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How Do You Know When Blood Pressure Is High

Causes Of Sudden High Blood Pressure

How To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of out every three American adults suffers from diagnosed high blood pressure with only one half keeping their pressure under control. Sudden high blood pressure usually occurs to a small percentage of people with high blood pressure. This can include young adults, including a high number of African-American men, and those experiencing:

  • Collagen vascular disorders
  • Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure

Sudden high blood pressure can also be brought on by daily activities and practices.

  • Medication use such as over-the-counter pain relievers, a combination of various medications, and abuse of cocaine and marijuana can spike blood pressure levels.
  • Smoking can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure as the chemicals, including nicotine, damage the linings of our blood vessels.
  • Diet habits are critical to maintaining normal blood pressure levels as the bad fat and sodium found in many foods increase the blood solute content. It also can build up and block the blood vessels, leading to major heart trouble such as a stroke.
  • Stress is part of our everyday life and becoming anxious about your worries can increase risk for spikes in blood pressure twofold.
  • Medical conditions like kidney disease, spinal injuries, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid issues, and scleroderma can raise blood pressure rapidly.

What Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure

There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.:

  • Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
  • Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.

What Are The Treatments For High Blood Pressure

Treatments for high blood pressure include heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.

You will work with your provider to come up with a treatment plan. It may include only the lifestyle changes. These changes, such as heart-healthy eating and exercise, can be very effective. But sometimes the changes do not control or lower your high blood pressure. Then you may need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines. Some people need to take more than one type.

If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Quick Signs To Tell You If You Have High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure risk is relatively quite common even if you do not have a family history of the health condition since it can be lifestyle-related too. Problems of high BP and low BP are something that should not be taken for granted and should be given immediate and prompt treatment to control the disorder and not lead to severe complications. Here are ten quick signs to tell you that if have high blood pressure or not.

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Can High Blood Pressure Be Prevented Or Avoided

Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

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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How Common Is High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common condition, it is estimated that 18% of adult men and 13% of adult women have high blood pressure but are not getting treatment for it.

In 90-95% of cases, there is no single identifiable reason for a rise in blood pressure. But all available evidence shows that lifestyle plays a significant role in regulating your blood pressure.

Risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • age
  • being overweight
  • excessive alcohol consumption.

Also, for reasons not fully understood, people of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian origin are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.

What Does Your Blood Pressure Reading Mean

If this is your first time taking your blood pressure, discuss the results with your doctor. Blood pressure is a very individualized vital sign reading, which means it can be very different for each person. Some people have naturally low blood pressure all the time, for example, while others may run on the higher side.

In general, a normal blood pressure is considered anything less than 120/80. Your own personal blood pressure will depend on your gender, age, weight, and any medical conditions you have. If you do register a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or over, wait two to five minutes and recheck.

If its still high, talk to your doctor to rule out hypertension. If your blood pressure ever goes over 180 systolic or over 120 diastolic after a repeat reading, seek emergency medical care right away.

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How Do I Know If I Have High Or Low Blood Pressure Numbers

Measuring your blood pressure gives you an idea about the amount of force generated by blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as it travels throughout your body. Blood pressure can change throughout the day for various reasons, but having consistently high or low blood pressure could be a sign of a serious health condition.

You measure your blood pressure using two sets of numbers. The first measures your systolic blood pressure, the stress placed on your artery walls from your beating heart. The second measures your diastolic blood pressure, which tells you the level of pressure applied when your heart pauses between beats.

Various methods are available to check your blood pressure. You can find out your numbers by:

  • Making an appointment with a doctor
  • Visiting a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure machine available for public use
  • Buying and using a home blood pressure monitor

The typical blood pressure range for most people is between 90/60 mm Hg and 120/80 mm Hg. If your numbers are outside that range, you may be dealing with high or low blood pressure also known as hypertension and hypotension, respectively.

How Often Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure

What You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure doesnt always cause symptoms, so its important to get your blood pressure checked. Recent guidelines recommend that all adults age 40 and older check their blood pressure at least once per year. Younger adults can check it every three to five years, or every year if they are at higher risk.

If you already have high blood pressure, you will need to check your blood pressure more frequently especially when you are starting or adjusting medications. Once your blood pressure stabilizes with treatment, you usually wont need to check it as often. Regular monitoring is still important, though, because your blood pressure can change over time, even when youre taking medications.

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Primary High Blood Pressure

While the specific cause of primary high blood pressure remains unknown, there is compelling evidence to suggest that a number of risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition.

These risk factors include:

  • age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
  • a family history of high blood pressure – the condition seems to run in families
  • being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
  • high-fat diet
  • high amount of salt in your diet
  • lack of exercise
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • stress

A number of health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, have also been linked to an increase risk of developing primary high blood pressure.

The Bottom Number Is The Only One That Matters In High Blood Pressure

  • True

Both numbers in your blood pressure reading count. A reading below 120/80 is normal.

If your top number is 120 to 129 and your bottom number is 80 or less, you have prehypertension. It means you could end up with high blood pressure unless you take steps to prevent it.

If your top number is 130 or above and your bottom number is 80 or above, you have high blood pressure. The higher the number, the greater your health risks.

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How Do Health Care Professionals Measure My Blood Pressure

First, a health care professional wraps an inflatable cuff around your arm. The health care professional then inflates the cuff, which gently tightens on your arm. The cuff has a gauge on it that will measure your blood pressure.

The health care professional will slowly let air out of the cuff while listening to your pulse with a stethoscope and watching the gauge. This process is quick and painless. If using a digital or automatic blood pressure cuff, the health care professional will not need to use a stethoscope.

The gauge uses a unit of measurement called millimeters of mercury to measure the pressure in your blood vessels.

If you have high blood pressure, talk to your health care team about steps to take to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Use this list of questions to ask your health care team pdf icon to help you manage your blood pressure.

Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure

How many at

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.

After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .

It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.

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Stroke And Brain Problems

High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.

Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.

Medications For High Blood Pressure

There is a large variety of medicines available to lower and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may call them antihypertensives, .

These medications do not cure high blood pressure, but they do help manage it. Once you start to take medicines to manage your blood pressure, you may need to take them for the rest of your life. However, the dose of these medicines may change over time.

If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose. Two or more different medications are often needed to manage blood pressure.

Make sure you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:

  • Building them into your daily routine by taking them at the same time each day.
  • Keeping them somewhere that will remind you such as next to your alarm, or with your coffee or tea.
  • Using a weekly pill box.
  • Asking a family member or friend to remind you.
  • Always carrying a list of your medicines and their doses with you.
  • Entering a daily alarm in your mobile phone or download an app to remind you.

Take any blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed. Dont stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.

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How To Check Your Blood Pressure Manually

To manually take your blood pressure, youll need a blood pressure cuff with a squeezable balloon and an aneroid monitor, also known as a sphygmomanometer, and a stethoscope. An aneroid monitor is a number dial. If possible, enlist the help of a friend or family member, because it can be difficult to use this method on your own.

Here are the steps to taking your blood pressure at home:

  • Before taking your blood pressure, make sure youre relaxed. Position your arm straight, palm facing up on a level surface, such as a table. Youll place the cuff on your bicep and squeeze the balloon to inflate the cuff. Using the numbers on the aneroid monitor, inflate the cuff about 20-30 mm Hg over your normal blood pressure. If you dont know your normal blood pressure, ask your doctor how much you should inflate the cuff.
  • Once the cuff is inflated, place the stethoscope with the flat side down on the inside of your elbow crease, toward the inner part of your arm where the major artery of your arm is located. Be sure to test the stethoscope before using it to make sure you can hear properly. You can do that by tapping on the stethoscope. Its also helpful to have a high-quality stethoscope and to ensure that the ears of the stethoscope are pointed in toward your eardrums.
  • Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked

    Blood Pressure UK – How to measure your blood pressure at home

    You can get your blood pressure measured

    • By a health care team member at a doctors office.
    • At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
    • With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.

    Take this form pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.

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    Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor

    The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor.

    • Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
    • Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice or find options at validatebp.org.
    • When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
    • Make sure the cuff fits measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.

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    Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks

    One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.

    When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.

    “That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.

    Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”

    It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.

    And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.

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    Facts About High Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure affects your health at every level

    There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.

    In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.

    Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

    Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.

    Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.

    Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.

    Why Is Hypertension An Important Issue In Low

    High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    The prevalence of hypertension varies across regions and country income groups. The WHO African Region has the highest prevalence of hypertension while the WHO Region of the Americas has the lowest prevalence of hypertension .

    The number of adults with hypertension increased from 594 million in 1975 to 1.13 billion in 2015, with the increase seen largely in low- and middle-income countries. This increase is due mainly to a rise in hypertension risk factors in those populations.

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    What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:

    • coronary heart disease – where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
    • strokes – a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
    • heart attacks – a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked

    Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.

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