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Blood Pressure How High Is Too High

Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Chart

Blood Pressure: How High is Too High and How Do I Lower it Safely?

Older persons, those with a hereditary predisposition, heart problems, or systemic diseases are all especially prone to high blood pressure. A blood pressure chart helps a person to monitor their individual values, to identify abnormalities early on, and to treat unhealthy blood pressure values at an early stage.

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High Blood Pressure Treatment

The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

What Can I Do To Lower My Blood Pressure

There are things we can all do to help control blood pressure. These lifestyle modifications are changes you can make in your daily life.

  • Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.
  • Increase your physical activity. Add 90 to 150 minutes each week of aerobic exercise. Also, include three days of strength training each week. Not only can this help reduce or control your blood pressure, but it can also help with weight management. In overweight individuals, a weight loss of even five to 10 percent has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
  • Limit your alcohol. It is recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one to help control blood pressure.
  • Manage your stress. Because stress can have a major impact on our bodies, it is important to have an effective coping technique. There are many techniques for relaxation.
  • If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can have a huge impact on your health.

These are some of the most proactive ways one can support a normal blood pressure and an overall healthy life. But sometimes, even a healthy lifestyle is not enough to maintain a safe blood pressure. When lifestyle modifications do not lower blood pressure to better levels, medication can be prescribed.

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Causes And Risk Factors

You may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure if you smoke, areoverweight, eat a diet thats low on produce and fiber and/or high in fatand salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or dont getmuch physical activity. Some causes of hypertension cannot becontrolledincluding your genes and your race . Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertensionby age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90percent.

But doctors no longer consider hypertension inevitable or untreatable withage, saysSamuel Durso, M.D., director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at JohnsHopkins.

In one Johns Hopkins study of 975 older women and men with hypertension,healthy lifestyle steps helped 40 percent stop taking blood pressuremedications. Other research has shown that lifestyle changes can lower therisk for hypertension in African-Americans and others at an increasedgenetic risk.

Can High Blood Pressure Be Prevented Or Avoided

Is your blood pressure too high?

If your high blood pressure is caused by lifestyle factors, you can take steps to reduce your risk:

  • Lose weight.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Learn relaxation methods.

If your high blood pressure is caused by disease or the medicine you take, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Additionally, treating any underlying disease can help reduce your high blood pressure.

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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.

What Causes High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.

You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

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Who Should Have A Blood Pressure Check

All adults should have their blood pressure checked. Blood pressure becomes more common with age, so if youre over 40 you should have a blood pressure check at least every five years. Its a good idea to have a blood pressure check if you are younger as well, especially if you are carrying extra weight or have other .

How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure

How High Is Too High For Blood Pressure? Cardiologist Explains

Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.

In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.

Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.

Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.

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Hypertensive Crisis: When You Should Call 911 For High Blood Pressure

A hypertensive crisis is when blood pressure rises quickly and severely with readings of 180/120 or greater.

The consequences of uncontrolled blood pressure in this range can be severe and include:

  • Pulmonary edema
  • Eclampsia

An elevated reading may or may not be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache

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Whats Considered Elevated Blood Pressure

Blood pressure numbers that are higher than 120/80 mm Hg are a warning sign. It means you need to pay attention to your blood pressure and focus on heart-healthy habits.

Although these numbers arent technically considered high blood pressure, youve moved out of the normal range. Elevated blood pressure may turn into high blood pressure, which puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Elevated blood pressure

When your systolic pressure is between 120 and 129mm Hgand your diastolic pressure is less than 80mm Hg, it means you have elevated blood pressure.

No medications are necessary for elevated blood pressure. But your doctor may talk with you about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing your weight.

You may receive a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension if:

  • your systolic blood pressure is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or
  • your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 mm Hg

However, the AHA notes that if you get only one reading this high, you may not truly have stage 1 hypertension. What determines the diagnosis of hypertension at any stage is the average of your blood pressure numbers over a period of time.

Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether its too high.

Stage 1 hypertension

If your systolic blood pressure is 130 to 139 mm Hgor your diastolic blood pressure is 80 to 89 mm Hg, its considered stage 1 hypertension.

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Is Menopause A Key Risk Factor

Research shows that before middle age, males are more likely to experience high blood pressure than females. Then, around the time of menopause, the reverse becomes true. However, health experts disagree on whether this is due to menopause.

Some argue that, until menopause, hormonal factors and specifically the presence of estrogen helps protect people from high blood pressure. When menopause occurs, individuals lose this protection, effectively making menopause the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease among females.

However, some suggest that other factors may increase the risk around this time, such as increased body mass index, aging, and dietary changes, whether hormonal changes also play a role or not.

Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes

Blood PressureHow High Is Too High?

Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:

  • Caffeine
  • Certain medications or combinations of medications
  • Chronic kidney disease

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What About Blood Pressure Thats Too Low

Low blood pressure is known as hypotension. In adults, a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or below is often considered hypotension.

Hypotension can be dangerous because blood pressure thats too low doesnt supply your body and heart with enough oxygenated blood.

Some potential causes of hypotension can include:

  • heart problems

Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure

Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.

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How Can You Reduce Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. These include the following:

  • Eat right: A healthy diet is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since its rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.
  • Keep a healthy weight: Going hand-in-hand with a proper diet is keeping a healthy weight. Since being overweight increases your blood pressure, losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower your blood pressure to healthier levels.
  • Cut down on salt: The recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day . To prevent hypertension, you should keep your salt intake below this level. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food do not add salt at the table.
  • Keep active: Even simple physical activities, such as walking, can lower your blood pressure .
  • Drinkalcoholin moderation: Having more than one drink a day and two drinks a day can raise blood pressure.

Symptoms In Teens And People In Their Early 20s

Is Your Blood Pressure is Too High? (How High is Too High?)

Teenagers can develop high blood pressure due to obesity or an underlying medical condition.

Possible medical factors

  • endocrine disease, which affects the hormones
  • vascular disease, which affects the blood vessels
  • a neurological condition

These conditions may have symptoms of their own.

The symptoms of high blood pressure, if they occur, will be the same as for other groups.

A 2021 study notes that, while death rates from cardiovascular disease have fallen among older adults, the reduction has been less dramatic in those aged 1839 years. The author suggests there are lower rates of awareness, treatment, and management of high blood pressure in those aged 2039. With this in mind, they call for more effective identification of high blood pressure in these age groups to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems later in life.

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Heart Attack And Heart Disease

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina.
  • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

What Questions Might I Be Asked In The Emergency Room

Your healthcare provider will interview you when you enter the emergency room. Do your best to prepare yourself to answer the following questions, and more, that your healthcare provider may ask.

  • What medications are you on?
  • Did you forget your blood pressure medication?
  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?

If youre unable to check your blood pressure, but think it might be high, dont hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2021.

References

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What Questions Should I Ask My Provider

  • Are there supplements or non-prescription medicines that I shouldnt take?
  • Can I keep taking these medicines if I get pregnant?
  • What kinds of exercise should I do?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you dont treat high blood pressure, it can put you at risk for developing serious illnesses later in life such as heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. But if you follow your providers instructions, you can control your blood pressure. Be sure to take any medicines your provider ordered as instructed. Keep taking them even if your blood pressure numbers begin to fall into the normal range. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, watching your weight and getting regular exercise is also a great way to help control your blood pressure.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.

References

What Are The Types Of High Blood Pressure

Is your blood pressure too high?

If you have high blood pressure with no known single cause, this is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension. Most people have this type of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure which is caused by another health problem, this is known as secondary hypertension, and treating the cause should bring your blood pressure back down to normal.

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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure

Most doctors will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration and unusual thirst
  • Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue.
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression

How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure

Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.

Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.

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Complications Of High Blood Pressure

Untreated or poorly managed high blood pressure can cause serious and even life threatening issues. It can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The longer your hypertension goes untreated, the more it can damage your body and affect your health.

Potential complications of high blood pressure include:

What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like

High Blood Pressure Basics

High blood pressure often doesnt have any symptoms, so you usually dont feel it.

Hypertension is usually diagnosed by a health care professional during a routine checkup. The average person should get a blood pressure reading at least once a year. As a cardiologist, I think its important for everyone to know their numbers. That means knowing what your blood pressure is. And it also means knowing your blood sugar level, cholesterol and body mass index. When you know your numbers, you can work with your doctor to make a plan to reduce any risks.

Blood pressure is even more important to pay attention to, though, if you have a close relative with hypertension or other risk factors. And know that if your blood pressure is extremely high, you may have unusually severe headaches, chest pain, difficulty breathing or get easily worn out by workouts. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.

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