Causes Of High Diastolic Blood Pressure And What You Can Do To Lower It
Your blood pressure is a measure of the pressure of your blood pushing against your artery walls as your heart pumps it around your body. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition where blood flows through your arteries at a pressure that is higher than usual. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80mm Hg.¹
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The Blood Pressure Chart
Once you know your numbers, you can use the blood pressure chart to see what they mean and if your blood pressure is in the healthy range. The chart is suitable for adults of any age, as the cut-off point for diagnosing high blood pressure doesnt change with age.
How to use the blood pressure chart
Simply find your top number on the left side of the chart and your bottom number on the bottom. Where the two lines meet is your blood pressure.
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Monitor Blood Pressure At Home
A person can use a blood pressure monitor to regularly check their blood pressure at home.
According to the , people who have a diagnosis of high blood pressure should check that their blood pressure stays below 130/80 millimeters of mercury . If someone has an elevated systolic or diastolic pressure reading, they should contact their doctor.
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How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually doesnt cause symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure taken. Know your numbers so you can make the changes that help prevent or limit damage.
Your blood pressure reading has two numbers. The top number is the systolic, which measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats. The bottom number is the diastolic, which measures the pressure on your blood vessels between beats when the heart is at rest.
For example, a reading of 110/70 is within normal range for blood pressure 126/72 is an elevated blood pressure a reading of 135/85 is stage 1 hypertension, and so on .
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If You Need Two Medications
Many types of blood pressure drugs work best when taken together. When taking two drugs together, diuretics have been shown to lower blood pressure with a beta-blocker, ACE inhibitor and an ARB. A calcium channel blocker lowers blood pressure with the same drugs that work well with a diuretic. Other drug combinations are necessary when taking three or more blood pressure medications. There may be other reasons why your doctor may prescribe two blood pressure medications. For example, after heart attacks, doctors will prescribe a beta-blocker and an ACE inhibitor, but this is not primarily to reduce blood pressure.
Is This An Emergency
Strategies To Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally
Eventually, untreated high blood pressure can have dire consequences. Fortunately, you have a number of strategies to normalize blood pressure. Normalized blood pressure means you have less of a risk for many problems including cardiovascular disease.
While researchers arent always able to narrow down the culprits, theyve concluded that diet and lifestyle factors significantly impacthigh blood pressure. After your doctor diagnoses you with high blood pressure, he or she will likely suggest dietary and lifestyle modifications including a low-salt diet and more exercise.
With the right strategies, you can do plenty to normalize high blood pressure and avoid or lessen the need for medication. These seven strategies become an excellent starting point.
1. Concentrate on foods that lower blood pressure. Sugary, processed foods contain salt, sugar, damaged fats, and food sensitivities like gluten that contribute to or exacerbate high blood pressure. Shifting to a whole, unprocessed foods diet can dramatically impact your blood pressure. Many whole, unprocessed foods are rich in potassium, a mineral that supports healthy blood pressure. Some research shows that too much sodium and low amounts of potassium can contribute to high blood pressure. Research shows people with high blood pressure can benefit from increased potassium in foods including avocado, spinach, wild-caught salmon, and sweet potatoes.
4. Find an exercise that works for you .
7. Visit your chiropractor.
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When To See A Doctor
A blood pressure reading is typically taken as a normal part of a doctors visit. Many people find out they have hypertension in this setting. If you have hypertension, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan thats optimal for you.
There are also many types of blood pressure monitors available for purchase so you can take your blood pressure at home. If you choose to do this, bring your monitor to your next doctors appointment so they can show you how to properly use it to obtain accurate readings.
A single high blood pressure reading at home shouldnt be a cause for concern. Be sure to log the reading and continue taking your blood pressure on your normal schedule. If you continue to receive high readings, make an appointment with your doctor.
What Is Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is the force inside your blood vessels when your heart beats and relaxes. This force is measured in millimeters of mercury and is represented as two numbers.
The upper number, called your systolic pressure, is measured when your heart beats. The lower number, called your diastolic pressure, is measured when your heart relaxes between beats.
The medical term for low blood pressure is hypotension. If you have hypotension, your systolic pressure measurement is under 90 mm Hg and your diastolic number is under 60 mm Hg. Doctors have started to raise concerns specifically about diastolic blood pressure below 60.
Some people can have low diastolic pressure even when their systolic pressure is typical. This condition is called isolated diastolic hypotension. Low diastolic blood pressure may be particularly dangerous for your heart.
Unlike the rest of your body, which receives blood when your heart pumps, the muscles of your heart receive blood when your heart relaxes.
If your diastolic blood pressure is too low, your heart muscles wont get enough oxygenated blood. This can lead to weakening of your heart, a condition called diastolic heart failure.
You may be at higher risk of this type of heart failure if you have coronary heart disease, which is narrowing of your heart arteries.
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Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure
Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.
So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with low blood pressure. Use the chart to see where your numbers sit.
If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.
Making sure your readings arent a one-off
A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.
Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.
Read about how high blood pressure is diagnosed, getting a blood pressure check, the further tests you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and what it means if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Target Your High Blood Pressure
Once you have been diagnosed with hypertension, remember that high blood pressure can be lowered. For most people, blood pressure readings should be lower than 140/90 mmHg when measured in the doctors office. At home, your blood pressure should generally be below 135/85 mmHg. For those people with diabetes or kidney disease, lower blood pressure is even more important and should be below 130/80 mmHg when measured in the doctors office.
Most people who lead healthy lifestyles do not suffer from high blood pressure. For those with hypertension, following the steps outlined above will lower their blood pressure.
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How Can I Lower My Diastolic Blood Pressure Immediately
You can do several things to help lower your overall blood pressure, like taking prescription blood-pressure medication as directed by your doctor and making lifestyle changes such as minimizing salt and caffeine intake.
However, if youâre only experiencing high diastolic blood pressure, you cant address this alone. Youâll have to work closely with your healthcare provider to decrease your diastolic blood pressure while ensuring it doesnât go below 60mm Hg.
When diastolic blood pressure gets too low, it can result in dizziness and fatigue. It may even cause heart damage and increase your risk of heart disease. According to a study, individuals with low diastolic blood pressure had a 49% chance of developing heart disease.Â¹Â¹
Here are some ways to lower your overall blood pressure, including diastolic blood pressure:
Reduce your intake of saturated and trans fats
Hot dogs and other processed meats
Try focusing instead on eating healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in foods like olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Eat heart-healthy foods
Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, and broccoli
Skinless turkey or chicken
Fruit, such as bananas, oranges, and apples
Lean cuts of pork or beef
Whole grains, such as whole-grain bread and brown rice
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood to the inner walls of the arteries. It shows minor fluctuations throughout the daydeclining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in the resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
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How To Lower The Bottom Number Of Your Blood Pressure
Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .
A 2010 study of 14,310 people found that individuals without hypertension who ate more dark chocolate had lower blood pressure overall than those who ate less dark chocolate (
For some people, getting a good nights sleep isnt easy. There are many ways to help you get restful sleep. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing at night, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable .
The national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long term .
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How To Get Blood Pressure Down To 120
A new study links reducing blood pressure with lower risk of heart attack and stroke
Exercising and reducing salt can get blood pressure into the normal range
Patients taking several blood pressure medications may be able to add more
Doctors have long known that systolic blood pressure below 120 was considered normal and meant a lower risk of heart disease and kidney problems. But they would often only treat patients if that top number crept above 140, the threshold for officially having high blood pressure.
Recent findings from a large National Institutes of Health study now suggest that its worth treating patients in that prehypertension gray area of 120 to 140, in order to bring them down into the normal range.
The findings, which have not yet been published and are still preliminary, found lower rates of heart attack, stroke and death among people with high blood pressure who brought that top number down to 120. In order to reach that goal, study participants in the 120 group took an average of three blood pressure medications, whereas the 140 group took two medications.
This is notable because there a lot of people out there with blood pressure in the 130s that we might previously have left alone, but if the results of this trial as we think they are, it might be reason to try to get them to 120, said Dr. John D. Bisognano, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and president-elect of the American Society of Hypertension.