Hypertension can sometimes confuse both the patient and the doctor for a couple of reasons. One, the physical symptoms of high blood pressure can vary quite widely. And secondly, it shares many symptoms with other diseases or conditions.
That’s why, in dealing with any illness, a thorough examination of the patient, including checking blood pressure, is essential.
It is quite common for patients to visit the doctor for one illness only to be told that their real problem is high blood pressure.
Undiagnosed hypertension can affect all the major organs of the body, including the heart, kidneys, and liver. It is also capable of affecting vision and causing strokes.
The physical symptoms of high blood pressure can include giddiness, headaches, blurry vision, tremors, convulsions, and difficulty in walking or exerting oneself, and clinical depression, among other things.
Difficulty in even minor physical exertion and unusual tiredness may be signs of cardiac damage from high blood pressure. Excessive perspiration and breathlessness can also signal this condition. This is a serious situation and calls for immediate medical attention.
Damage to kidneys can cause symptoms like an increase in the frequency of urination or pain while passing urine. The skin may appear to be dull due to dehydration and electrolyte loss.
High blood pressure can affect vision causing lesions in the ocular region. If left untreated, it can cause loss of vision.
The problem is that many of these symptoms can cause the physician to suspect other diseases. Sometimes, high blood pressure can also be a symptom of another underlying problem. Comprehensive testing may be necessary to zero in on the real problem.
In cases where hypertension caused damage to major organs, the real underlying problem (high blood pressure) may be missed. To avoid misdiagnosis, a blood pressure check is routinely done for a wide variety of complaints.
Some symptoms of hypertension are similar to those of diabetes. Some are even similar to that of a person who is heavily drunk!
In fact, there have been cases where hypertension was not detected or treated because it was assumed that the symptoms were induced by alcohol.
The range of physical symptoms of high blood pressure is wide enough to present real problems. Having any of the above symptoms is reason enough to consult a health care professional at the earliest.