What Is A Dangerous Level Of Blood Pressure
For adults, elevated blood pressure ranges from 121/80 to 129/80. High blood pressure starts at 130/80 or higherthats stage one. Stage two, or the worst degree, is 140/90 and above. If the systolic blood pressure is more than 180, thats where it starts getting really dangerous, increasing the likelihood of an immediate heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.
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If you have a blood pressure reading of 180/120 or greater, the American Heart Association recommends waiting 5 minutes and then taking a second reading. If your blood pressure stays at an elevated level but youre not experiencing any symptoms, its considered hypertensive urgency. In this scenario, you should reach out to your provider for guidancethey may recommend adjustments to your medications, or advise you to go to the hospital for treatment.
If youre experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, back or chest pain, numbness or weakness, vision changes or difficulty speaking, dont wait to see if your blood pressure comes down on its own. These symptoms are signs of a hypertensive emergency and can cause organ damagecall 911 immediately.
Talk With Your Doctor
High blood pressure is a serious condition that requires treatment to prevent more severe health problems.
Dont worry if youre confused by all of your medication options. Your doctor can tell you which drugs might work best for you. Together, you can put together a treatment plan to get your blood pressure under control.
Some questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I need medication to control my blood pressure?
- Am I at high risk of certain side effects from blood pressure medication?
- Am I taking any other drugs that might interact with my blood pressure medication?
- Would a combination blood pressure medication be a good option for me?
- Do you recommend improved diet and exercise as a way to lower my blood pressure?
When Treatment Is Recommended
Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Your doctor will carry out some blood and urine tests, and ask questions about your health to determine your risk of other problems:
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg , but your risk of other problems is low you’ll be advised to make some changes to your lifestyle
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg and your risk of other problems is high you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 160/100mmHg you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
Risks And Complications Of High Blood Pressure
If youve been to see the doctor and they determine you have high blood pressure, they might decide to give you medications designed to lower it.
Medications may have different side effects. Consult your healthcare provider about possible complications of any medications you might take for your high blood pressure.
Doctors might also prescribe dietary changes after talking to you about your lifestyle and blood pressure. They will likely recommend that you exercise for 30 minutes a day, or get at least that much physical activity if you cant exercise.
With diet, medicine, and exercise, you can reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure and the other health problems that it can cause. Dietary changes and healthier lifestyles tend to reduce blood pressure and often lead to a longer, more enjoyable life.
Eat Healthy High Protein Foods
A long-term study concluded in 2014 found that people who ate more protein had a lower risk of high blood pressure. For those who ate an average of 100 grams of protein per day, there was a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure than those on a low protein diet .
Those who also added regular fiber into their diet saw up to a 60 percent reduction of risk.
However, a high protein diet may not be for everyone. Those with kidney disease may need to use caution. Its best to talk with your doctor.
Its fairly easy to consume 100 grams of protein daily on most types of diets.
A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon can have as much as 22 grams of protein, while a 3.5-ounce serving of chicken breast might contain 30 grams of protein.
With regard to vegetarian options, a half-cup serving of most types of beans contains 7 to 10 grams of protein. Two tablespoons of peanut butter would provide 8 grams .
These supplements are readily available and have demonstrated promise for lowering blood pressure:
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid
A meta-analysis of fish oil and blood pressure found a mean blood pressure reduction in those with high blood pressure of 4.5 mm Hg systolic and 3.0 mm Hg diastolic .
This protein complex derived from milk may have several health benefits in addition to possibly lowering blood pressure .
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Take Blood Pressure Medications As Prescribed
The American Heart Association state that people should take their blood pressure medications according to their doctors exact instructions. People should never quit or cut back on their medications unless their doctor has advised them to do so.
If a person has trouble remembering to take their blood pressure medications, they should set up daily reminders on their phone or other devices.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
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Stop Using Your Phone Immediately
This is an immediate treatment for high blood pressureat home.
During a phone call, blood pressure readings changed from 121/77 to 129/88.
The reason behind this drastic change is bioelectromagnetic rays emitting from phones during a call.
They increase the heart rate and cause dizziness.
If you feel symptoms of hypertension in an instant, avoid using the phone immediately.
Furthermore, the WIFI should not be switched on all day long. They emit rays that increase BP immediately.
These are some study-based researches on how to lower blood pressure immediately at home.
What Risks Are Increased By High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure also puts you at higher risk of complications such as nerve and eye damage.
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Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Blood Pressure Numbers
If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, you might be wondering what to do. The guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury , meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension.
While you shouldn’t shrug off the change, there’s also no need to panic. “Obviously, nothing happened overnight inside a woman’s body or to her health with the release of the guidelines,” says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The change, however, should spur you to take your blood pressure seriously. “These guidelines have been long anticipated and are very welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem drastic, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help thousands of people,” says Dr. Fisher.
How Long Does It Take To Come Down
The length of time it takes to lower blood pressure will vary from person to person.
In addition, some methods for lowering blood pressure will work for some people, but not for others. A person should start seeing changes within a few days to weeks of making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes.
High blood pressure rarely causes symptoms. People may only discover that they have high blood pressure during a routine visit to their doctor, or after developing complications, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Some symptoms that may be indirectly related to high blood pressure include:
- blood spots in the eyes
Avoid Heavy Alcohol Drinking
Drinking too much alcohol has been associated with high blood pressure. Heavy drinking also contributes to stroke. The CDC recommends that men drink two or fewer drinks per day. Women are recommended to drink one or fewer alcoholic beverages per day.
Alcoholism is a disease that is difficult to treat on your own. If you find it difficult to control your drinking, many people have successfully limited or quit drinking through counseling and drug treatment. You can reach the national substance abuse hotline anytime at: 1-800-662-HELP .
Consider Cutting Back On Caffeine
Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary.
In a 2017 study, the systolic blood pressure of 18 participants was elevated for 2 hours after they drank 32 ounces of either a caffeinated drink or an energy drink. Blood pressure then dropped more quickly for the participants who drank a caffeinated drink .
Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If youre caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption, or try .
Research on caffeine, including its health benefits, is in the news a lot. The choice of whether to cut back depends on many individual factors.
One older study indicated that caffeines effect on raising blood pressure is greater if your blood pressure is already high. This same study, however, called for more research on the subject .
If your blood pressure is very high or doesnt decrease after making these lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs.
They work and will improve your long-term outcome, especially if you have other risk factors . However, it can take some time to find the right combination of medications.
Talk with your doctor about possible medications and what might work best for you.
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Why Does Hypertension Matter
If you are in this 130/80 range, reducing your blood pressure can help protect you from heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. The goal of the new guidelines is to encourage you to treat your high blood pressure seriously and to take action to bring it down, primarily using lifestyle interventions. “It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as pills can, and sometimes even more,” says Dr. Fisher.
Making those changes can be challenging. More than one woman has woken up in the morning committed to healthy eating only to be derailed by a plate of cookies on a table in the office or a dinner out with friends.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Several factors can cause high blood pressure:
- Inactive lifestyle: If you dont get enough physical exercise, your blood pressure can rise because your heart isnt as efficient as it could be.
- Unhealthy Diet
- Genetics: Your genes may have a part to play in high blood pressure because some people have a naturally higher blood pressure than others.
- Overweight: People with high body mass indexes generally have higher blood pressure.
- Bad lifestyle choices:Smoking, smokeless tobacco use, and drinking alcohol all increase your blood pressure.
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May Relieve Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint condition in the United States, causing painful and stiff joints .
In one study in 45 people with osteoarthritis in the knee, taking 100 mg of cats claw extract for 4 weeks resulted in reduced pain during physical activity. No side effects were reported.
However, there was no change in either pain at rest or knee swelling .
In an eight-week study, a supplement of cats claw and maca root a Peruvian medicinal plant reduced pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis. In addition, participants needed pain medication less frequently .
Another trial tested a daily mineral supplement alongside 100 mg of cats claw extract in people with osteoporosis. After 12 weeks, joint pain and function improved compared to those not taking the supplements .
However, after eight weeks, the benefits were not sustained.
It should also be noted that it can be difficult to determine the specific actions of cats claw in studies that test multiple supplements at once.
Scientists believe that cats claw may ease osteoarthritis symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory properties (
How Often Should I Have My Blood Pressure Checked
Its recommended that Australian adults have their blood pressure checked by their doctor at least every 2 years. Some people may be advised to have more frequent checks for example, people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
People with diabetes should have their blood pressure checked at least every 6 months if its normal and every 3 months if they have high blood pressure.
All Australians aged 45 and over and 30 and over for those of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent are eligible for a regular, 20-minute heart health check with their GP or nurse. This checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your health professional will be able to assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years.
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Get A Grip: A Simple Exercise To Lower Blood Pressure
Before you get excited, this trick isnt designed to replace regular exercise and a healthy diet. Rather, it complements those things. Consult your GP before adding this to your exercise regime:
- Take one of these relics from the 70s. Its an isometric handgrip device and theyre available via internet and health retailers
- Squeeze and hold it repeatedly
- Do literally nothing else.
To be fair, its a little more complex than that. But the general idea is that you can do this exercise with minimal effort in front of the TV or while sitting with friends and family.
The device was developed in the 1970s to help US fighter pilots temporarily boost their blood pressure to avoid passing out at high G-forces. But using it over sustained periods actually dropped the pressure levels of the fighter pilots with high blood pressure.
This kind of intervention has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 8-10mmHg over eight weeks. Enough to start taking you from elevated to normal levels quickly and efficiently.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Having overweight or obesity increases strain on the heart muscle and can lead to a rise in blood pressure.
. If a persons BMI is too high, they should take steps to reduce their weight.
According to the , a loss of just 10 pounds in weight is enough to reduce blood pressure readings in people who have overweight.
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Try Meditation Or Deep Breathing
While these two behaviors could also fall under stress reduction techniques, meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention.
Both meditation and deep breathing may activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate, and lowering blood pressure.
Theres quite a bit of research in this area, with studies showing that different styles of meditation appear to have benefits for lowering blood pressure .
Deep breathing techniques can also be quite effective.
In one study, participants were asked to either take six deep breaths over the course of 30 seconds or simply sit still for 30 seconds. Those who took breaths lowered their blood pressure more than those who just sat .
Try guided meditation or deep breathing. Heres a video to get you started.
Bottom line: Both meditation and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
When To Seek Professional Treatment
You should see your doctor regularly for health screenings as part of a good preventive care program. If you are doing this, your healthcare provider can see trends developing with your blood pressure and other health factors and give you advice on how to head off serious problems.
If you don’t regularly see a doctor and have a onetime high blood pressure reading, you should schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider for follow-upespecially if you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain or dizziness.
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