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.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Theres no single cause of high blood pressure, but rather many contributing factors. Some are out of your control, such as age, race, gender, and family historyblood pressure tends to increase over the age of 70, affects more women than men over the age of 55, and is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, perhaps due to a genetic sensitivity to salt.
Many other risk factors for hypertension are within your control. Being overweight, eating a poor diet high in salt, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting enough physical exercise can all impact your blood pressure.
There are also specific substances that can raise your blood pressure, such as:
- Caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
- Prescription medications, including some of those used to treat ADHD, birth control pills, corticosteroids, atypical antipsychotics, MAOIs and SNRIs used to treat depression, and some cancer drugs.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
- Cough and cold medications containing decongestant or NSAIDs.
- Herbal supplements, such as ephedra and yohimbine.
- Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Licorice found in some candies and gum.
Managing And Addressing Low Blood Pressure
Having low blood pressure once in a while isnt likely a cause for concern. Some people have low blood pressure all the time.
Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms. Keep a journal of your symptoms and what you were doing when they happened. This can help your doctor diagnose the cause of your low blood pressure.
If you have orthostatic hypotension, avoid symptom triggers, such as standing too much. Also avoid other triggers such as emotionally upsetting situations.
Learn to recognize triggers and symptoms. Put your head down or lay down if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. These symptoms usually pass quickly. Children and teens who have low blood pressure due to body position typically grow out of it.
If you think a medication may be causing your low blood pressure, ask your doctor to recommend a different one. Dont stop taking it or change dosages without talking to your doctor first.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been recently updated.
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Signs Of High Blood Pressure
For most people, there are no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. Thats why they call it the silent killer. Untreated hypertension can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. If you have extremely high blood pressure, you may have a severe headache, shortness of breath, or a nosebleed, but this level of high blood pressure is unusual and only occurs if high blood pressure reaches a life-threatening level.
Because there are no signs of high blood pressure, the recommendation is that everyone should have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years after age 18. After age 40, you should have it checked at least once each year. The only way to diagnose hypertension is with blood pressure measurements.
What Is The Correct Way To Measure Blood Pressure
Learn the correct way to have your blood pressure taken, whether youre getting it checked at the doctors office or checking it yourself at home. Use this checklist:
- Dont eat or drink anything 30 minutes before you take your blood pressure.
- Empty your bladder before your reading.
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported for at least 5 minutes before your reading.
- Put both feet flat on the ground and keep your legs uncrossed.
- Rest your arm with the cuff on a table at chest height.
- Make sure the blood pressure cuff is snug but not too tight. The cuff should be against your bare skin, not over clothing.
- Do not talk while your blood pressure is being measured.
If you are keeping track of your blood pressure at home, use these additional tips.
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Foods To Raise Blood Pressure
It is important to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables to improve the state of your blood pressure. These foods contain beneficial nutrients and vitamins, but also help to keep you hydrated. If your blood pressure has dropped due to an iron deficiency such as anemia you should increase your intake of lean red meats and legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans.
Ginger is a great ally in improving hypotension as it favors blood circulation. Take a piece of fresh ginger, grate it and place it in a little water. Let simmer for a few minutes and the drink it. If you suffer from low blood pressure you can take this remedy twice daily. You can also have it included in different dishes to make raising your blood pressure tasty as well as effective.
While too much sodium will have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure, it can help raise it when low. Eating salty snacks such as peanuts or chips can help give you a quick spike in blood pressure levels. One home remedy for raising low blood pressure is to drink an isotonic drink which will help raise your sodium levels with healthy salts. However, be careful not to drink too much of them or it can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
Go to the doctor to find the underlying cause especially if you also have the following symptoms:
- You have hadseveral low blood pressure readings during medical analysis
- You often feel nausea and lightheadedness
- You feel dizzy or have had frequent vertigo
What Is Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is pain that lasts for months or years. Common causes of this type of pain are arthritis, back pain, cancer, and pain caused by nerve damage. This type of pain interferes with your daily activities of life. Over time, chronic pain may even lead to anxiety or depression.
Learn more about chronic pain with the latest report, Pain Management.
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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Some people buy their own blood pressure monitor to use at home. This means you can measure your blood pressure on an ongoing basis.
The blood pressure readings you do at home are as good as those done by your doctor.
If you decide to buy one, itâs important to get the correct cuff size. If the cuff is too big or too small, it can give an inaccurate reading.
If you take your own blood pressure and get an unusually high reading, take it a second time after at least five minutes. If itâs still high and youâre worried, contact your nurse or GP.
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Does Decaffeinated Coffee Raise Blood Pressure
as long as you consume it responsibly.
A study about the effects of decaffeinated vs caffeinated coffee on blood pressure concluded that there is a small fall in blood pressure after drinking decaf for 12 weeks.
In addition, it was also cited in the study that more research must be conducted to prove if a mass switch to decaf coffee can significantly reduce hypertension and other related disorder.
Still, you need to limit your intake as decaf coffee is not totally caffeine-free.
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What Causes Blood Pressure To Spike Suddenly
There are many obvious causes like caffeine, exercise, or stress. Another common cause that is less obvious is medication. Medications that cause your blood pressure to go up include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , including popular brands like aspirin, Advil, Aleve, and Motrin
- Some antidepressants
Tips For Avoiding Low Blood Pressure
Talk to your healthcare provider or a dietitian about healthy foods to include on your shopping list. There are ways you can modify daily behaviors that may help as well.
If you suspect you may have anemia, be sure to visit your healthcare provider for testing to pinpoint the type of anemia and the best treatment options.
Here are a few other changes you can make to your diet to help raise your blood pressure:
- Eat small meals more frequently. Large meals may cause more dramatic drops in blood pressure, as your body works harder to digest larger meals.
- Drink more water and limit alcohol. Dehydration lowers blood pressure.
In addition to altering your diet, you may also be able to raise your blood pressure by making these lifestyle changes:
- If you exercise outdoors in extreme heat, take frequent breaks and be sure to increase hydration efforts.
- Avoiding spending long amounts of time in saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms which can cause dehydration.
- Change body positions slowly.
- Avoid prolonged bed rest.
- Wear compression stockings, which help blood move back upward from your legs and feet. You can purchase them online.
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Excessive Salt Raises Blood Pressure
Too much sodium can cause water retention that puts increased pressure on your heart and blood vessels. People with high blood pressure and those at a high risk for developing hypertension, including adults over 50 and black men and women, should have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily of salt.
Even people with normal levels should eat salt in moderation. Stick to no more than 2,300 mg of sodium , per day.
Most dietary sodium comes from processed foods. Rules of thumb are to choose foods with 5% or less of the daily value of sodium per serving and opt for fresh poultry, fish and lean meats, rather than canned, smoked or processed. Similarly, fresh or frozen vegetables are better than canned.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if people cut just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day, it could help lower the number of new cases of heart disease per year by up to 120,000.
Further, potassium found in foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, oranges, low-fat milk and halibut can counterbalance the pressure-increasing effects of sodium by helping to rid the body of excess sodium.
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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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.
Low Diastolic Blood Pressure Symptoms
“Low blood pressure by itself is not a cause for concern,” says Erika Schwartz, MD, a New York-based physician who specializes in combining conventional and integrative medicine_._ “But when symptoms start occurring, then that’s when you should look at ways to counteract it.”
Several common symptoms may indicate that you need a blood-pressure check, the AHA notes.
- The first is dizziness or feeling lightheaded, especiallywhen you change position. For example, if you’re reaching down to a bottomshelf for a grocery item and pop up to put it in your cart, you may get a”head rush” feeling.
- The second major symptom is brain fog, which can make youfeel disconnected or spacey, or even mess with your short-term memory, Dr. Schwartzsays.
- There’s also fatigue, especially the kind that makes you feellike you’re dragging through your day. Since you’re not getting enoughoxygenated blood into your system, your muscles may feel weakened.
Less-common symptoms include blurred vision and nausea, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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What Four Things Happen Right Before A Heart Attack
Here are 4 signs of heart attack to be on the lookout for:
- #1: Chest Pain, Pressure, Squeezing, and Fullness.
- #2: Arm, Back, Neck, Jaw, or Stomach Pain or Discomfort.
- #3: Shortness of Breath, Nausea, and Lightheadedness.
- #4: Breaking Out in a Cold Sweat.
- Heart Attack Symptoms: Women vs Men.
- What Next?
- Next Steps.
You Eat In The Evening
It may not surprise you that late-night eating can cause high blood pressure, but even having a big dinner in the evening can do it, too. Consuming 30% or more of a dayâs calories after 6 p.m. was associated with a 23% higher risk of developing hypertension, according to a study funded by the American Heart Association . The fix: Eat most of your calories before dinner.
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What Is High Blood Pressure Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common disease that occurs when the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, and more.
Reducing Your Salt Intake
The American Heart Association recommends no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for adults. That may sound alarmingly small, but there are many painless ways to reduce your sodium intake.
Reduce canned and processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups, convenience meals, and fast food.
Cook more meals at home. Preparing your own meals gives you more control over your sodium intake. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible and cook without salt.
Use spices as alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives, or dried spices such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.
Substitute reduced sodium versions. Choose your condiments and packaged foods carefully, looking for foods labeled sodium free, low sodium, or unsalted.
See Heart-Healthy Diet Tips to learn more.
The effects on your blood pressure
- Adopting the DASH diet, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats can lower your blood pressure by about 11 mm Hg.
- Cutting back on sodium by about 1,000 mg per day can reduce your blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg.
- Increasing your potassium intake from food to 3,500-5,000 mg can knock 4 to 5 mm Hg off your reading.
- Limiting your alcohol intake to two drinks per day if youre male, or one drink per day if youre female can lower your reading by about 4 mm Hg.
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Number Of Pregnant Women With High Blood Pressure Rises More Than Thirteenfold Since 1970 Study Finds
If not treated, high blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to a number of complications for both the mother and the baby. Hypertension can affect a mother’s kidneys and increase her risk of future heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
It can also increase the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, preeclampsia, placental abruption, cesarean delivery, and HELLP syndrome .
How Do I Know If I Have Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is not always a sign of a problem. But if you have symptoms of low blood pressure, your doctor can diagnose the condition and uncover the cause. Symptoms of dizziness and lightheadedness when you stand up from sitting or lying down — with a decrease in your blood pressure — may indicate a condition called postural hypotension. A wide range of underlying conditions may also cause your symptoms. It’s important to identify the cause of low blood pressure so appropriate treatment can be given.
The doctor will look at your medical history, age, specific symptoms, and the conditions under which the symptoms occurred. They will do a physical exam and may repeatedly check your blood pressure and pulse rate — after you’ve been lying down for a few minutes, right after you stand up, and within a few minutes after you stand quietly.
More sophisticated home ECG monitoring may be necessary to check for heart problems that come and go or an irregular heart beat that can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly.
An exercise stress test or, less commonly, an electrophysiology test may also be helpful.
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