It’s no news in recent times, more people have been diagnosed with hypertension. You might be wondering; can anemia cause hypertension? Well, let’s look at all you need to know about Anemia and its relationship with Hypertension.
1. What is Anemia?
Anemia is known to be a type of medical condition that is caused by a deficiency of hemoglobin or red blood cells in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein found in the erythrocyte cells that are in charge of transferring oxygen from the lungs and tissues and organs of the body.
When the body tissue does not have enough oxygen delivered to them, it results in symptoms of anemia. This can lead to different types of symptoms and potential health complications.
There are millions of people in the world today who are affected by anemia.
2. Types of Anemia
Here are the different types of anemia:
2.1. Pernicious Anemia
This is a type of anemia that happens when there is an issue with the abortion of Vitamin B12 from the food you eat. Since Vitamin B12 is responsible for the production of red blood cells in the body, when there is a problem with this, it leads to pernicious anemia. You should be aware that there is a treatment for pernicious anemia. Intake of Vitamin B12 supplements or injections will do the trick.
2.2. Iron-deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia as the name implies is a type of anemia that happens when there is no iron present in your diet. Also, it can be caused by your body’s refusal to properly absorb iron.
This is known to be the most popular anemia in the world. It however has a treatment strategy. Changing your diet and replacing them with iron-rich foods would help solve the problem. You can also take supplements and iron pills.
2.3. Sickle Cell Anemia
You should know that sickle cell anemia is caused by the alteration in the hemoglobin gene1. Those suffering from sickle cell anemia have their red blood cells shaped like that of crescent moons; hence the name.
The crescent-shaped red blood cells are responsible for preventing oxygen from getting to the tissues and organs of the body. Sickle cell patients should regularly take their medications to prevent further complications.
This type of anemia happens when there is a problem with the manufacturing of hemoglobin. You should be aware that thalassemia is of two kinds; alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia.
Alpha thalassemia happens when there is an issue with alpha-globin production while beta thalassemia occurs when there is an issue with the production of beta-globin.
You should know that Thalassemia can be treated with blood transfusion, chelation therapy, liver transplant, and the appropriate medications.
3. Causes of Anemia
Listed below are the different causes of Anemia:
3.1. Inherited Condition
Anemia can occur when they have genetic disorders. An excellent example is sickle cell anemia and thalassemia.
3.2. Loss of Blood
Blood loss can happen when there is gastrointestinal bleeding or heavy menstrual. This does not happen instantly as it can take a long process to detect. This may lead to chronic blood loss and may result in ulcers or cancer.
3.3. Chronic Diseases
Do you know that there are some chronic diseases that can cause anemia? These diseases include Kidney diseases, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, and rheumatoid.
3.4. Poor Nutrition
When there is inadequate intake or absorption of Vitamin B12 or folic acid can lead to anemia.
4. Symptoms of Anemia
There is a wide range of symptoms of anemia, they include the following:
- Pale Skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
- Increased heart rate
- Impaired cognitive function
- Reduced immune response
5. How to Diagnose Anemia
To be able to diagnose anemia, a healthcare professional would review the medical history, carry out physical examinations and also conduct blood tests. The blood test known as the CBC (complete blood count) would be carried out. This helps to give information on the amount of erythrocyte and hemoglobin levels.
Another blood test known as the peripheral blood smear can be carried out to help determine the type of anemia.
6. Treatment for Anemia
To be able to treat anemia, one would have to consider some factors like the underlying cause and severity of the case. There are cases where when you treat the underlying cause, it practically solves the problem.
For example, someone with iron-deficiency anemia can get it treated by being treated by changing their diet, iron supplements, or iron therapy.
In other cases, anemia can be treated by managing the symptoms. This requires regular intake of medications or supplements to increase the Vitamin B12, folic acid, or iron levels in the body. Blood transfusion can also help in the treatment of anemia in severe cases.
7. What is Hypertension?
You should know that hypertension is another word used when describing high blood pressure. This happens when the pressure of the blood against the artery wall is high in a way that leads to health complications like heart disease.
You should know that blood pressure is known as the amount of blood the heart transports. It is also determined by the elasticity and size of the arteries.
It can also be said to be when the pressure in your blood vessels is extremely high i.e. 140/90 mmHg or even higher.
You should know that people who have high blood pressure may not be aware because the symptoms are not really visible. You’ll only get to know the status of your blood pressure when you get it checked.
Here are the things that keep you at risk of having hypertension:
- High salt diet
- Intake of excess alcohol
- Not being physically active
- Chronic kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
Once you discover that you have any of these factors, it is important that you go see a doctor.
You should know that a change in your lifestyle like eating healthy food and quitting smoking can help lower your blood pressure
Blood pressure is known to be written as two unique numbers. The systolic is considered the first which represents the force in the blood vessels with the heartbeats. On the other hand, the diastolic is the second number which stands for the force in the blood vessels when the heart halts in between beats.
8. Symptoms of Hypertension
Although people with hypertension do not feel any symptoms, there are still some abnormalities in the body that can be linked to hyperextension. The most accurate way to know that you’re suffering from hypertension is by seeking professional advice.
Here are some symptoms of the disease for people that have relatively high blood pressure:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
- Blurry vision
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Severe headaches
- Buzzing in the ears
Once you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, you should rush to seek professional medical advice. You should know that you can also check your blood pressure in the comfort of your home by making use of the automated device available.
9. Treatment for Hypertension
Here are the ways you can treat hypertension:
9.1. Stress Reduction
Learning to manage and avoid stress can help a person suffering from high blood pressure be able to regulate it. Listed below are some relaxation techniques to get started:
- Long walks
- Warm baths
It is very important that there is a cut in the intake of alcohol as a stress relief mechanism, especially when you’re suffering from hypertension. This can help increase the blood pressure.
9.2. Regular Physical Exercise
Health practitioners recommend that those living with hypertension should engage in moderate exercise regularly. It is important that this exercise is carried out at least five days a week. Some of the activities one can indulge in include;
These activities have been proven to help decrease the pressure of the blood in those with hypertension.
One way to treat hypertension is by taking the prescribed medications. It is important that the drugs are taken following the doctor’s advice. Here are some of the medications for hypertensive patients:
These can help to lower the speed of your heartbeat with less force. It also helps to reduce the amount of blood pumped via the arteries with each beat. You should know that beta blockers help to block those hormones that can raise your blood pressure.
9.3.2. Angiotensin receptor blockers
This basically blocks angiotensin chemicals from combining with receptors. When this chemical is not available, the blood vessels cannot be tight or narrow. This can help relax the blood vessels.
9.3.3. Calcium channel blockers
As the name implies, this helps to block or prevent calcium from going into the cardiac muscle of your heart. This helps to lower the pressure of blood and reduces forceful heartbeats.
You should know that too much fluid and high sodium levels can elevate your blood pressure. Diuretics can also be called water pills. They can help the kidney bring out excess sodium from the body. This helps to move the extra fluid in your bloodstream as the sodium leaves the body.
9.3.5. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
Angiotensin is known to be a type of chemical that makes the blood vessels and arteries right and narrow. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors on the other hand help to prevent the body from producing an excess of this chemical. This can help to reduce elevated blood pressure.
You should know that the medications are based on the fundamental medical conditions of the patient.
9.4. Reduced Salt Intake
Excessive intake of salt leads to increased blood pressure. It is advisable that people who are hypertensive should regulate their consumption of salt. It is advisable to take in less than 1,400mg of sodium daily. This can help manage the condition.
9.5. Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Those suffering from hypertension should learn to take more fruits and vegetables than food with saturated fats. Here is some healthy food you can take as a hypertensive patient:
- Whole grain
- High fiber food
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nontropical vegetable oil
- Chicken peas
- Fish rich in Omega-3
There are however healthy fats that can be taken too. A typical example is Omega-3 fatty acids like olive oil.
9.6. Managing Body Weight
You should know that obesity can increase your blood pressure. When there is a reduction in the pressure of blood, what comes next is weight loss. This happens due to the fact that the heart does not have to work extremely hard to transport blood around the body.
To be able to manage this, the person should cultivate the habit of eating a balanced diet with calorie intake that is in alignment with the size of the person.
10. Complications of Uncontrolled Hypertension
You should know that there are a lot of complications uncontrollable hypertension can cause. One of which is serious damage to the heart. It can also lead to decreasing the flow of oxygen to the heart. This can result to the following:
- Heart failure
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat: This can lead to sudden death.
- Heart attack: This happens when the supply of blood and the supply of oxygen to the heart is obstructed. This leads to dead muscle cells due to no adequate oxygen.
- Kidney damage and Kidney failure.
11. Diagnosing Hypertension
It is very easy to diagnose hypertension. It is just like taking a blood pressure test. Health practitioners make it a habit of checking the blood pressure of their patients.
You should know that after checking your pressure and it is discovered to be elevated, you will have to take the test over the course of a few days. This is because hypertension diagnosis is mostly not given after just one reading.
It is very important that a second, third, or fourth reading is carried out so that your doctor will know how to go about your medications. If after these tests, your blood pressure remains elevated, your doctor can perform the following tests to know the underlying conditions:
- Ultrasound of your heart
- Cholesterol screening
- Home blood pressure monitor which will be used to monitor the pressure of your blood over a particular period.
- Testing your heart’s electrical activity
Once these tests are carried out, it would help your doctor know the issues causing the high blood pressure. The effects of high blood pressure on your organs are another way for your doctor to know the perfect diagnosis.
12. Can Anemia Cause Hypertension?
You should know that although there is no direct connection between hypertension and anemia. However, anemia can increase the level of blood pressure in a way.
This occurs in extreme cases of anemia where the body produces hormones that can cause the shrinking of the blood vessels. This shrinking can lead to an increase in the pressure of the blood.
It is very crucial that you seek help from a doctor if you have symptoms of hypertension and anemia. You should know that anemia has connections with higher cardiovascular risk. It is important that the hemoglobin should be kept in check, especially for those who are hypertensive.
13. Facts About High Blood Pressure
Here are some interesting facts about blood pressure you probably didn’t know about:
13.1. It is not limited to Older People
High blood pressure is not limited to older people, young people can also have the disease. Hypertension is known to be the number one cause of stroke in the world today. Medical health practitioners are of the opinion that there is an unusual increase in stroke in young people because of the rising rates of obesity. Do well to check your blood pressure as often as you can
13.2. It Doesn’t Always Have Symptoms
You should know that there are thousands of people living with this condition without any knowledge of it. This is because the condition doesn’t really have any symptoms.
This makes people feel relaxed when it comes to knowing the status of their blood pressure. The fact that you feel normal doesn’t mean you are not at risk for your blood pressure being high. It is very crucial that you seek professional help to get checked.
13.3. It Comes With Unique Risks for Women
There is every possibility that pregnant women with high blood pressure will face complications at birth. This can be harmful to the kidneys of the pregnant woman which can result in premature delivery.
You should be aware that there are some birth controls that can increase the blood pressure of a woman. To be on the safe side, it is better to work closely with your healthcare team. They can help lower your blood pressure before pregnancy.
13.4. It Can be Linked to Dementia
Research carried out has shown that high blood pressure can be linked to dementia which results in loss of cognitive function.
This is also linked to timing. It mostly occurs during mid-life from the age of 44 to 66. You shouldn’t wait till you are that age before you think of seeing a doctor for a checkup. It is crucial to start now.
14. Final Thoughts
You should know that anemia can indirectly contribute to hypertension although there is no direct link between the two conditions. It is crucial to know the status of your blood pressure as it is an important part of general health care.