How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So the only way to find out if you have it is to get regular blood pressure checks from your health care provider. Your provider will use a gauge, a stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff. He or she will take two or more readings at separate appointments before making a diagnosis.
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For children and teens, the health care provider compares the blood pressure reading to what is normal for other kids who are the same age, height, and gender.
The Link Between Body Weight And Stroke
Around 75% of people who have a stroke are ages 65 and older.But studies show that having a higher BMI increases your risk of stroke at any age.
In one study, researchers compared two groups of people between the ages of 15 and 49. Young adults in the first group had previously had a stroke, while those in the second group had not.
The researchers found that young adult men who were obese were 73% more likely to have a stroke than men with a healthy BMI. Young adult women who were obese were also 46% more likely to have a stroke than women with a healthy BMI.
Medical scientists have found that being overweight leads to high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of stroke. Being overweight also leads to metabolic syndromecharacterized by high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood sugar.
Over time, these conditions harm the blood vessels of the brain and the heart and increase the risk that a blood clot will form and travel to the brainresulting in stroke.
When researchers compared people with metabolic syndrome to people without it, they found that people with metabolic syndrome are three times more likely to have a stroke.
There are, however, some other, unexplained links between higher BMIs and stroke that are not associated with metabolic syndrome. For example, one study found that obese people without metabolic risk factors still have a higher risk of stroke.
Health Problems Of Being Overweight
Obesity is bad news for both body and mind. Not only can it make someone feel tired and uncomfortable, carrying extra weight puts added stress on the body, especially the bones and joints of the legs. Kids and teens who are overweight are more likely to develop diabetes and other health problems. And overweight adults have a higher chance of getting heart disease.
Weight-related health problems include:
Asthma. Obesity increases the chance of having asthma. Breathing problems related to weight can make it harder to keep up with friends, play sports, or just walk from class to class.
Sleep apnea. This condition is a serious problem for many overweight kids and adults. Sleep apnea can leave people feeling tired and affect their ability to concentrate and learn. It also may lead to heart problems.
High blood pressure. When blood pressure is high, the heart has to work harder. If the problem continues for a long time, high blood pressure can damage the heart and arteries.
High cholesterol. Abnormal blood lipid levels, including high cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels, increase the chances of having a heart attack or stroke when a person gets older.
Gallstones. A buildup of bile that hardens in the gallbladder forms gallstones. These can be painful and require surgery.
Fatty liver. If fat builds up in the liver, it can cause , scarring, and permanent liver damage.
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Think Globally Act Globally
There is a clear need to develop a global strategy for managing the increasing number of overweight and obese subjects in the community. Obesity, as a major contributor to global cardiovascular risk, requires coherent management . Effective long-term weight loss necessitates persistent changes in dietary quality, energy intake and physical activity . Weight loss is associated with a significant reduction of blood pressure and has beneficial effects on the associated risk factors.
Even modest reduction in body weight can cause a meaningful reduction in the activity of the reninangiotensinaldosterone systems in the circulation and in adipose tissue which makes a major contribution to the blood pressure decrease. Weight loss of 5% is associated with the reduction of angiotensinogen levels by 27%, renin by 43%, aldosterone by 31%, angiotensin-converting enzyme activity by 12% and angiotensinogen expression by 20% in adipose tissue .
Furthermore, weight loss has been shown to improve endothelial function , decrease sympathetic nerve activity and improve baroreflex function . Animal studies indicate that weight loss decreases proteinuria and might even reverse morphological signs of renal damage . This repair of renal injury is independent of blood pressure control. Whether weight loss, induced by either lifestyle changes or pharmacotherapy, is also associated with a reduced number of cardiovascular events remains to be determined.
Wondering What Causes High Blood Pressure Read On To Find Out
What was once considered an issue that plagued only the elderly has now become one that even youngsters deal with. Indeed, popping medication to manage high blood pressure levels is sadly something many 20 somethings must do these days. For the uninitiated, hypertension is considered a condition that generally develops over the years. Yet many believe it is brought on by poor lifestyle choices, being overweight or an absence of exercise in ones daily life.
However, if you wish to know what causes high blood pressure, then read on. We delve into the subject to reveal everything from conditions like pregnancy to health issues like diabetes that may act as risk factors in individuals making them more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Types of high blood pressure and the causes behind it
Studies show that high blood pressure can be categorised in two types primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. It is widely understood that primary hypertension cannot be pinpointed to a cause, as it slowly develops over time. But heres a deeper insight into secondary hypertension-
Common risk factors in individuals who may develop high blood pressure
Right from issues like diabetes to lifestyle concerns like an absence of physical activity, there are many risk factors for high blood pressure.
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Promoting Healthy Habits Is Not Body Shaming
We see high blood pressure in obese children commonly in the clinic, starting around school age, says Dr. Lewis.
Typically obese toddlers wont have a problem with high blood pressure, but blood pressure must be checked to ensure this is not a problem.
If obesity related blood pressure is not critical, steps are taken to ensure the child does not diet to lose weight, but rather, learn to eat healthy to stop the excessive weight gain.
The treatment plan for obesity in children and obesity related complications such as high blood pressure entails a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat meats and dairy, healthy grains and increased fiber.
Sugar drinks should be eliminated or at the very least reduced to once per week as a treat.
This isnt about teaching your child to embrace their body. Its about teaching your child to embrace the concept of HEALTH and FITNESS.
- Serve up more salad and less ice cream to your children.
- Learn to say No.
- Learn to ignore the pestering and whining for cookies and the balking at apples and yogurt.
Read it again: Obesity can cause high blood pressure in kids!
How Much Alcohol Can I Drink If I Have High Blood Pressure
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It may also lead to the development of high blood pressure. So to help prevent high blood pressure, if you drink alcohol, limit how much you drink to no more than two drinks a day if you are male. The “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recommend that for overall health, women and lighter weight persons should limit their alcohol to no more than one drink a day.
This is what counts as a drink:
- 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof or 1 ounce of 100-proof whiskey
- 5 ounces of wine
- 12 ounces of beer
You may have heard that some alcohol is good for your heart. Some studies suggest that people who consume a drink or two a day have lower blood pressure and live longer than those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol or no alcohol at all. Others note that wine raises the “good” blood cholesterol that prevents the build-up of fats in the arteries.
While these studies may be correct, they don’t tell the whole story. Too much alcohol contributes to a host of other health problems, such as motor vehicle accidents, diseases of the liver and pancreas, damage to the brain and heart, an increased risk of many cancers, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol is also high in calories. So you should limit how much you drink.
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A Chain Is Not Stronger Than Its Weakest Link
It is clear that obesity-related hypertension is a multifactorial disorder. At this time, it is not possible to identify one single mechanism as the dominant aetiological factor. Genesis and evolution of obesity-related co-morbidity presumably depend on several genetic and environmental factors. It is likely that obesity, hypertension and metabolic abnormalities interact and potentiate their individual impact on cardiovascular risk . In this context, renal factors may have a decisive influence. The number of nephrons is reduced in patients with primary hypertension . In these patients, obesity may confer an increased risk of chronic kidney disease, especially when additional factors, such as diabetes or lipid abnormalities, are superimposed. Structural damage of the kidneys may further increase blood pressure and predispose to cardiovascular events.
Potential mechanisms linking obesity, hypertension and chronic kidney disease.
It is tempting to speculate that the clinical course and the prognosis of a given patient depend on the weakest link in the chain comprising obesity, hypertension and metabolic abnormalities. It is possible that distinct subgroups of obese subjects are prone to an early increase in blood pressure, an early onset of diabetes or an early onset of chronic kidney disease.
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How Does Being Overweight Cause High Blood Pressure
Many factors can cause high blood pressure, including stress, high levels of sodium, lack of calcium, lack of potassium from eating too little fruits and vegetables, and lack of physical activity. But it’s also clear that being overweight directly leads to high blood pressure. This happens in part when the kidneys, squashed by fat, feign death unless they are fed with a higher blood pressure .
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Tests To Identify Other Medical Conditions
Your doctor may order some of the following tests to identify medical conditions that may be causing your overweight and obesity.
- Blood tests. Blood tests that check yourthyroid hormone levels can help rule out hypothyroidism as a cause of your overweight or obesity.Cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone tests can rule out Cushingssyndrome. Total testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate tests can help rule out polycystic ovary syndrome .
- Pelvic ultrasoundto examine the ovaries and detect cysts. This can rule out PCOS.
What Is The Mechanism Behind High Blood Pressure In Obesity
Many people with obesity also develop high blood pressure, but the mechanism that leads to this remains unclear. A new study using human tissue samples and mouse models may now have found an explanation.
Obesity is a
Past research has suggested that to find the mechanism that mediates the relationship between obesity and high blood pressure, scientists should look to the endothelium that is, the cells that line the insides of blood vessels.
In a new study, researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville have done precisely that. They turned their attention to the endothelium to try to find out exactly how obesity can lead to high blood pressure.
To do so, they studied potential mechanisms in human tissue samples and in mouse models.
They report their findings in a study paper in the journal
calcium signaling : Calcium ions communicate with cells, regulating vasodilation by effectively telling the vessels when to dilate.
In obesity, however, calcium signaling within blood vessels appears to be impaired. This affects vasodilation and contributes to high blood pressure.
Yet the mechanism underlying this impairment remains unclear. To learn more about the specific causes behind high blood pressure in obesity, the researchers investigated cellular mechanisms in human tissue samples and mice under both normal conditions and those that induce obesity.
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Energy Imbalances Cause The Body To Store Fat
Energy imbalances can cause overweight and obesity. An energy imbalance means that your energy IN does not equal your energy OUT. This energy is measured in calories. Energy IN is the amount of calories you get from food and drinks. Energy OUT is the amount of calories that your body uses for things such as breathing, digesting, being physically active, and regulating body temperature.
Overweight and obesity develop over time when you take in more calories than you use, or when energy IN is more than your energy OUT. This type of energy imbalance causes your body to store fat.
Your body uses certain nutrients such as carbohydrates or sugars, proteins, and fats from the foods you eat to:
- make energy for immediate use to power routine daily body functions and physical activity.
- store energy for future use by your body. Sugars are stored asglycogen in the liver and muscles. Fats are stored mainly as triglyceride in fat tissue.
The amount of energy that your body gets from the food you eat depends on the type of foods you eat, how the food is prepared, and how long it has been since you last ate.
The body has three types of fat tissuewhite, brown, and beigethat it uses to fuel itself, regulate its temperature in response to cold, and store energy for future use. Learn about the role of each fat type in maintaining energy balance in the body.
Some genetic syndromes and endocrine disorders can cause overweight or obesity.
Modest Weight Loss In Hypertensive Patients
Different randomized controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the positive effects of modest weight loss on blood pressure in patients with hypertension , , , ) . The Trial of Antihypertensive Interventions and Management Study ) examined the effects of weight loss, alone or in combination with medication, on diastolic blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension. The results showed that a weight loss of 4.5 kg or more lowered diastolic blood pressure to the same extent as a single dose of antihypertensive medication.
Possible mechanisms for the blood pressure-lowering effect of weight loss.
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Getting Started With Weight Loss
Weight loss can be hard because it involves changing the way you eat and your physical activity. Losing weight also takes time, which can be frustrating. The good news is that you can lose weight and keep it off, even if youâve never done it before.
Hereâs what has worked for some people who have lost weight and kept it off*:
- Cutting back on calories and fat.
- Staying physically active most days of the week.
- Eating breakfast every day.
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Screening For A High Or Increasing Body Mass Index
To screen for overweight and obesity, doctors measure BMI using calculations that depend on whether you are a child or an adult. After reading the information below, talk to your doctor or your childs doctor to determine if you or your child has a high or increasing BMI.
- Children: A healthy weight is usually when your childs BMI is at the 5th percentile up to the 85th percentile, based on growth charts for children who are the same age and sex. To figure out your childs BMI, use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen and compare the BMI with the table below.
- Adults: A healthy weight for adults is usually when your BMI is 18.5 to less than 25. To figure out your BMI, use the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutes online BMI calculator and compare it with the table below. You can also download the BMI calculator app for iPhone and Android.
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Good Weight And Measure Are Heaven’s Treasure
Excess body weight is the sixth most important risk factor contributing to the overall burden of disease worldwide . More than 1 billion adults and 10% of children are now classified as overweight or obese . In the USA, obesity is set to overtake smoking in 2005 as the main preventable cause of illness and premature death .
Obesity and in particular central obesity have been consistently associated with hypertension and increased cardiovascular risk. Based on population studies, risk estimates indicate that at least two-thirds of the prevalence of hypertension can be directly attributed to obesity . Apart from hypertension, abdominal adiposity has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease, sleep apnoea, stroke and congestive heart failure .
Prevalence of microalbuminuria according to body mass index in the PREVEND study .
Given the close link between obesity and cardiovascular disease, it has been suggested that current trends in obesity might lead to a decline of the life expectancy in the USA in the 21st century . Similar trends are likely to occur in other countries.