subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH)

Coma, Hemorrhage and High Blood Pressure – What You Need to Know

In the last 2 months, I have witnessed a couple of relatives falling prey to SAH. This SAH could be very dangerous. It can take the patient to COMA and subsequent death. A patient can become like a character in the popular movie Munnabhai MBBS called ‘The Subject’.

Many of the readers might not have heard the name SAH. I too heard it on the 1st of October.

SAH means Subarachnoid Haemorrhage.

What happens during SAH?

When a blood vessel develops a weak area at branching points of arteries, this is known as a Cerebral Aneurysm.

This is caused by constant pressure from blood flow. They often enlarge slowly and become weaker as they grow, just as a balloon becomes weaker as it stretches.

When this aneurysm breaks (known as raptures), it causes bleeding into the compartment surrounding the brain, the subarachnoid space.

This is known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Often the aneurysm heals over, bleeding stops, and the person survives.

In more serious cases, the bleeding may cause brain damage with paralysis or coma.

In the most severe cases, the bleeding leads to death.

This video shows how Cerebral Aneurysm happens:

Who are the Potential Victims for SAH?

The dangerous part is mostly there are no symptoms of a person suffering from Aneurysm.  Strokes association mentions that it is not known why an aneurysm bleeds.

Therefore it is more pertinent to know the possible symptoms of an aneurysm.

They mention three main reasons for the development of an aneurysm

  • High blood pressure (BP) is the leading cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Heavy lifting or straining can cause pressure to rise in the brain and may lead to an aneurysm rupture.
  • Strong emotions, such as being upset or angry, can raise blood pressure and can subsequently cause aneurysms to rupture.
  • Blood “thinners” (such as warfarin), some medications and prescription drugs (including diet pills that act as stimulants such as ephedrine and amphetamines), and harmful drugs like cocaine can cause aneurysms to rupture and bleed.

The most dangerous of all is high blood pressure as mostly it remains undetected.

Getting excessive angry is also dangerous as it can cause SAH. We usually say to a person who gets very angry to control anger else brain artery will burst.  This is actually true.

Know SAH recovery story from the survivors. After watching the video watch the comments below.

The High BP Data and Dangers:

As per the data, Hypertension or high blood pressure affects nearly three in ten Indians and is responsible for 17.5% of all deaths and 9.7% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYS) in India, according to data released in 2017.

High BP killed 1.6 million people in 2017 in India and most was unaware of it.

Apart from SAH, high BP can cause several other severe health conditions.  According to the American Heart Foundation,

  • Heart attack — High blood pressure damages arteries that can become blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Stroke — High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to clog more easily or even burst.
  • Heart failure — The increased workload from high blood pressure can cause the heart to enlarge and fail to supply blood to the body.
  • Kidney disease or failure — High blood pressure can damage the arteries around the kidneys and interfere with their ability to filter blood effectively.
  • Vision loss — High blood pressure can strain or damage blood vessels in the eyes.
  • Sexual dysfunction — High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men or lower libido in women.
  • Angina — Over time, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease or microvascular disease (MVD). Angina, or chest pain, is a common symptom.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) — Atherosclerosis caused by high blood pressure can cause a narrowing of arteries in the legs, arms, stomach, and head, causing pain or fatigue.

Either people are not aware of it that they are suffering from high BP or those who know they are suffering from high BP do not take it seriously.

But perhaps this could be one of the most dangerous health conditions.  The irony is once detected this is very easy to manage.

How to Manage High BP?

Normal blood pressure is when your systolic pressure is less than 120 & diastolic pressure is less than 80.

When both the readings are higher than the limit it is called high blood pressure.

There are several ways you can control high blood pressure without medication.

Apart from a healthy diet and stress reduction, regular exercise is the best way to control your blood pressure.

Read the following posts to know how exercise can help manage your high BP:

1.      How exercise benefits in 6 health conditions?

2.      18 fantastic health benefits of Aerobics

The bottom-line is:

Do not ignore your high blood pressure. If you are not suffering from high BP get your BP checked regularly to avoid fatal health conditions like SAH.

BP increases if you get upset and irritated with the small stuff.  If that is the case, read the book titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. 


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