This Morning: Dr Chris discusses blood pressure and dementia
High blood pressure is a common condition whereby the force of blood pushing against your artery walls is consistently too high. This pressure gradually causes your arteries to harden and narrow, which means the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. This mechanism can raise your risk of having a heart attack.
When a person has a fever, it is normally a sign that something out of the ordinary is going on within your body.
The fever should not be a cause for concern if it’s lower than 38 degrees Celsius but when temperatures rise above the normal levels regularly it could be an indicator of high blood pressure.
During a fever, the body temperature increases considerably, which in turn increases the heart rate.
As the heart rate increases, the blood pressure also rises.
Therefore, someone who has a high fever could mean have high blood pressure.
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In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the correlation between body temperature, blood pressure and plasmatic nitric oxide was further investigated.
The study noted: “Septic shock has been frequently associated with body temperature disturbances and with a sharp drop in blood pressure, partly explained by the induction of vasoactive enzymes.
“Fever is the most common thermoregulatory symptom of sepsis; however, hypothermia may also occur in the critical state of shock and it is believed that this significantly aggravates the prognosis of the patient.
“The main conclusion of this study is that body temperature is inversely correlated with concentrations of nitric oxide in patients with septic shock.
“That is, the lower the body temperature, the higher the concentrations of nitric oxide.”
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Blood pressure generally is higher in the winter and lower in the summer, said Dr Sheldon Sheps.
He continued: “That’s because low temperatures cause your blood vessels to narrow which increases blood pressure because more pressure is needed to force blood through your narrowed veins and arteries.
“In addition to cold weather, blood pressure may also be affected by a sudden change in weather patterns, such as a weather front or a storm. “Your body — and blood vessels — may react to abrupt changes in humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloud cover or wind in much the same way it reacts to cold.
“These weather-related variations in blood pressure are more common in people age 65 and older.”
Dr Sheldon explained that other seasonal causes of higher blood pressure include weight gain and decreased physical activity which may be common in winter.
Other symptoms to look out for include:
• Severe headaches
• Fatigue or confusion
• Vision problems
• Chest pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Irregular heartbeat
• Blood in the urine.
High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’, because symptoms only tend to reveal themselves if you have extremely high blood pressure.
The most common high blood pressure symptoms include a pounding in your chest, finding blood in your urine, and severe headaches.
It’s crucial that all adults over 40 years old check their blood pressure at least once every five years.
You can check your blood pressure by visiting your local doctors’ surgery or pharmacy.
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