High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, does not typically cause symptoms. However, untreated hypertension can lead to kidney damage, which may cause tiredness and fatigue.
High blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the blood vessel walls is consistently too high. When measuring blood pressure, doctors refer to systolic pressure, the upper number, and diastolic pressure, the lower number.
Systolic pressure is the force with which blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries. Diastolic pressure is the force that exists between heartbeats. Doctors measure both values in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
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This article explains the link between hypertension and fatigue and lists some possible symptoms of hypertension. It also explains some alternative causes of fatigue and provides information on treating high blood pressure.
High blood pressure does
As such, anyone at increased risk of developing high blood pressure should monitor their blood pressure regularly.
Some symptoms may be indirectly related to high blood pressure but not necessarily caused by the condition itself. These include:
Hypertension can damage the small blood vessels inside the kidneys, preventing these organs from functioning properly.
Hypertension-induced kidney damage can cause tiredness and fatigue. Additional symptoms may include:
- sleep disorders, including sleep-related breathing disorders
- excessive psychological stress
Other common causes of fatigue may include the following:
Treatment for high blood pressure may involve a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.
If a person has any complications of hypertension, such as kidney disease, doctors will also take steps to treat these conditions.
They also recommend that people make the following lifestyle changes to help manage high blood pressure:
- eat a balanced, heart-healthy diet that is low in salt
- exercise regularly
- maintain a healthy weight
- limit alcohol intake
- quit smoking
- manage or reduce stress
- take medications according to the prescribing doctor’s instructions
- work closely with a doctor to help achieve the target blood pressure
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: ACE inhibitors reduce the body’s production of angiotensin, a hormone that narrows the arteries, which helps relax the blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.
- Angiotensin II antagonists: These medications also block the effects of angiotensin.
- Alpha-blockers: These relax and widen the blood vessel walls, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
- Vasodilators: These also lower blood pressure by relaxing and widening the blood vessel walls.
- Calcium channel blockers (CCBs): These medications reduce the amount of calcium entering the heart and blood vessel walls. This causes the blood vessels to relax, letting the heart receive more oxygenated blood. Some CCBs also slow the heart rate.
- Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers slow the heart rate, reducing the heart’s blood output and lowering blood pressure.
- Diuretics: Diuretics help the body remove excess salt and water, lowering blood pressure.
|Blood pressure category||Systolic value (mmHg)||Diastolic value (mmHg)|
|normal||under 120||under 80|
|high||130 and above||80 and above|
High blood pressure may fall into three stages, with the highest being a hypertensive crisis, which requires immediate medical attention. If a person’s systolic value reads 180 and their diastolic value is 120 or above, they should seek immediate help.
A person should also consider talking with their doctor if they are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure or if they experience symptoms that they believe may be due to high blood pressure comorbidities.
High blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the blood vessel walls is consistently too high.
Lifestyle changes, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol intake, can help people achieve and maintain healthy blood pressure. Some people may also require medications to lower their blood pressure.
Anyone concerned about high blood pressure or who has risk factors for this condition should see their doctor for further advice and guidance.