condition.
Researchers gave participants capsules containing nitrate and capsules without nitrate (potassium chloride), beetroot juice or water. There blood pressure and the levels of nitrate in their blood was then measured for 24 hours.
The study found nitrate capsules were associated with increased levels of nitrite I’m the blood and reduced blood pressure compared to the potassium chloride capsules.
Those who drank beetroot juice also showed increased levels of nitrate in the blood and a lowered blood pressure reading.
But Holland & Barrett recommends roasting or juicing beetroot as the root vegetable is water soluble and boiling them will reduce the beneficial effects.
One food you should eat less of is salt. Eating too much salt is the biggest cause of high blood pressure – the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure will be – so you should cut down your intake of this.
Blood Pressure UK explains: “Salt makes our body retain water. If you eat too much, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. This can be a particular problem if you have high blood pressure.
“Also, eating too much salt may mean that blood pressure medicines, such as diuretics, don’t work as well.
“Therefore cutting the amount of salt you eat is one of the quickest ways to lower your blood pressure (especially if you have high blood pressure). However this is easier said than done as most of the salt we consume is already in food we eat.”
Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is around one teaspoon.
To eat less salt and keep high blood pressure at bay, you should avoid adding salt when cooking check the labels on foods like bread an breakfast cereals – foods that contain a lot of salt – and opt for products with low salt content.