Should you be Aware of Hypertension in Children?

Children are our joy and what we live for each and every day. Sometimes the most random illnesses can affect them and there is nothing that you can do. Other times you can rarely see any symptoms, hypertension is one of those diseases that can go unnoticed. It can be deadly in situations where the disease is undetected. Yet, once understanding the causes and symptoms the effects of high blood pressure is heavily reduced.

 

What is Hypertension? High Blood Pressure?

First let’s define what hypertension really is, how we can test it, what causes it and how we can be aware of it with our children. Hypertension is high blood pressure where over a long term process, the blood against your artery walls is high enough to cause issues. Specifically we can see blood pressure as the amount of blood your heart pumps. This also correlates with how narrow your arteries are as well. Essentially we can say that the smaller your arteries are and the more blood your heart pumps, the higher your blood pressure.

Mayo Clinic Additional Information

Hypertension in Children

Hypertension in Children

Symptoms of Hypertension in Kids

Hypertension has been quoted as “the silent killer” because there are no early symptoms that you can be aware of. The only real way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have yourself tested often. Genes are also a major factor, so if you have or your relatives have hypertension than that might have been passed down to the child.

Major symptoms, essentially where the blood pressure is above 180, include severe headaches, shortness of breath as well as nosebleeds. Other rare symptoms include dull headaches, dizzy spells, migraines and nosebleeds. It is easy to test and monitor high blood pressure, and I would recommend any family to have such a device around.

Children show less symptoms and due to their young age we may feel they won’t have high blood pressure. It is always best practice to determine this as early as possible. If hypertension is undetected, it can cause serious damage to the body. Being proactive means that a change of diet and lifestyle should heavily reduce the changes of hypertension causing additional harm.

 

Testing and Finding the Cause

To test blood pressure you will need to purchase a monitor. These come in two forms, a wrist monitor and a upper arm monitor. These devices will compress the area around the skin and take cut off blood flow and then let it flow, the pressure is then taken and used. The reason why these devices have two numbers, such as 120/80, is reading of systolic and diastolic. The first number, 120, is the measure of the maximum output pressure of the heart. Underneath that indicates the pressure as you relax and the flow steadies. Most of these monitors are automatic, so you don’t need to have training to be a health care professional to handle the devices.

You can find some for as low as $30 and some as high as $60.

 

Dealing with Hypertension in Children

Once you have the information and a diagnoses either from a clinic or your personal doctor, you can do a few things to help lower hypertension. One of the most effective way is to follow what we call a DASH eating plan. This is a plan that includes reduce the amount of fat, both saturated and unsaturated, and more fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods. It is sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, and is one of the best ways to lower hypertension without medication. Find out more about the dash diet here.

Obesity and high blood pressure go hand in hand, so watching the weight of the child is also a priority. Either reduce the amount of food consumed or increase activity for them. Here are some great low-fat snacks for any occasion, that you can give your kid if they are hungry.

Got stories that you can tell about hypertension in children? Feel free to comment below and let us know if you had a personal experience with this!

 

 

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