Good Sleep Can Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure
Most people experience a dip in blood pressure during the deepest stage of sleep , which is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to sleep. Not having that nighttime dip is a risk factor for heart disease and may increase daytime blood pressure.
Typically people spend 90 minutes to two hours in slow wave sleep per night. A recent study published in Hypertension found that men who got less slow wave sleep each night were a higher risk for hypertension than men who got more deep sleep.
While sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and age can both affect the amount of deep sleep you get, there are steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and being more active during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep.
What Are The Possible Complications Of High Blood Pressure
Knowing about the potential complications of high blood pressure can help you to know if you have high blood pressure.
Heart Diseases Heart failure when the heart is unable to pump enough blood, it can lead to swelling in legs, feet and cause breathing difficulty. Heart attack can be a result of sudden blocking of blood circulation to the heart muscle, presented with chest pain, difficulty in breathing, sweating and nausea.
Stroke When blood supplying the brain gets blocked, cutting off the oxygen supply, it can result in a medical emergency. It is presented with sudden onset of weakness or numbness in arms, jaws and difficulty in speech.
Circulatory Problems An abnormal bulge in the arterial wall is called aneurysm, which blocks blood flow and causes obstruction. Peripheral artery disease, which is building up of plaque on the inner lining of arteries of legs affecting blood flow symptoms include heaviness and pain in legs, swelling, cramping and numbness in buttocks and legs after walking for long.
Others High blood pressure for a long time can cause damage to the kidneys, eyes and other organs, hence timely treatment and prevention is necessary.
Home Remedies And Treatment
It has been shown that meditation and other relaxation techniques can help lower blood pressure. Yoga, tai chi, and breathing exercises can also help reduce blood pressure. It’s best when these are combined with changes in diet and exercise. Tell your doctor if you are taking any herbal remedies, since some of these preparations can actually raise blood pressure or interact with your blood pressure medications. The following are supplements that may lower blood pressure:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Amino acids
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What Do The Numbers Mean
When a healthcare professional takes your blood pressure, its expressed as a measurement with two numbers, one number on top and one on the bottom , like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. Thats what the mm/Hg stands for. Heres what the numbers mean:
- Your systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heart contracts or beats.
- Your diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries between beats, when your heart relaxes.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
Numbers greater than the ideal range may be a sign that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show:
- a systolic pressure thats above 90 mm Hg and less than 120 mm Hg, and
- a diastolic pressure thats between 60 mm Hg and less than 80 mm Hg
The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if high blood pressure runs in your family.
Two Factors Influence How High Or Low Your Blood Pressure Is:
Therefore, regular checks are important to monitor your blood pressure.
Hypertension is the clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure, otherwise known as a hemodynamic disorder. Through a combination of factors, blood pressure becomes elevated over time and creates disease. Hypertension is associated with many chronic diseases and is considered the number one overall risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the primary cause of death in the U.S.
Hypertension can cause severe damage to the heart, and excessive pressure can result in changes that restrict blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. Other risks associated with hypertension include chest pains , heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.
The World Health Organization reports that one in four men and one in five women worldwide are hypertensive. If trends continue, 1.56 billion people will be hypertensive by 2025 . The total economic cost due to CVD disease in low- and medium-income countries reached an estimated $3.7 trillion between 2011 and 2015, accounting for half of all non-communicable diseases.
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Set Weight Loss Goals
If your doctor has recommended you lose weight, talk with them about an optimal weight loss goal for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a weight loss goal of one to two pounds a week. This can be achieved through a more nutritious diet and increased physical exercise.
Employing the help of a trainer or fitness app, and possibly even a dietician, are all methods to help you learn how to make the best choices for your body and your lifestyle.
How To Check Your Blood Pressure
A blood pressure test can be taken in at your GP surgery, at some pharmacies, as part of your NHS Health Check, in some workplaces, or home.
The main way to check your blood pressure used to be a stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial.
Nowadays, automatic devices with sensors and digital displays are commonly used.
Its best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for at least 5 minutes before the test.
Roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm.
Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.
The NHS instructions read:During the test: you hold out one of your arms so its at the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it your arm should be supported in this position with a cushion or the arm of a chair, for example the cuff is pumped up to restrict the blood flow in your arm this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds the pressure in the cuff is slowly released and detectors sense vibrations in your arteries a doctor will use a stethoscope to detect these if your blood pressure is measured manually the pressure in the cuff is recorded at 2 points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm these measurements are used to give your blood pressure reading
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Measuring Resting Blood Pressure
Resting blood pressure is considered the most accurate reading. To get this measurement:
- Your blood pressure should be recorded in a quiet, warm environment after you have been sitting quietly for at least five minutes with your feet supported.
- You should not have used caffeine or tobacco products for at least 30 minutes prior to the test.
- Your healthcare provider may take at least two blood pressure readings, preferably at least five minutes apart. If the readings vary by more than 5 mmHg, further readings may be done until closer readings are obtained. The purpose is to get a consistent reading, not to average widely ranging measures.
Some people have elevated resting blood pressures in the healthcare provider’s office, but have normal resting blood pressures at other times. This pattern has been called white coat hypertension, and it usually occurs due to anxiety. Repeat checks may be necessary if this occurs.
Once your blood pressure is measured accurately, your healthcare provider will classify the results, depending on your systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, as follows:
- Normal blood pressure: systolic pressure < 120 mmHg and diastolic pressure < 80 mmHg
- Hypertension: systolic pressure > 129 or diastolic pressure > 79 mmHg
The category of hypertension is further divided into two stages:
Readings great than this indicate serious concerns:
- Electrolyte levels
Fasting For High Blood Pressure
Surprisingly, there is another way to treat high blood pressure, with better results than medication, dieting, reducing your salt intake, exercising, managing your stress, not smoking or drinking. And this scientifically proven method is called fasting.
After doing my 7-day cleanse, people see their blood pressure drop dramatically. And the best part is that if you decide after your cleanse to follow my extreme advice , you may be able to stay off your medication for good.
The Retreat with Nick Knowles, a famous case study
In 2015, I participated in the filming of the British TV series The Retreat with Nick Knowles, where a group of unhealthy participants joined to change their lives during a one-month detox retreat. The program involved my 7 day fast followed by a healthy vegan diet and daily yoga.
Some were diagnosed with high blood pressure. After a month of filming, the participants had gone from dangerously high blood pressure to what is considered to be in the normal range.
They were also able to lower their cholesterol and to lose weight. Lets look at the results of two of the participants.
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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
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.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Although the exact cause is unknown, certain conditions, traits or habits may raise your risk for the condition. These are known as risk factors and include:
Non-modifiable risk factors: These factors are irreversible and cannot be changed. The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing HBP.
- Starting at age 18, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years. If you’re age 40 or older, or you’re 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.
- Family history/Genetics
- African Americans and non-white Hispanic Americans are at higher risk for developing high blood pressure than any other group in the U.S.
Modifiable risk factors: These factors can be modified, treated or controlled through medications or lifestyle changes.
- Excessive alcohol consumption over many years.
- Little to no physical activity
- Excessive amounts of salt in diet that excess the recommended amounts of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
- Long history of smoking and/or drug abuse
- Extreme emotional stress
Other conditions that contribute to developing high blood pressure
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About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.
The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.
A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.
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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High Blood Pressure Causes By Race
African-Americans are at greater risk of developing hypertension than people of other races. African-Americans develop high blood pressure earlier in life and have more difficulty achieving blood pressure goals. Some studies suggest that African-Americans may be more sensitive to salt than other races. For those who are genetically prone to salt sensitivity, a small amount of salt can raise blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. Dietary factors and being overweight can also raise blood pressure.
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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Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.
Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .
What Is A Normal Blood Pressure
Both the American Heart Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have published guidelines for defining healthy and elevated blood pressure. You can follow either guidelines, depending on what you and your doctor agree is acceptable.
|USPSTF Guidelines for Blood Pressure|
|Normal||Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic:Less than 80 mm Hg|
|Elevated||Diastolic: < Less than 80 mm Hg|
|AHA Guidelines for Blood Pressure|
|Normal||Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg|
|Elevated||Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 1||Systolic: 130-139 mm Hg|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 2||Systolic: 140 mm Hg or higher Diastolic: 90 mm Hg or higher|
|Hypertensive Crisis||Systolic: Higher than 180 mm Hg Diastolic: Higher than 120 mm Hg|
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Blood Pressure Is Mostly A Silent Disease
Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms.
Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure. Often, these are late signs that high blood pressure has existed for some time, therefore annual checks are recommended for all adults.
How To Interpret Blood Pressure Results
Blood pressure for men and women is measured as two numbers and is written as 120/80 mm of Hg.
The two numbers denoted in blood pressure readings, are:
- Systolic pressure This number is the higher number and is written at the top of blood pressure reading. The systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries, when the heart muscle contracts and empties itself into the main arteries.
- Diastolic pressure This is a lower number and is written at the bottom of blood pressure reading. The diastolic pressure is the pressure in between two heartbeats, when the heart muscle is resting and is being filled with blood.
Ideal blood pressure is usually 120/80 mm of Hg and is not much different for men and women. However, blood pressure in women may be slightly lower than in men of the same age. Women may have low blood pressure during their monthly cycles and may experience fatigue and dizziness. Women may experience a slight rise in blood pressure during pregnancy. Men and women both are at an increased risk of high blood pressure with increasing age.
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Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
Having a raised blood pressure reading in 1 test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can also raise your blood pressure.
If you have a high reading, you may be asked to take some readings with a 24-hour monitor that checks your blood pressure throughout the day.
This will confirm whether you have consistently high blood pressure.
It’s known as 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
High Blood Pressure Chart
- congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma
Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.
Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.
Treatment will depend on several factors, including:
- how high the blood pressure is
- the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke
The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.
If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.
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