How Blood Pressure Is Measured
Hypertension can be mild, moderate or severe. Your blood pressure is naturally higher when you are exerting yourself, such as during physical exercise. It is only a concern if your blood pressure is high when you are at rest, because this means your heart is overworked and your arteries have extra stress in their walls.Blood pressure readings are a combination of two measurements. These are:
- Systolic is the highest pressure against the arteries as the heart pumps. The normal systolic pressure is usually between 110 and 130mmHg.
- Diastolic is the pressure against the arteries as the heart relaxes and fills with blood. The normal diastolic pressure is usually between 70 and 80mmHg.
What Are Clinical Trials For High Blood Pressure And Kidney Disease
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of high blood pressure and kidney disease, such as
- managing high blood pressure through diet, education, and counseling in patients with kidney disease
- testing new medications to treat high blood pressure and kidney disease
Wrong Medication Or Wrong Dose
For each person theres an ideal combination of medications and dosages that would best control their hypertension. Some people havent yet received that ideal combination. Its important to work with a doctor who is familiar with the range of medications and who knows what works best for each individual.
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What Are The Risks Of Resistant Hypertension
Over time, uncontrolled hypertension damages the arteries, contributing to their stiffening. As the arteries become narrower and less flexible, the heart has to work harder to move blood through the body. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and other heart conditions cause damage to your kidneys, memory and vision and contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Most People With Hypertension Feel Okay
Hypertension usually does not produce any symptoms, because the organs of the body can resist high blood pressure for a long time. Thats why its important to have regular medical examinations to make sure your blood pressure isnt creeping up as you grow older.High blood pressure over a period of time can contribute to many illnesses, including:
- heart attack
The effects of high blood pressure on the arteries are worsened by:
- cigarette smoking
- high levels of saturated fat in the diet
- high blood cholesterol
Responses to some types of stress may affect both blood pressure and changes in the arteries, but this remains scientifically uncertain.
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Is A Blood Pressure Reading Always The Same
Blood pressure can be affected by many factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
The time of day. Blood pressures fluctuate during waking hours, and are lower during sleep.
Physical activity. Blood pressure is usually higher during and immediately after exercise, and lower at periods of rest.
Emotional moods and stress. Feelings such as fear, anger, or happiness can affect the blood pressure.
Age, height, weight, and gender. Each of these can affect blood pressure.
Other illnesses present or medications you are taking. Other illnesses, including kidney disease or heart disease, affect blood pressure, as can certain medications.
Children and adolescents may be anxious in a doctor’s office, not knowing what may happen. Your doctor is aware that any emotions related to visiting the clinic can affect blood pressure and may give falsely high readings.
Before determining that your child has high blood pressure, a doctor or nurse will take several readings when your child is calm.
What Else Should I Do To Help Control My Blood Pressure
You can help yourself by doing the following:
- have regular medical checkups
- take all your medicines as instructed, even if you are feeling fine
- follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations about diet and exercise
- stop smoking, if you are a smoker
- avoid drinking more than one ounce of alcohol a day
- get your whole family involved in your care plan
Don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or problems. If you cooperate with your treatment plan, you can keep your blood pressure controlled and help to prevent serious complications.
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Who Is At Risk For High Blood Pressure
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk:
- Age – Blood pressure tends to rise with age
- Race/Ethnicity – High blood pressure is more common in African American adults
- Weight – People who are overweight or have obesity are more likely to develop high blood pressure
- Sex – Before age 55, men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure. After age 55, women are more likely than men to develop it.
- Lifestyle – Certain lifestyle habits can raise your risk for high blood pressure, such as eating too much sodium or not enough potassium, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking.
- Family history – A family history of high blood pressure raises the risk of developing high blood pressure
What Clinical Studies For High Blood Pressure And Kidney Disease Are Looking For Participants
You can view a filtered list of clinical studies on high blood pressure and kidney disease that are federally funded, open, and recruiting at www.ClinicalTrials.gov. You can expand or narrow the list to include clinical studies from industry, universities, and individuals however, the National Institutes of Health does not review these studies and cannot ensure they are safe. Always talk with your health care professional before you participate in a clinical study.
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Lifestyle Tips To Lower Blood Pressure
So, are you wondering how to lower blood pressure besides changing your diet? Reducing stress can lower blood pressure. Some other natural ways to lower blood pressure include getting better sleep, scheduling in more free-time and fun, surrounding yourself with encouraging friends and exercising on a daily basis.
Regular exercise and diet play a large role in the development of hypertension. Another one of the most detrimental components of the Western lifestyle is stress. Managing stress includes relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, journaling or art therapy.
You can raise your blood pressure to alarming levels just by thinking or stressing about events. Imagined events have as much physiological effect as real ones. In fact, this is the basis of post-traumatic stress disorder , and the improvement of performance in businessmen and Olympic athletic gains through visualization.
The best preventative measure to high blood pressure? A healthy lifestyle. Its common sense, really.
How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure
Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.
In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.
Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.
Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.
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What Can I Do If I Find Out My Blood Pressure Is Dangerously High
Normally, high blood pressure, sometimes called the silent killer, has few symptoms. But sometimes, a patient may be prompted to check their blood pressure because of troubling symptoms like headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and loss of balance. These may be signs of dangerously high blood pressure, also known as a hypertensive crisiswhen your first blood pressure number is greater than 180 or your second number is greater than 120.
In this scenario, do NOT try to lower your blood pressure on your own. A hypertensive crisis is an emergency situation that can end in death, so someone nearby should call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency personnel will begin the process of lowering your blood pressure in the ambulance while on the way to the hospital. Even then, they will follow guidelines on how quickly they can safely lower your blood pressure and will monitor your blood pressure closely.
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.
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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 (
Measure Your Blood Pressure On A Regular Basis
Measuring your blood pressure is an important step toward keeping a healthy blood pressure. Because high blood pressure and elevated blood pressure often have no symptoms, checking your blood pressure is the only way to know for sure whether it is too high.
You can measure your blood pressure at home with a home blood pressure monitor, or you can visit your doctor or nurse to have your blood pressure checked.
If you learn that you have high blood pressure, you should take steps to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
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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 .
Essential Oils For Blood Pressure
Another of the many natural ways to lower blood pressure is to incorporate some key essential oils into your daily lifestyle. Essential oils can lower blood pressure by dilating arteries, acting as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and by decreasing emotional stress. The most effective essential oils for lowering blood pressure are lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage and frankincense.
Talk with your natural doctor about how to lower blood pressure naturally and safely. Check with your doctor before making major diet and exercise changes. If youre taking any medications, youll also want to make sure there are no drug interactions with any natural supplements you plan to take.
- Blood pressure is a combination of systolic and diastolic pressure.
- High blood pressure happens when the pressure on the arteries and blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted causing extra stress on the heart.
- You can monitor your own blood pressure by measuring your pulse rate.
- Try natural ways to lower blood pressure like dietary changes, stress relievers and exercise.
- Check with your doctor before making any major diet or exercise changes or trying new supplements.
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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.
Can You Treat High Blood Pressure Naturally
In addition to medications to treat high blood pressure, your doctor will likely recommend you take some steps to living a healthier lifestyle. Medical News Today shares some things you can do to help naturally lower your blood pressure alongside your prescribed course of treatment:
- Get regular exercise
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Blood Pressure And Ageing
With advancing years, the arteries tend to become more rigid . This may change a persons blood pressure pattern, with a higher systolic pressure and a lower diastolic pressure. The higher systolic pressure is important because it can further accelerate the rigidity of the arteries. This state is referred to as isolated systolic hypertension. Although these changes are due to ageing, this is not a normal state and may need medication to control the systolic pressures.
High Blood Pressure Medicines
Treating high blood pressure will help prevent problems such as heart disease, stroke, loss of eyesight, chronic kidney disease, and other blood vessel diseases.
You may need to take medicines to lower your blood pressure if lifestyle changes are not enough to bring your blood pressure to the target level.
WHEN ARE MEDICINES FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE USED
Most of the time, if your blood pressure is high, your health care provider will recommend that you try lifestyle changes to control your blood pressure first. Your provider will also recommend that you check your BP two or more additional times.
If your blood pressure is 120/80 to 129/80 mm Hg, you have elevated blood pressure.
- Your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
- Medicines are rarely used at this stage.
If your blood pressure is equal to or higher than 130/80 but lower than 140/90 mm Hg, you have Stage 1 high blood pressure. When thinking about the best treatment, you and your provider must consider:
- If you have no other diseases or risk factors, your provider may recommend lifestyle changes and repeat the measurements after a few months.
- If your blood pressure remains equal to or higher than 130/80 but lower than 140/90 mm Hg, your provider may recommend medicines to treat high blood pressure.
- If you have other diseases or risk factors, your provider may be more likely to recommend medicines at the same time as lifestyle changes.
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