Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeExclusiveHow Do You Know Your Blood Pressure Is High

How Do You Know Your Blood Pressure Is High

Reduce Stress Through Meditation And Rest

How do you know if you have High Blood Pressure?

Chronic stress can lead to chronic elevations in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, says Dr. Desai. These hormones constrict the arteries and cause weight gain, which further increases blood pressure.

He recommends reducing stress by using breathing exercises, practicing meditation, completing physical exercise, practicing yoga, logging quality sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, spending time in nature, listening to music and eating a balanced diet.

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.

Risks Of High Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:

  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • live in a deprived area

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.

Also Check: What Are The Symptoms For High Blood Pressure

High Blood Sugar Causes

You may be thinking that hyperglycemia can happen just from eating a super-sugary food, but its not really as simple as that. Sure, eating a lot of sugar or carbs can elevate your blood sugar level, but thats typically when your pancreas kicks into gear and creates insulin to move that glucose into cells throughout the body.

But when someone has diabetes, this finely tuned system gets thrown out of whack. In type 2 diabeteswhich accounts for 90% to 95% of diabetes in adults, according to the CDCthe body either cant make enough insulin or cant utilize insulin well, according to the NIDDK. If someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose will be higher than normal but not quite in the type 2 diabetes range yet, per the NIDDK. And in type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin or makes very little.

In any case, the result is extra sugar hanging around the bloodstream, making you feel like total crap in the short term and putting your health at risk in the long term.

Tests For High Blood Pressure

3 Reasons You Really Need to Know Your Blood Pressure ...

When you have a doctors appointment, a nurse, medical assistant, or doctor typically checks your blood pressure. They routinely check blood pressure because there arent symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way to catch it is to test it.

A blood pressure machine, officially called a sphygmomanometer, is used to test for high blood pressure. The blood pressure cuff fits around your arm. Doctors or nurses might use a manual blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope to measure your blood pressure. At home, you can use an electronic blood pressure monitor. It only takes a minute or so to do the test.

When measuring blood pressure, youll observe two numbers:

  • Systolic: top number indicating pressure inside the artery when the heart is contracting
  • Diastolic: bottom number indicating the pressure of blood inside the arteries when the heart is filling

You have high blood pressure if you have a systolic reading of 140 mm Hg or higher and a diastolic reading of 90 mm Hg or higher. In this case, the nurse or doctor might wait a few minutes and check your blood pressure again. If its still high, you might be asked to monitor your blood pressure at home.

High blood pressure can be a sign of another medical condition. Untreated high blood pressure can cause organ damage. To assess your health properly, a doctor might also order a urine test, blood tests, or an electrocardiogram to check your heart health.

Recommended Reading: Does Claritin D Raise Blood Pressure

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

Great job! Your blood pressure is normal. To keep your readings in this range, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

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.

Research And Statistics: How Many People Have High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a very common condition, in both developing countries and industrialized nations.

According to the AHA, more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. That equates to nearly half of all adults in the United States.

High blood pressure is more common in men than in women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. About 47 percent of men in the United States have high blood pressure, compared with 43 percent of women.

Only one in four Americans with hypertension have the condition under control.

Also Check: Does Your Blood Pressure Go Up When You Have A Heart Attack

When Should You Call A Doctor For High Blood Pressure

Many symptoms present gradually after years of poorly blood pressure control. Often, the first knowledge of hypertension occurs when a person complains of chest pain or has stroke-like symptoms. Should these occur, it is appropriate to call 911 immediately to activate emergency medical services and seek care.

You may be directed to seek medical care if blood pressure readings are elevated if done as part of a community health screening. Isolated elevated blood pressure readings do not necessarily make the diagnosis of hypertension. Blood pressure readings vary throughout the day, and your primary care provider may record a different reading than the one that was measured in a screening that sent you in for care.

There are non-specific symptoms associated with hypertension that may cause a person to seek care that includes

  • lightheadedness,

There are many other reasons to develop these symptoms other than high blood pressure.

What Constitutes High Blood Pressure

How do you NOT know your blood pressure numbers? ð¤·â?âï¸?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, happens when the heart pumps blood against the artery walls at higher pressures than normal. It doesnt cause any symptoms, so the only way to know whether its high is to check it. But it isnt diagnosed from just one reading. You need at least two or more readings on two or more separate days before you can know whether you have high blood pressure. This is because your blood pressure changes from day to day and throughout each day, depending on what youre doing. It can increase temporarily from:

  • Caffeine

  • Stress or anxiety

Recommended Reading: Omron Blood Pressure Calibration

Heart Attack And Heart Disease

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina.
  • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

Why Is High Blood Pressure A Problem

High blood pressure puts an extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, which can damage them and make them weaker. Over time, this can lead to including heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, some forms of dementia, kidney disease and peripheral arterial disease.

If you have as well as high blood pressure, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, this makes serious health problems in the future more likely, making it more important to take steps to .

Read Also: What Animal Has The Highest Blood Pressure

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.

What If High Blood Pressure Is Left Untreated

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

If you have hypertension, what’s happening is that the excess pressure is damaging the vessels that provide blood flow to certain regions of your body. And when high blood pressure isn’t treated, it can pose dangers to the most vital parts of your body.

“Your heart, brain, eyes, and kidneys are four organ systems that can be highly affected by long-term, uncontrolled high blood pressure,” McKnight says.

Hypertension may increase your risk of complications ranging from a type of blindness called hypertensive retinopathy to a heart attack or stroke. In fact, high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths a day, according to the CDC.

The higher the blood pressure and the longer it goes untreated, the more damage it can create. According to a 2008 study, people with uncontrolled hypertension had a greater risk of death when compared to people with controlled hypertension. However, getting diagnosed early and receiving treatment can help prevent the risks associated with hypertension.

Don’t Miss: Does Claritin D Raise Blood Pressure

Which One Is More Accurate: Manual Or Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

  • Digital non-portable automatic inflation for the upper arm
  • Digital portable automatic inflation for the upper arm, wrist, or finger

Monitors with the automatic arm cuff are more accurate than the manual, wrist, and finger monitors.

When you purchase a monitor with an inflatable upper arm cuff, you must make sure the cuff is the right size. Otherwise, you will receive inaccurate numbers. If you are in a store, try on the cuffs of different monitors to see which one fits the best. Also, go to the store to try on different size cuffs to see which one fits the best before you make an online purchase.

You do not have to spend a lot of money to buy the most accurate BP monitor. Many of the best at-home monitors are less than $100. One of the best overall monitors is the Omron Platinum Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. The current price of this device is about $80. Its clinical accuracy is validated by the American Heart Association. The Omron Platinum is a wireless device that can accommodate multiple users and store up to 100 readings per person.

Another monitor that ranks as one of the best overall monitors is the Withings BPM Connect. The current price of the Withings BPM Connect is just under $100, and it is FDA-cleared for its medical accuracy. This Wi-Fi Bluetooth-enabled device offers unlimited data storage, and you can share your results with your doctor through the Health Mate app.

Who Is At Risk Of Having Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure typically isnt a problem for most adults. However, if your blood pressure drops suddenly or you experience symptoms, it may cause serious side effects. The U.S. National Library of Medicine indicates that a drop as little as 20 mmHg can cause problems.

So what causes your blood pressure to drop and when does it put you at risk? Minor and temporary things can affect blood pressure, like getting up too fast after sitting, standing for long periods of time, or dehydration. Similarly, certain health conditions are risk factors for hypotension, including:

  • Heart conditions
  • Serious trauma
  • Shock caused by blood loss

If you experience low blood pressure, youre at a higher risk for fainting and shock, which can require medical treatment if vital organs. Keep track of your blood pressure regularly so you get to know whats normal for you and what may be too low. A single measurement lower than normal isnt cause for alarm but if you experience other symptoms, talk to your doctor.

For more information about low blood pressure or to find a doctor, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

You May Like: Low Blood Pressure Causes Heart Attack

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.

Decreased Alertness Or Confusion

3 Ways to Tell if You Have High Blood Pressure Symptoms

These may be a symptom of a serious illness, especially for older adults and the elderly. Though the level of consciousness may decrease as part of the ageing process, and it would be normal for an elderly not to remember where he placed his car keys, you should still visit your doctor to check the underlying cause of your confusion problem since it may be related to high blood pressure and prompt treatment should be given.

You May Like: Does Heart Disease Cause High Blood Pressure

Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates

Many scientific studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

A 2010 study compared a low-carb diet to a low-fat diet. The low-fat diet included a diet drug. Both diets produced weight loss, but the low-carb diet was much more effective in lowering blood pressure.

The low-carb diet lowered blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg diastolic and 5.9 mm Hg systolic. The diet of low-fat plus the diet drug lowered blood pressure by only 0.4 mm Hg diastolic and 1.5 mm Hg systolic .

A 2012 analysis of low-carb diets and heart disease risk found that these diets lowered blood pressure by an average of 3.10 mm Hg diastolic and 4.81 mm Hg systolic .

Another side effect of a low-carb, low-sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because youre consuming more protein and fat.

What Is High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the amount of blood pumped by your heart and the amount of resistance in your arteries. A normal blood pressure reading should be less than 120/80 mm Hg .

The first number is the systolic pressure, which represents the maximum pressure in your heart while beating. The second number is the diastolic pressure, which is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats.

The new guidelines released by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association state that high blood pressure should now be treated at 130/80 rather than 140/90.

If your systolic blood pressure is between 120 and 129, with a diastolic pressure under 80, you are considered to have elevated blood pressure, and you should do something about it before it gets worse. Well talk about what you should do in a minute.

If your blood pressure is higher than that, you will be diagnosed with hypertension.

Stage 1 hypertension occurs when systolic pressure is between 130 and 139 or diastolic is between 80 and 89.

Stage 2 is a more severe hypertension, when systolic is higher than 140 or diastolic is higher than 90.

Recommended Reading: What Does Hypertension Feel Like

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles