What Is Normal Blood Pressure For Women
Did you know high blood pressure is common among women? Especially for women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. In fact, women who have gone through menopause are at an even greater risk.
Health Harvard explains, By the time they reach their 60s and 70s, 70% of women have high blood pressure. After age 75, that figure rises to nearly 80%, according to the CDC. This is why prevention is so important! Here are the normal blood pressure readings for women by age:
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.
Lifestyle Changes With Blood Pressure Of 100/60
Your doctor may suggest a few lifestyle modifications for those with a blood pressure of 100/60. This will depend on the severity of your low blood pressure in combination with your other health history.
- Increase Salt IntakeMost of the time doctors want you to limit sodium since it can increase your blood pressure. In this instance, thats just what the doctor ordered!
- Drink More WaterFluids increase blood volume, which can help increase your blood pressure.
- Wear Compression Stockings In more extreme cases your doctor may want you to wear compression stockings that will limit the blood flow to your legs and keep more blood in your upper body.
Remember that what is low blood pressure for one person could be normal for another. Dont get so hung up on the number and instead listen to your body.
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Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
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Target Your High Blood Pressure
Once you have been diagnosed with hypertension, remember that high blood pressure can be lowered. For most people, blood pressure readings should be lower than 140/90 mmHg when measured in the doctors office. At home, your blood pressure should generally be below 135/85 mmHg. For those people with diabetes or kidney disease, lower blood pressure is even more important and should be below 130/80 mmHg when measured in the doctors office.
Most people who lead healthy lifestyles do not suffer from high blood pressure. For those with hypertension, following the steps outlined above will lower their blood pressure.
How To Lower Blood Pressure
If you’re over 70 and have been told that your blood pressure is too high, don’t let the condition’s lack of symptoms keep you from working to get it into a healthy range. Make it a point to:
Review all your medications with your doctor. “Many people will need medication to manage their blood pressure,” Andromalos says. But be sure to tell your doctor about all other prescriptions you may have and any over-the-counter medications that you take, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or decongestants because they can raise your blood pressure, Dr. Vaishnava says.
Move more. Regular, moderate exercise can help you lower your blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic states. Find an activity you enjoy so that you’ll stick with it â cycling, walking, swimming or dancing, for instance. Strength training and high intensity interval training also can help lower your blood pressure.
Lose weight. The higher your body mass, the harder your heart has to work to pump critical blood. Losing even a small amount of weight can help lower your blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic states.
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What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
Treatment For Low Blood Pressure Depends On The Cause
If a cause can be found, a GP will be able to recommend treatment to ease your symptoms.
For example, they may suggest:
- changing medicines or altering your dose, if this is the cause
- wearing support stockings this can improve circulation and increase blood pressure
Medicine to increase blood pressure is rarely needed because simple lifestyle measures or treating the underlying cause is usually effective.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
On its own, low blood pressure does not always cause symptoms. If you have low blood pressure and you do not have any symptoms, you do not require treatment.
However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean that there is not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs. As a result, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- general weakness
If you experience the symptoms of hypotension after changing positions , it is known as postural – or orthostatic – hypotension. If you experience these symptoms after eating, it is known as postprandial hypotension.
What Are The Complications Of Hypertension
Hypertension damages blood arteries and organs by putting too much pressure on artery walls.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to a variety of complications, including:
- Heart attack or stroke: High blood pressure can cause the arteries to stiffen and thicken, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
- Heart failure: Due to the high pressure in the blood vessels, the heart needs to work harder to pump blood. The walls of the heart’s pumping chamber swell because of this , which can lead to heart failure.
- Aneurysm: An abnormal bulge in a blood vessel that can cause death if it bursts.
- Kidney failure: Kidneys with weakened and restricted blood arteries are unable to operate normally.
- Blindness: Hypertensive retinopathies in the eye can cause vision loss.
- Metabolic syndrome:Metabolic syndrome is a collection of metabolic illnesses. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are more likely to occur as a result of these disorders.
- Memory or comprehension problems: Uncontrolled hypertension impairs a person’s capacity to think, recall and acquire or comprehend new concepts.
- Dementia: Blood flow to the brain is restricted by narrowed or clogged arteries, resulting in dementia.
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When Should You Get Help For An Abnormal Blood Pressure Reading
One high or low blood pressure reading by itself may not mean you need to call for help. If you take your blood pressure and it is out of the normal range, wait a few minutes and take it again. If it’s still high or low, use the following guidance.
911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out .
or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your blood pressure is much higher than normal .
- You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms such as:
- Severe headache.
When To Check Blood Pressure
- If your blood pressure is normal , get it checked every year, or more often as your doctor suggests.
- If your blood pressure is elevated — a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 or diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 — your doctor will probably want to check it every 3-6 months. They will probably recommend lifestyle changes like more exercise and a better diet.
- If you have stage 1 hypertension — 130-139 over 89-90 — the doctor might suggest lifestyle changes and see you again in 3-6 months. Or they could tell you to make the changes and give you medication, then recheck your condition in a month. It depends on what other health conditions or risk factors you have.
- If you have stage 2 hypertension — 140/90 or higher — youâll likely get medication. You’ll also need to make lifestyle changes and see the doctor again in a month.
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Can I Check My Blood Pressure With My Phone
It is possible but not reliable. Hence, it is not advised.
You cannot accurately check your blood pressure with your phone. Several apps, both Android and iOS, claim that they can measure your blood pressure via new technology. None of these apps have any backing from health experts and scientists as far as their efficiency or credibility is concerned. Thus, it is better to rely on the standard blood pressure equipment called a sphygmomanometer for accurately measuring the blood pressure. You may use the apps on your phone for
- Keeping a record of your blood pressure readings by manually entering the data.
- Sending your blood pressure readings to your doctors phone and receiving your doctors feedback.
- Keeping a track of your salt intake.
- Getting reminders for staying active, exercising and drinking water.
- Ensuring adherence to medications.
When To Call Your Doctor
The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.
You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.
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How Do You Measure Blood Pressure
In a doctor’s office, blood pressure is traditionally taken manually by a doctor or nurse with a sphygmomanometer. A sphygmomanometer is a medical instrument with an inflatable cuff and pressure meter or dial. The sphygmomanometer is placed snugly around the upper arm and is inflated by hand, and the doctor or nurse listens to the brachial artery with a stethoscope as they gradually reduce the pressure of the cuff. When the whooshing sound of blood is first heard through the stethoscope, the doctor or nurse makes note of the reading on the pressure meter. This indicates the systolic blood pressure reading. When the sound disappears, the reading on the pressure meter indicates the diastolic pressure reading.
Blood pressure can also be taken at home using a number of a digital devices. They typically consist of an inflatable cuff and digital display and simply work by placing the cuff around the upper arm and pressing a button, after which the cuff inflatess, deflates, and displays a reading. The most popular blood pressure machines for home use are made by Omron, Beurer, and Paramed, amongst many others.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure readings are composed of two numbersfor example, 120/80 mm Hg. Both numbers are an important part of your blood pressure reading.
The top number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures the pressure in your arteries between each heart beat.
The standard unit of measure, mm Hg, stands for “millimeters of mercury.” Mercury pressure gauges have been replaced with electronic pressure gauges, but the abbreviation is still used.
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Why Our Blood Is Pressurized
In many ways, our circulatory system works the same as the plumbing in our homes, except much more complicated. Just like water through pipes, blood flows through our arteries because of differences in pressure. It moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure all across the body.
However, conditions like high cholesterol that constrict or block arteries can cause this pressure to be unnaturally elevated. This is what causes dangerous conditions like heart attack and stroke.
Side Effects Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may not be discussed as often as high blood pressure, but it should be addressed, as prolonged low blood pressure can negatively affect your organs.
A certain amount of blood pressure is needed to maintain blood flow to the organs, says Dr. Wong. The blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to these organs. If the blood pressure is too low, an adequate blood supply cannot get to these organs.
If left untreated, low blood pressure can increase your risk of fainting, heart attack and organ damage, adds Dr. Desai.
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Normal Blood Pressure By Age
As you age, your body goes through many changes that can put you at risk for other conditions. If youre over 50, having a higher than usual systolic pressure might increase your risk of developing heart disease. Systolic blood pressure tends to increase steadily over time due to stiff arteries, a build-up of plaque, and a higher rate of cardiac and vascular disease. This means older adults need to be even more vigilant about monitoring their blood pressure and practicing heart-healthy self-care.
Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure
Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.
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Lifestyle Factors & Changes
The DASH diet is an eating plan that has been shown to lower blood pressure. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods and low in unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol. To learn more about the DASH diet visit: https://www.dashdiet.org/
To follow the DASH diet, you should eat more vegetables. Choose fresh vegetables with no added salt or sugar. Aim for at least four servings of vegetables per day. Try to eat more whole grains. Choose whole-grain breads, pasta, and rice. Consider eating less sodium. Cut back on foods that are high in sodium, such as cured meats, bacon, sausage, lunch meats, cheeses, gravies, and sauces. Try to also go for more Grass-fed options if you do want to indulge.
Drink less alcohol. If you drink alcohol, limit it to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Another life style change would be to exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly tend to have lower blood pressure than those who do not exercise. To get the most benefit from exercise, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week. Moderate-intensity activities include walking, biking, and swimming. You can also break up your exercise into shorter periods of 10 minutes or more.
Blood Pressure Readings When Youre Over 70
With guidelines about “healthy” blood pressure changing faster than it takes to get a reading, you may be wondering whether what’s acceptable changes with age. After all, blood pressure does tend to naturally rise as people age. Here’s how to make sense of all the numbers.
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Essentially, your blood pressure should fall within the same range no matter how old you are, says Prachant Vaishnava, MD, an assistant professor in medicine and cardiology and a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The latest guidelines from multiple organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, suggest a blood pressure goal below 120/80 millimeters of mercury regardless of age.
“That means normal blood pressure range for a 70-year-old female should be the same as for a 45-year-old female,” Dr. Vaishnava says.
However, you could be swimming against the tide â many people find their blood pressure rises as they get older. The reason is that blood vessels become less elastic with age and are likely to respond more slowly when you change positions, say from sitting to standing, according to the National Institutes of Health.
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For High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may watch it closely. This is because its a risk factor for heart disease.
Having elevated blood pressure puts you at risk for high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like eating a heart-healthy diet, cutting back on alcohol, and exercising regularly. These may help bring your blood pressure numbers down. You may not need prescription medications.
If you have stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and medication. They may prescribe a drug like:
Serious Injuries And Shock
Low blood pressure can also be caused by serious injuries or burns, particularly if you have lost a lot of blood. This can mean that there is less blood being pumped around your body. Low blood pressure can also occur if you go into shock after having a serious injury.
Other kinds of shock are described below.
Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is caused by an allergic reaction to something – for example, a wasp sting or a peanut. During an allergic reaction, your body produces a large amount of a chemical called histamine, which causes your blood vessels to widen and leads to a sudden, severe drop in blood pressure.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when your heart cannot supply enough blood to your body, so your blood pressure drops. This can happen during a heart attack.
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