High Blood Pressure In Older People
The target blood pressure reading for the over-80s is below 150/90 mmHg when it’s measured in the clinic or surgery, and below 145/85 mmHg for home readings.
While there are definite benefits from taking medicines to reduce blood pressure if you’re under the age of 80, it’s less clear it’s useful if you’re over 80.
It’s now thought that if you reach 80 while you’re taking medicine for high blood pressure, it’s fine to continue treatment provided it’s still helping you and is not causing side effects.
If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure and you’re aged over 80, your doctor will also consider your other health risk factors when deciding whether to give you treatment for the high blood pressure.
Page last reviewed: 23 October 2019 Next review due: 23 October 2022
Decrease Your Salt Intake
Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.
While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, French fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.
What Is Cats Claw
Cats claw is a tropical vine which can grow up to 98 feet tall. Its name comes from its hooked thorns, which resemble the claws of a cat.
It is found mainly in the Amazon rainforest and in other tropical areas of South and Central America.
The two most common varieties are Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis. The former is the type often used in supplements in the United States .
The bark and root have been used for centuries in South America as a traditional medicine for many conditions, such as inflammation, cancer, and infections.
Cats claw supplements can be taken as a liquid extract, capsule, powder, or tea.
Cats claw is a tropical vine used for centuries as a traditional medicine. Today, its commonly consumed as a supplement due to its alleged health benefits.
Cats claw has soared in popularity as a herbal supplement due to its alleged health benefits though only the claims below are backed up by sufficient research.
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One The Easiest Steps You Can Take To Prevent High Blood Pressure Is Choosing Healthy Foods
High blood pressure is a health issue that affects both young and old Australians alike, with close to 6 million Australians aged 18 years and over with high blood pressure.
Alarmingly its one of the leading risk factors for death and disability in Australia, as well as across the world.
One the easiest steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure is choosing healthy foods.
The foods we choose every day are important for our heart health. Research into high blood pressure shows us that the foods we consume can help to lower and manage high blood pressure.
But dont worry, weve done the heavy lifting and read the research, all you need to do is read on. The following foods are your best bets in beating high blood pressure based on the science.
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Fighting Back Against The Silent Killer
High blood pressure is a symptomless silent killer that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems.
While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Blood Pressure
Each and every one of us is different. So, how long it takes to lower your blood pressure will depend on how high your levels are, the medication you’re taking to lower it, and how carefully you’re following the treatment plan prescribed for you by your doctor. Read more about how to safely lower your blood pressure in this overview.
Verywell / Mayya Agapova
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How Long Will It Take To Lower Blood Pressure
With a strict diet and lifestyle changes, high BP can be lowered in 2-3 weeks.
However, there are categories in high blood pressure. So, first watch out for these categories:
Elevated Blood Pressure
The reading shows around 120-129/80. It is called pre-hypertension.
Stage I Hypertension
The reading varies from 130-139/90.
Stage II Hypertension
The readings vary from 140/90 or higher.
Try Cutting Back On The Salt
Reducing your sodium intake can play an important role in lowering your systolic blood pressure. The average American consumes more than 3,500 milligrams of sodium daily, which is well above the American Heart Association‘s recommendation of less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
“I think we all know that adding salt to your food is bad for your blood pressure,” Dr. Berger says. “But what we don’t always know is that when you eat food from a can or a box, it is filled with sodium.”
Dr. Berger recommends following a reduced-sodium diet called DASH , developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which also emphasizes a reduction in trans fats and refined sugar, as well as a sufficient intake of magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Because everyone responds differently to dietary changes, it may take some fine-tuning to find the right diet for your specific heart health.
“Everyone’s sodium responsiveness is a bit different,” says Howard Weintraub, MD, the clinical director of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, at NYU Langone Health in New York City. “So if you’re going to take the time to modify your nutrition, you shouldn’t only reduce how much salt you use, but also make it more healthy in general.”
In other words, Dr. Weintraub says, leaving the salt off but continuing to eat French fries probably isn’t going to help.
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Treating For Multiple Conditions
The type of blood pressure medication your doctor prescribes may depend on what other health problems you have. For example, if you have coronary artery disease and high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker. If you have had a myocardial infarction due to CAD, a beta-blocker can lower your blood pressure and decrease your overall risk of death.
If you have diabetes, your doctor may choose an ACE inhibitor or an ARB. Thats because these drugs can help protect the kidneys from diabetic damage by lowering the blood pressure in your kidneys.
Eat More Potassium And Less Sodium
Increasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure .
Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system and eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to people with kidney disease, so talk with your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.
Its easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:
- other processed snacks
Foods labeled low fat are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.
Cutting down on or even better, cutting out processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.
Make it a practice to check nutrition labels. According to the Food and Drug Administration , a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high (
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Calcium Helps Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Eating foods that contain calcium can help to manage elevated blood pressure issues and prevent cardiovascular heart disease.
The journal Blood Pressure reported that calcium is an important mineral that regulates blood pressure. Not getting enough calcium in your diet can result in hypertension and increase artery pressure.
The American Heart Association published the results of a study showing that consuming yogurt daily can help to naturally reduce the risk of high blood pressure in women. The researchers suggested that raw yogurt should be added to the list of foods to eat for high blood pressure.
Foods that can help bring down blood pressure because they are high in calcium include sardines, cheese, milk, yogurt, and tofu.
If you canât take dairy products or you stick to a vegan diet, find out about other great non-dairy sources of calcium you can enjoy.
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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Berries Should Be In The Blood Pressure Diet
A high blood pressure diet should include plenty of servings of berries to help boost your cardiovascular health.
Berries such as blueberries, bilberries, black currants, and cranberries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that have a positive effect on blood pressure.
Researchers have found that a diet rich in berries can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Consuming berries is also good to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.
How To Bring High Blood Pressure Down Immediately In Case Of Emergency
The first step you should do is to measure the pressure. Remember that, for the person who has the symptoms of high or low blood pressure should be totally still and sitting, without speaking. If the systolic pressure exceeds 180 or the diastolic pressure is less than 120, you should be concerned. In case of not having a blood pressure monitor, you should wait for a specialist. In the meantime, you can help the person or yourself by doing the following.
Relax and breathe deeply: To help anyone with high blood pressure, help them to take a proper posture and maintain a good temperature. Also, make them breathe slowly and deeply. The nitric oxide we breathe in opens up blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Another positive effect of this oxide is that in this way you reduce the hormones that cause stress.
Transfer to a hospital: Even if you manage to control blood pressure, you must go to a hospital as soon as possible. After an increase in pressure, other problems are likely to occur. In any case, it is always better to prevent them.
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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 (
When Is Medication Prescribed For High Blood Pressure
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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 .
Why Is Our Lifestyle So Important
These days our lifestyles consist of less active jobs, a high intake of processed foods and greater stress. These factors can all contribute to increasing our blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
The good news is that there are lots of small steps you can take to modify your lifestyle and manage your blood pressure.
You may decide to focus on one or two changes to begin with. Over time these changes will become easier and part of your normal routine.
For people already on pills to reduce blood pressure, these are changes you can make alongside taking your medication. However its important that you keep taking your medication as well.
For other people, these changes may be enough to control your blood pressure without starting medication.
Either way, if youve been told youve got high blood pressure, youll need to check in with your GP on a regular basis to manage the condition.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with high blood pressure, following these tips will be good for your heart health.
1. Swaps to lower salt foods
The sodium in salt raises blood pressure and increases our risk of heart disease and stroke.
Salt is hidden in processed and packaged foods like ready meals, soups, sauces, crackers, bread, breakfast cereals, processed meats and savoury snacks.
Try making swaps to lower salt alternatives. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Read more about eating less salt.
2. Build movement into your day
3. Make plants the main part of meals
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