Complications Of High Blood Pressure In The Elderly
High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder. Therefore, arteries take a beating and the chances of stroke, heart attack and kidney problems increase. When high blood pressure is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause:
- Enlargement of the heart, which may lead to heart failure.
- Small bulges in blood vessels called aneurysms. Common locations for aneurysms are the main artery from the heart , arteries in the brain, legs, and intestines, and the artery leading to the spleen.
- Blood vessels in the kidneys to narrow, which may cause kidney failure.
- Hardening of the arteries, especially those in the heart, brain, kidneys and legs. This can lead to a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or amputation of part of the leg.
- Blood vessels in the eyes to burst or bleed, which may cause vision changes and can result in blindness.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
- The purpose of pressure is stress and constant experience. Also, hypertension can increase in people who genetically found for this disease.
- The situation plays a significant role in the growth of hypertension.
- The more a person experiences stressful situations, the higher the likelihood that he may develop hypertension.
- If we pay attention to hypertension in time and start treating it, then serious consequences can be avoided, but, as a rule, people do not notice the symptoms of hypertension and do not handle it at the initial stage.
Even in a healthy person, there may be increased pressure in some situations. But at the same time, it does not reach the crisis moment and is not dangerous for a person.
There are two types of hypertension, Hypertension, and symptomatic hypertension. Hypertensive heart disease is a chronic disease of the cardiovascular system. At the time, it was not possible to find out exactly the causes of this disease.
Hypertension can also be triggered by a high content of saturated fatty acids in the menu. For the most part, they are present in palm and coconut fats and animal fat .
Forget also not about the hidden fats, which are rich in cheese, sausages, cookies, various snacks, chocolate, cakes. These foods are very high in calories, although at first glance they may not seem fat.
The deliberate rejection of over-salty foods would be of great benefit to human health.
Causes And Risk Factors
You may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure if you smoke, areoverweight, eat a diet thats low on produce and fiber and/or high in fatand salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or dont getmuch physical activity. Some causes of hypertension cannot becontrolledincluding your genes and your race . Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertensionby age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90percent.
In one Johns Hopkins study of 975 older women and men with hypertension,healthy lifestyle steps helped 40 percent stop taking blood pressuremedications. Other research has shown that lifestyle changes can lower therisk for hypertension in African-Americans and others at an increasedgenetic risk.
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What The Researchers Found
Treatment targets should always be determined after discussion between the person and their doctor about the potential benefits and harms of lowering blood pressure.
Adults 60 years of age or older with systolic blood pressure of 150 mm Hg or more should be treated with a goal of reducing systolic blood pressure to less than 150 mm Hg.
Adults 60 years of age or older who have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack should be treated with a goal of reducing their systolic blood pressure to less than 140 mm Hg.
Adults 60 years of age or older who are at high risk for cardiovascular events should be treated with a goal of reducing their systolic blood pressure to less than 140 mm Hg, but this decision should be made on an individual basis.
How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure
You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle. This means
If you already have high blood pressure, it is important to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should get regular medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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Checking Your Blood Pressure At Home
Measuring your blood pressure from home doesnt differ too much from what your doctor would do.
There is a variety of blood pressure monitors available for purchase that are reasonably priced and are accurate. You can pick up a quality digital monitor at a reasonable price online.
Digital Blood Pressure Monitor
Digital monitors do most of the work for you and a stethoscope is not needed. In some cases, you still need to inflate the cuff manually, but some models inflate automatically. The numbers are readily available on a small screen. These monitors are very easy to use and many are very accurate.
Some people prefer to use a wrist monitor to measure their blood pressure, but the general opinion is that these machines are not as reliable as upper arm monitors and I do not recommend them.
A few pointers for checking your blood pressure at home:
If you have high blood pressure, check your blood pressure at least once or twice a day .
Avoid food, caffeine, exercise, and nicotine at least 60 minutes before measuring.
Make sure your arm is supported and at the level of your heart.
Sit straight with your legs uncrossed and feet flat on the ground.
Try to relax before measuring. Spend 5 minutes relaxing.
Take a few readings each time to get the most accurate results.
Make sure to document your results every time you measure your blood pressure so you can closely monitor your condition.
If you have concerns or questions about your results, make sure to contact your doctor.
Who Is Prone To High Blood Pressure
Unsurprisingly, there are some people who are more likely to get high blood pressure than others. There are several risk factors that you should know about. We will go over the main list in just a moment. However, the most popular risk factors include your age, your family history, your race, and your overall lifestyle choice. For some people who suffer from chronic kidney disease, you may be more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat High Blood Pressure
Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered first line when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line drug pressure lowering medications are:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the production the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels dont narrow. Examples: lisinopril , enalapril , captopril .
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing. Examples: metoprolol , valsartan , losartan .
- Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine , nifedipine , diltiazem .
- Diuretics flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill. Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorothiazide.
How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very common in older people. As we age, our vascular system changes. Arteries get stiffer, so blood pressure goes up. This is true even for people who have heart-healthy habits. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of high blood pressure:
If these lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure to a safe level, your doctor will also prescribe medicine. You may try several kinds or combinations of medicines before finding a plan that works best for you. Medicine can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. You will likely need to take medicine for the rest of your life. Plan with your doctor how to manage your blood pressure.
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How To Lower Blood Pressure In The Elderly
Seniors dont have to settle for life with hypertension. Making these changes can help lower high blood pressure:
- Quit smoking: People who smoke are more likely to have high blood pressure. Its never too late to quit.
- Eat healthier: Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy products and whole grains, can help you lose weight and can lower your blood pressure. Eating less salt and less saturated fat and drinking less alcohol can also help.
- Exercise more: Seniors with high blood pressure should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days if not every day to help lose weight and lower blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise is most appropriate.
- Take medication: If lifestyle changes alone arent enough to bring down your blood pressure, your doctor will prescribe medication as well. Taking blood pressure medication is very common. There are many different types available, including diuretics, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors. Seniors may need to try a few medications , alone or in combination, to find what works best for them.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertension In The Elderly
There is a big problem we need to mention here. And it involves high blood pressure in the elderly, usually showing no symptoms. As much as one-third of people who have high blood pressure dont know that they have it. Often, the only way to diagnose it is by taking proper blood pressure measurements.
Fortunately, as you know, this is very simple, and it is one of the first things your doctor does when performing a physical exam. Therefore, if you regularly visit your doctors office, high blood pressure wont be left undiagnosed. Its recommended for people over the age of 21 to keep track of their blood pressure, and even more so for seniors.
When it comes to high blood pressure in the elderly, symptoms start to appear only at dangerously high levels. The symptoms of extreme hypertension can include:
- Intense headache
- Pulsating in the chest, neck, or ears
- Blood in the urine
If you have any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately. You could be having a hypertensive crisis that requires urgent treatment because it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
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Blood Pressure Numbers And What They Mean
Blood pressure naturally fluctuates throughout the day, but it is lowest when you are sleeping. It can also rise when you are excited, nervous or active. For most waking hours, though, BP stays relatively stable and should be lower than 120/80 mmHg.
In general, lower numbers are better, but very low BP can also be a cause for concern. Consistent readings in the elevated or prehypertension range increase the likelihood that hypertension will develop unless preventative actions are taken. Individuals of any age who have chronic kidney disease and/or diabetes should pay close attention to their BP.
S To Better High Blood Pressure Treatment For Older Adults
Did you know that its normal for the elderly to develop high blood pressure? Ageing slows the body down, and thats why you see older adults wrestle conditions like high blood pressure.
Fortunately, if you manage the illness properly, youll have a normal and healthy life. So, here are 6 steps to better high blood pressure treatment for older adults.
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Complications Of Hypertension In The Elderly
Untreated high blood pressure in older people causes some potentially life-threatening complications. While most of these problems wont present themselves until old age, there arent complications of hypertension only in elderly people. In fact, more and more young people have hypertension, so diagnosing and treating it on time is crucial for preventing the following problems:
Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
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Can High Blood Pressure Be Prevented Or Avoided
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.
How To Measure Blood Pressure
If you want to know how to control high blood pressure in old age, or in fact, any age, the first step is measuring it. There are a few ways to measure blood pressure, the simplest being with an electronic sensor that goes around your wrist. You can use it yourself, and its relatively accurate but not the most sensitive device out there.
What is the normal pulse rate for an elderly person? Regular heart rate varies from person to person, but a normal range for adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Additionally, low pulse rate and high blood pressure in the elderly are possible, especially if ones hypertension is chronic. Namely, a low pulse rate may indicate a problem with the hearts electrical conduction pathway.
There are special devices called ambulatory blood pressure monitors that record your blood pressure for the entire day and give the most accurate readings, but theyre more expensive, and they arent the standard practice yet. And, of course, theres the good old blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.
Even more important than the device you use is the way you take the measurements. First of all, they have to be performed multiple times before making a definitive diagnosis. Second, the person has to be adequately prepared. What does that mean? For the most accurate readings of high blood pressure in elderly people, the patients should:
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How Blood Pressure Is Measured
It is best to measure blood pressure when you are relaxed and sitting. Blood pressure is usually measured by wrapping an inflatable pressure cuff around your upper arm.
Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, such as 120/80. The larger number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart pumps out blood during each beat. This is called the systolic blood pressure.
The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat. This is called the diastolic blood pressure. Both are measured in units called millimetres of mercury .
What Are The Worst Foods For Blood Pressure
Foods high in salt, sugar, and cholesterol are some of your blood pressure’s worst enemies. However, they can do more damage than just making your BP skyrocket. They may also affect life expectancy, considering that they can contribute to obesity.
Please steer clear of canned tomato products, as these are usually salted. That’s why you’d want to go with pure, unsalted tomato juice.
Processed meats, like cured deli, typically contain high amounts of salt, sugar, or both. You should also avoid frozen pizza, which contains processed and preserved ingredients.
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How To Better Measure Blood Pressure
As you can imagine, a key component of optimizing BP management is to measure an older persons BP and pulse.
Measuring BP allows us to:
- Diagnose people with hypertension,
- Determine how severe it is ,
- Evaluate how well people are responding to a treatment plan, whether that plan involves lifestyle changes or medication or both.
Measuring BP usually sounds straightforward.
People assume its just a matter of finding out what the BP was at the doctors office, or getting a reading from a home monitor, or maybe even a reading from a health fair or drugstore.
But in fact, research has shown that a single office-based BP reading often does not represent a persons usual BP. One study even found that the usual way of measuring BP misdiagnosed 24-32% of volunteers!
This is because people are often anxious when at the doctors office, which can temporarily raise BP. Studies estimate this white-coat hypertension affects 10-20% of people.
Furthermore, BP is constantly changing a bit, moment to moment. So experts agree that its much better to obtain several readings and average them, in order to properly assess a persons usual BP.
As you can imagine, this is not the way most peoples blood pressure is measured by their doctors.
So whats better?
Based on these facts, in 2008 the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association issued a joint scientific statement.
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
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