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Hypertension or high blood pressure as it is typically known is sometimes called the silent killer because a person could have it for years without even knowing it It can be a very dangerous illness if not treated right away and properly About fifty million Americans have high blood pressure but about one third of those people which is fifteen million dont even know it Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms Most of the time people often think that headaches dizziness or nosebleeds are common warning signs of high blood pressure Its true that a few people with early stage high blood pressure have a dull ache in the back of the head when they wake in the morning and maybe they have a few more nosebleeds than normal but headaches dizziness or nosebleeds typically dont occur until high blood pressure has advanced to a higher stage one that could be extremely life threatening And ironically some people with the highest blood pressure readings dont even experience any of these symptoms Other conditions that can lead to uncontrolled high blood pressure may cause the following signs and symptoms excessive perspiration muscle cramps weakness frequent urination rapid or irregular heartbeat this is called palpitations or a nervous jittery feeling Its not always possible to determine why blood pressure reaches higher levels in some people In fact doctors identify a specific disease or cause in fewer than one case in twenty When a cause cannot be determined high blood pressure is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension When a cause is determined the term secondary hypertension applies This means that the increased pressure results from another cause such as medications including birth control pills cold remedies decongestants over the counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs kidney disease adrenal disease thyroid disease abnormal blood vessels preeclampsia which is a significant increase in blood pressure during the last 3 months of pregnancy or
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