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How To Know You Have High Blood Pressure

What Should Your Blood Pressure Be

How to know if you have high blood pressure

Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure reading between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

Most people in the UK have blood pressures higher than the ideal, but below the usual cut-off for diagnosing high blood pressure somewhere between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg. If youre in this range, you could develop high blood pressure in the future. Taking steps to will keep your risk of health problems down.

Blood Pressure Is Mostly A Silent Disease

Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms.

Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure. Often, these are late signs that high blood pressure has existed for some time, therefore annual checks are recommended for all adults.

Social And Economic Factors

Recent research has shown that factors such as income, your education, where you live, and the type of job you have may contribute to your risk of developing high blood pressure. For example, working early or late shifts can raise your risk.

Experiencing danger or harm as a child has also been tied to a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.

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What Is A High Blood Pressure Reading

You will probably be diagnosed with high blood pressure if your readings are consistently 140/90mmHg or higher over a number of weeks. This is the cut-off point many GPs use for diagnosing high blood pressure.

You might also have high blood pressure if just one of the numbers is higher than it should be so if the top number is over 140mmHg or the bottom number is over 90mmHg.

A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day and it could just be a one-off. If you have a high reading, your doctor or nurse will want to see if it stays high over time before diagnosing high blood pressure.

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6 Signs Of High Blood Pressure You Should Know About ...

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Diagnosis Of High Blood Pressure

The best way to diagnose HBP is to have it measured. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury , has two numbers.

  • Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during heartbeats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories. The American Heart Associations guidelines are as follow:

  • Normal blood pressure: A reading of less than 120 and 80
  • Elevated blood pressure: A reading ranging from 120 to 129 and below 80
  • Stage 1 hypertension: A reading ranging from 130 to 139 or 80 to 89
  • Stage 2 hypertension: A reading ranging from 140 or higher or 90
  • Hypertensive crisis : A reading higher than 180 and/or 120

*If you have an electronic blood pressure machine and would like to measure your blood pressure at home, please follow The American Heart Associations guidelines:

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.

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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.

Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure

How do you know if you have High Blood Pressure?

Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.

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What Does It Mean When The Lower Number Of Blood Pressure Is Low

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What Is High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .

The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.

The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:

  • Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
  • Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.

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What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure

Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about

  • Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress

Learn more about ways to manage and prevent high blood pressure.

In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.

Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.

Causes And Risk Factors

I Have High Blood Pressure: What Do I Need to Know ...

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.

But doctors no longer consider hypertension inevitable or untreatable withage, saysSamuel Durso, M.D.,director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at JohnsHopkins.

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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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.

Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:

Eat a healthy diet:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit salt.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Get regular exercise:

  • Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.

Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:

  • People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.

If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.

What The Numbers Mean

For most adults, a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg.Your blood pressure is considered high when you have consistent systolic readings of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg or higher.

For children younger than 13, blood pressure readings are compared with readings common for children of the same, age, sex, and height. Read more about blood pressure readings for children.

Talk to your doctor if your blood pressure readings are consistently higher than 120/80 mm Hg. NHLBI-supported research indicates that systolic blood pressure greater than 120 mm Hg can be increasingly harmful to health. Note that readings above 180/120 mm Hg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.

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What Does High Blood Pressure Feel Like

High blood pressure often doesn’t have any symptoms, so you usually don’t feel it.

Hypertension is usually diagnosed by a health care professional during a routine checkup. The average person should get a blood pressure reading at least once a year. As a cardiologist, I think its important for everyone to know their numbers. That means knowing what your blood pressure is. And it also means knowing your blood sugar level, cholesterol and body mass index. When you know your numbers, you can work with your doctor to make a plan to reduce any risks.

Blood pressure is even more important to pay attention to, though, if you have a close relative with hypertension or other risk factors. And know that if your blood pressure is extremely high, you may have unusually severe headaches, chest pain, difficulty breathing or get easily worn out by workouts. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.

Who Is At Risk Of Having Low Blood Pressure

3 Ways to Tell if You Have High Blood Pressure Symptoms

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.

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What Is Normal Blood Pressure

A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80. It’s read as “120 over 80.” The top number is called the systolic, and bottom number is called the diastolic. The ranges are:

  • Normal: Less than 120 over 80
  • Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
  • Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120 — See a doctor right away

If your blood pressure is above the normal range, talk to your doctor about how to lower it.

High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

In the United States, high blood pressure happens in 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies.Its important to monitor blood pressure before, during, and after pregnancy. This is because high blood pressure during pregnancy can harm a mothers kidneys and other organs and can cause early birth and low birth weight.

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Other Treatment To Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

There are some natural health products that you may hear about to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It is not clear if some vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins can lower risk. But it is clear that some natural health products, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, do not lower risk.footnote 3

Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Tell your doctor if you plan to use natural health products. Your doctor can make sure they are safe for you.

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