Over Time High Blood Pressure Harms Renal Blood Vessels
The nephrons in the kidneys are supplied with a dense network of blood vessels, and high volumes of blood flow through them. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.
- Damaged kidney arteries do not filter blood well. Kidneys have small, finger-like nephrons that filter your blood. Each nephron receives its blood supply through tiny hair-like capillaries, the smallest of all blood vessels. When the arteries become damaged, the nephrons do not receive the essential oxygen and nutrients and the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and regulate the fluid, hormones, acids and salts in the body.;
- Damaged kidneys fail to regulate blood pressure. Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called aldosterone to help the body regulate blood pressure. Kidney damage and uncontrolled high blood pressure each contribute to a negative spiral. As more arteries become blocked and stop functioning, the kidneys eventually fail.
Some High Blood Pressure Risks You Can’t Change
Anyone can get high blood pressure. But, some people have a greater chance of having it because of things they can’t change. These are:
- Age. The chance of having high blood pressure increases as you get older.
- Gender. Before age 55, men have a greater chance of having high blood pressure. Women are more likely to have high blood pressure after menopause.
- Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in some families.
- Race. African Americans are at increased risk for high blood pressure.
Dizziness Is Also A Side Effect Of Some High Blood Pressure Medications
Increased blood pressure does not appear to cause dizziness but it is a side effect of some high blood pressure medications, especially alpha blockers and alpha-beta blockers.; If you get dizzy while taking any medication, talk to your doctor about other drugs that might work for you with fewer side effects. Additionally, much research on dizziness and blood pressure indicates that low blood pressure is generally the culprit.
When the blood pressure drops, dizziness is a common side effect. A person who gets light-headed when standing up too quickly is experiencing orthostatic hypotension dizziness that occurs when systolic blood pressure drops more than 20 mm Hg or diastolic drops more than 10 mm Hg.;; But age not high blood pressure is the most common risk factor for this condition.The important thing to take note of is what your blood pressure readings are when you experience the dizziness whether low or elevated.
Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. So you must contact your doctor to resolve this situation.
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Change In Mental Status
This can be a difficult symptom to deal with because when we become confused we may not be able to respond with appropriate judgment. Its important that people who are usually around you are able to recognize the signs of changes in mental status: muddled thinking, changes in speech, unusual behavior and even simply reduced activity. There are many other possible causes for this symptom besides hypertension, including stroke or possibly an unreported head injury, so always seek medical attention if you experience changes in consciousness. Make sure that family members and caregivers know what to watch for, and know that any sign of quickly changing mental status is an emergency that requires immediate medical response.
When And How To Measure Blood Pressure
Regular use of a home blood pressure monitor can help people better understand their blood pressure fluctuations. It can also allow people to identify episodes of morning hypertension.
The American Heart Association recommend using a cuff-style blood pressure monitor. These monitors are more reliable than monitors that attach to the finger or wrist.
The AHA also provide the following guidelines for measuring blood pressure at home:
Before measuring blood pressure:
- Rest comfortably and quietly for 5 minutes before measuring blood pressure.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or exercising within 30 minutes of measuring blood pressure.
When measuring blood pressure:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic hypotension happens more frequently and with more severe symptoms in the mornings. Thats because blood pressure is at its lowest in the morning.
Some people dont experience any symptoms from orthostatic hypotension. Others find that hot temperatures make symptoms worse.
Other signs include:
What This Study Adds
In the Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program , a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, participants with isolated systolic hypertension were randomized to chlorthalidone-based stepped care therapy or matching placebo and for which long-term mortality data are available.
In analyses adjusted for age, gender, treatment, SBP, pulse pressure, risk factors, and comorbidities, orthostatic hypertension was associated with increased all-cause mortality at 4.5 and 17 years in both the active treatment and placebo groups.
Orthostatic hypertension is easily detected and can be used in refining cardiovascular risk assessment.
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Treatment Of Orthostatic Hypotension
- Fluids to treat dehydration
- Management of diabetes, such as regular insulin injections
- Changes in medication or altered doses if drugs are the cause
- Medication, surgery or both to treat heart conditions
- Medication to increase blood volume or pressure, including corticosteroids
- Medications to treat orthostatic hypotension including pyridostigmine, a drug used in the treatment of myasthenia gravis
- A range of treatments, since orthostatic hypotension may have two or more causes
- In some cases, a lower body pressure suit is required.
Blood Pressure Differences When Lying Down Standing Up And Sitting
Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onMay 6, 2016
Accurate blood pressure measurements, including blood pressure differences when lying down versus standing up and sitting can be very helpful when healthcare providers are trying to monitor the condition. However, its important to understand the impact that each position has on blood pressure levels.
There are three common positions that healthcare workers use when taking someones blood pressure. Taking blood pressure lying down is the obvious method used when a patient is hospitalized, but in a doctors office a patient is usually sitting in a chair. Some nurses also measure blood pressure while a person is standing.
Records show that diastolic pressure is about 55mm/Hg lower when taking blood pressure lying down vs. sitting.Systolic pressure is approximately 88 mm/Hg in the lying down position versus the sitting position, but only when the person taking the measurement positions the patients arm so that it is at the same level as the right atrium of the heart.
People should also be conscious of the fact thatblood pressure readings are different if you are in a sitting position with your legs crossed. It actually increases systolic pressure by as much as 8mm/Hg.
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Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure
While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.
Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80
Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80
The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle;choices are a great place to start.
Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89
You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.
Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher
Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Connections To Other Disorders
- Anorexia Nervosa: Many people suffering From anorexia experience orthostatic hypertension
- Hypovolemia can cause orthostatic hypertension
- Renal arterial stenosis with nephroptosis have been known to cause orthostatic hypertension.
- Aortitis with nephroptosis: “This orthostatic hypertension largely may be due to an activation of the renin system caused by nephroptosis and partly due to a reduced baroreflex sensitivity caused by aortitis”
- Orthostatic hypertension was positively associated with peripheral arterial disease.
- Increased occurrence of silent cerebrovascular ischemia
- Systolic orthostatic hypertension increases stroke risk.
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Whats The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse
Blood pressure and pulse are two measurements that a doctor may use to monitor your heart and overall health. While theyre similar, they can each say very different things about whats happening in your body.
Pulse, also called heart rate, refers to the number of times your heart beats in one minute. Typical pulse measurements range from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
Blood pressure is an estimate of the force your blood is exerting on your blood vessels. A typical value for blood pressure is 120/80. Doctors consider blood pressure to be elevated when its between 130 and 139 systolic over 80 to 89 diastolic .
If you have high blood pressure with a low pulse, it means your blood is putting increased pressure on your blood vessels, but your hearts beating fewer than 60 times per minute. Read on to learn more about what this combination means for your health.
What Is Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic hypotension is low blood pressure which occurs when standing up from a sitting or lying down position. It occurs because something interrupts the bodys natural process of counteracting low blood pressure.; Orthostatic hypotension;5 can cause the following symptoms:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness when standing up
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How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very common in older people. As we age, our vascular system changes. Arteries get stiffer, so blood pressure goes up. This is true even for people who have heart-healthy habits. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of high blood pressure:
If these lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure to a safe level, your doctor will also prescribe medicine. You may try several kinds or combinations of medicines before finding a plan that works best for you. Medicine can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. You will likely need to take medicine for the rest of your life. Plan with your doctor how to manage your blood pressure.
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.
If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.
What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.
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Under Pressure: How To Use The New Blood Pressure Guidelines
In November 2017, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for blood pressure, lowering the range of whats considered a high blood pressure reading. The end result: 46 percent of Americans now are considered to have high blood pressure, up from 32 percent under the old guidelines.
It may seem scary to think about 30 million more people having high blood pressure, or hypertension, essentially overnight. But the new guidelines are a step in the right direction. They recognize our growing understanding of high blood pressure and why we shouldnt manage it through medical treatments alone. Patients and their doctors have to have strong communication and good partnerships in order to understand and treat this dangerous condition.
We measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Youve probably heard blood pressure given as one number over another number, such as 120 over 80. The first number is systolic pressure, and the second number is diastolic pressure.
The new blood pressure scale is as follows:
- Normal blood pressure: less than 120 mmHg systolic; less than 80 mmHg diastolic
- Elevated blood pressure: 120 to 129 mmHg systolic; less than 80 mmHg diastolic
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130 to 139 mmHg systolic; 80 to 89 mmHg diastolic
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 or above mmHg systolic; 90 or above mmHg diastolic
Blood Pressure Differences Between Arms
Finding blood pressure differences between arms can be a sign of atherosclerosis, which is basically plaque buildup in arteries. Finding a difference in pressure between sides of the body tells doctors that they need to investigate further to see if atherosclerosis is in the main blood vessel leaving the heart or in other parts of the body.
One study published in the medical journal The Lancet stated that a blood pressure difference of 10 to 15 points between arms increases the risk of dying from heart disease or a stroke.
A small difference in blood pressure between arms is nothing to panic about. A large difference could signal health problems that include not only plaque buildup, but also kidney disease, diabetes, and heart defects.
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The Lowdown On Low Blood Pressure
“In a healthy person, low blood pressure is a sign of good health as long as the systolic pressure is above 80,” explains Dr. Pacold. “Very low blood pressure in a person with heart disease could be a sign of heart failure.”
One type of low blood pressure that could predict future heart problems is called orthostatic hypotension. In this type of low blood pressure, “there is a drop of 10 to 20 points of blood pressure when a person moves from a sitting or supine position to a standing position,” Pacold says. “It causes a sudden sense of lightheadedness and can be due to a heart that is starting to have trouble compensating.”
A recent study on orthostatic hypotension published in the journal Hypertension followed more than 12,000 adults for about 17 years. None of them had heart failure at the start. People who had episodes of orthostatic hypotension during the study period, especially between the ages of 45 to 55, were more likely to develop heart failure by the end.
Blood Pressure Lying Down Vs Sitting
Many wonder why positioning makes such a difference in blood pressure readings. Lets take lying down vs. sitting as an example. Our heart is a pump, and it takes less work to pump blood to our brain when we are lying down. This is because our head is about the same level as our heart. However, when we are up, our head is a lot higher than our heart. This means the heart has to pump much harder to get blood to our brain, so as a result, blood pressure is higher.
In most cases, blood pressure is taken while a person is sitting down with the arm dropping onto a table. While sometimes the middle point of the upper arm might, in fact, be parallel and in line with the position of the heart, the rest of the arm is not, so it should not be surprising that the measurement taking while laying down might be a little lower, since there is less gravity to counter.
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High Blood Pressure Facts
High blood pressure is serious because it can lead to major health problems. Make a point of learning what blood pressure should be. And, remember:
If your doctor asks you to take your blood pressure at home, keep in mind:
- There are many home blood pressure monitors for sale. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist which monitor you need and how to use it. Have your monitor checked at the doctor’s office to make sure it works correctly.
- Avoid smoking, exercise, and caffeine 30 minutes before checking your blood pressure.
- Make sure you are sitting with your feet uncrossed and on the floor, and that your back is resting against something.
- Relax quietly for fiveÂ;minutes before checking your blood pressure.
- Keep a list of your blood pressure numbers, what time you measured your blood pressure, and when you took your blood pressure medication . Share this information with your doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.
While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.
For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.
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