How Can I Monitor My Blood Pressure At Home
Monitoring your blood pressure at home is a great way to stay on top of your blood pressure readings. This way, you can get treatment or make adjustments in your treatment early, and this can prevent complications from high blood pressure over time.
You can buy an automated home blood pressure cuff online, without a prescription, or at local stores and pharmacies. Some insurance companies may also pay for a home cuff as long as you have a prescription or order from your healthcare provider.
Some people always have high blood pressure in a providers office, but normal blood pressure at home. This is called white coat hypertension. Monitoring your blood pressure at home can help sort this out.
Home blood pressure monitoring is also recommended as part of your diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure, according to current guidelines. Its a great way to get more information about how your blood pressure changes over time. Sharing your home readings with your healthcare provider can help inform a treatment plan.
When you take your blood pressure, there are a few key points to keep in mind to get an accurate reading:
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Anxiety
Just like anxiety and stress reactions can cause spikes in blood pressure, having a medical condition like high blood pressure or heart disease can also contribute to anxiety. Depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder are particularly common after heart attacks. However, people with high blood pressure alone may feel fearful over what damage the elevated blood pressure could do to the body, and about their overall health and future.
Another source of anxiety in patients with hypertension is the symptoms that can be caused by significantly elevated blood pressure. These include:
Changes in vision
Remember that many people do not have symptoms with high blood pressure, but the knowledge of having the condition may lead to increased anxiety.
Another common source of anxiety in people with a new diagnosis of hypertension is the need for blood pressure lowering medications. Talking with your healthcare provider can often relieve fears about side effects and financial concerns associated with new medications.
It is uncommon for most blood pressure lowering medications to cause anxiety. In fact, some blood pressure medications, such as beta blockers and clonidine ,can be used to treat anxiety. That being said, different people can respond differently to medications, so if you develop increased anxiety after starting a new blood pressure medication, please contact your healthcare provider.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Itâs a prime offender in raising blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that people with hypertension keep it under 1,500 milligrams a day. Check your food labels to see how much youâre getting. If you cut back gradually, youâre less likely to notice the difference.
One way to cut back is to prepare your food at home. Seventy-five percent of your sodium intake comes from eating out and packaged foods. Use more spices for flavor instead of salt. Eating more potassium helps move sodium out of your body. A small effort can bring blood pressure down as much as two to eight points.
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What Can I Eat To Lower My Blood Pressure
Theres actually a specific diet designed for heart health called the DASH Diet. It stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension and was developed by the National Institutes of Health. Following the DASH Diet can lower blood pressure just as effectively as taking a pill, Dr. Osborne says. It highlights foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, while limiting salt and sodium intake. Heres some of what youll eat on the diet.
- Dark chocolate in moderation
Some of the biggest things to eliminate are excess sodium , processed foods, sugar, condiments , bread, and cheese.
Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a remedy for high blood pressure, but Dr. Osborne notes that no comprehensive clinical trial has been able to determine how effective it actually is. That being said, hes not against patients trying itif you find that taking apple cider vinegar every day keeps your blood pressure low, then keep doing it. Same for alcohol and caffeinated drinks, as long as youre having them in moderation.
People that drink modestly, so one to two drinks, may actually see a modest effect on cardiovascular events and may see modestly lower blood pressure, Dr. Osborne explains. However, if you drink anything more than that, it clearly elevates blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
For most people, there isn’t a single cause of high blood pressure. However there are a number of things that make you more likely to have it. These are called risk factors.
Some risk factors for high blood pressure you can manage, for example when you:
- Smoke or vape with nicotine. When you smoke or vape nicotine your blood pressure goes up. Over time it damages your arteries, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- Eat too much processed foods and salt. Many processed foods include a lot of salt. Too much salt makes your body store extra water which raises your blood pressure.
- Drink too much alcohol too often. Drinking alcohol temporarily increases blood pressure. Over time, drinking too much on a regular basis can lead to long-term increases in blood pressure.
- Are overweight. Being overweight increases your risk of having high blood pressure. Even losing just a few kgs can lower your blood pressure.
- Aren’t active enough. Moving more and sitting less will lower your blood pressure.
- Are stressed. The hormones released in your body when youre stressed increase your blood pressure. Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link between long-term high blood pressure and ongoing stress.
Other risk factors include:
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Ten Minutes Of Brisk Or Moderate Walking Three Times A Day
Exercise lowers blood pressure by reducing blood vessel stiffness so blood can flow more easily. The effects of exercise are most noticeable during and immediately after a workout. Lowered blood pressure can be most significant right after you work out.
So, health professionals theorize, the ideal way to combat high blood pressure might be to break up your workout into several sessions throughout the day. In fact, one study found that three 10-minute walks a day more effectively prevented future blood pressure spikes than one 30-minute trek per day.
How Can I Treat High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very treatable. Treatment includes medications and changes you can make in your everyday life. Changes you can make to lower your blood pressure include:
Eating less salt
In some cases, making these changes may be enough to lower your blood pressure. If your blood pressure remains high, you may need to start taking medication to bring it down.
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How I Lowered My Blood Pressure In Two Days
UPDATE: I visited my naturopath 10 days after starting this protocol, and my BP was down to 128/78. AND I was nervous about her taking it, something that used to jack it up historically. This protocol WORKS!
Are you concerned about your blood pressure? Or maybe youre on meds and would like to lower or taper off them? If youre looking for natural solutions to lower your blood pressure, youve come to the right place.
Recently Id been stressed and feeling off, dizzy, and wired. I decided to measure my blood pressure and was shocked to find it read 140-150/90! So, I went to work and put myself on a protocol.
We all know that blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system, and its measured with a blood pressure cuff, typically whenever you visit your doctor. If your blood pressure is high, it means your heart is working too hard to pump blood through your body, increasing the force on arterial walls and causing weakness in your blood vessels. This makes the vessels more prone to rupture or tiny tears that leave scar tissue on the walls of arteries and veins, increasing the risk of blockage and upping heart attack and stroke risk.
High BP may not cause any symptoms, which is why its called the silent killer, but it may cause chronic headache or dizziness.
What Is Good Blood Pressure
A good, normal blood pressure readingtaken while seated, with a blood pressure cuffshould be 120/80. The first number is the systolic blood pressure , and the second is the diastolic blood pressure . Anything over that is either considered elevated or high.
Those numbers apply across the board for adults over the age of 18, Dr. Osborne says. He notes that decades ago, good blood pressure numbers varied based on age, limits some people still cling to today. But in actuality, its all standardized to 120/80.
The vast majority of hypertension out there is in adults, he says. Its independent of age. It doesnt matter whether youre 21 or 81. The numbers are the same.
For adults, that is. For kids, its a little different. Blood pressure numbers are based on population and age, and are generally lower than with adults. Theres not a standardized set of guidelines for children, but certainly if you come across a kid that repeatedly has blood pressures that would be high according to the adult category, its high, Dr. Osborne explains.
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What Blood Pressure Is Too High
There are different categories for normal, elevated, and high blood pressure, according to 2017 guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
Normal: systolic below 120 and diastolic below 80
Elevated: systolic 120129 and diastolic below 80
High : systolic above 130 and diastolic above 80
You have high blood pressure if one or both numbers in your blood pressure reading are high.
The category of hypertension is further divided into stages:
Stage 1: systolic 130139 and diastolic 8089
Stage 2: systolic at or above 140 and diastolic at or above 90
These stages are used to make decisions about how to treat high blood pressure. For example, if your blood pressure is in stage 1, you may not need to treat it with medications right away.
A blood pressure with a systolic reading at or above 180 or a diastolic reading at or above 120 is very elevated. This is called hypertensive crisis. Even when your blood pressure is this high, you may not have any symptoms. Without symptoms, this is also referred to as hypertensive urgency.
In some cases, blood pressure this high can damage other organs in the body, which causes symptoms. This is called hypertensive emergency, and some of the complications can be life-threatening. Affected organs can include the:
Depending on which organ is involved, you can have different symptoms. For example, if the heart is affected, you may have chest pain. Other symptoms to look for include:
Whats A Slightly Elevated Blood Pressure And What To Do About It
Blood pressure that is slightly elevated is:
120 mmHg to 129 mmHg for the top number
80 mmHg or less for the bottom number
If your blood pressure is slightly elevated, it will likely be reasonable to try to lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes. Its usually safe to try to improve your blood pressure in this way for 3 to 6 months.
Beyond that, medication may be the best next step if:
Youve tried unsuccessfully to lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes for 3 to 6 months.
Your blood pressure is going into the Stage 1 category and you have other risk factors for a heart attack or stroke .
Your blood pressure is in the Stage 2 category .
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How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
The term lifestyle changes implies you will need to change your habits to bring your blood pressure down. Broadly speaking, these modifications are natural non-pharmaceutical ways of lowering blood pressure. Six methods have been proven effective in clinical studies, and two others are recommended:
Can You Take Blood Pressure Meds While Still Making Lifestyle Adjustments
Yes. In fact, lifestyle changes are a key component of blood pressure treatment even when medication is on board. And starting a blood pressure medication does not mean you will need to be on that medication for the rest of your life. You and your healthcare provider can monitor your blood pressure over time. Medications can always be adjusted or discontinued.
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Take Help From Family And Friends
It is advised to seek help from family, friends, and neighbors in case of uneasiness.
Visiting a crowded function increases the risk of hypertension by almost 52%.
Wondering how to quickly lower blood pressure in minutes?
One way is to be careful about your surroundings. If visiting someplace which might trigger anxiety, go with a family member.
That way, even if you feel mild discomfort, youll have someone by your side. It is good to have a known face around the time of crisis.
Remember hypertension is a product of irregular lifestyle and stress. If you have a close friend around, you might feel less anxious already.
Ways To Manage Your Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is rising gradually but not classified as hypertension yet, making lifestyle changes can help prevent this condition and protect your heart health.
If you already have high blood pressure, you should see a healthcare provider. Your doctor will likely prescribe you medication to lower your blood pressure immediately, then create a plan to help you achieve more long-term improvements. Treatment plans for high blood pressure usually focus on improving your overall health. These plans should include efforts like:
- Weight loss
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol
These changes won’t lower your blood pressure immediately the way medications will, but over time, your doctor may be able to reduce or even stop medications if you can successfully lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes.
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The New Guidelines On High Blood Pressure
Under the old guidelines, you had to have a blood pressure reading of 140 or 90 mmHg . The former number is systolic pressure, the maximum pressure of a heartbeat The latter is diastolic pressure, the pressure between beats. Thirty-two percent of Americans exceeded one or both of the old pressure figures. But now, the American Heart Association segments hypertension into stage one , and stage two . Pescatello says that the new guidelines are meant to increase awareness of the problem of high blood pressure. Most of these people with hypertension who do hit the lower threshold can be treated with a lifestyle intervention, such as physical activity and dietary changes, she says.
Even if youre active every day, you could still be at risk for hypertension. Fixed risk factors, according to the AHA, include psychosocial stress, premature birth, low birth weight, chronic kidney disease, family history, increased age, low socioeconomic status, male sex, and obstructive sleep apnea. For people with hypertension, Pescatello recommends a home blood pressure monitor, which can cost less than $100. It can tell you a lot of good information about your own blood pressure, she says, which you can share with a physician when you go in for your yearly physical.
Exercise is shown to lower blood pressure. Check out Aaptivs workouts here.
Check Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is common and often has no symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.
Health professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and doctors can check your blood pressure with a simple test.
Reducing your blood pressure can make a big difference to your health and help prevent development of stroke or heart disease.
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How Often Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure
High blood pressure doesnt always cause symptoms, so its important to get your blood pressure checked. Recent guidelines recommend that all adults age 40 and older check their blood pressure at least once per year. Younger adults can check it every three to five years, or every year if they are at higher risk.
If you already have high blood pressure, you will need to check your blood pressure more frequently especially when you are starting or adjusting medications. Once your blood pressure stabilizes with treatment, you usually wont need to check it as often. Regular monitoring is still important, though, because your blood pressure can change over time, even when youre taking medications.
What Are Some Concerns About Taking Blood Pressure Medication
If you find yourself resisting blood pressure medication, its important to think about why you might be reluctant to start medication. Make a list of your concerns and take them to your next appointment. Its very normal to have questions and concerns about a chronic health condition like high blood pressure. Your healthcare providers can help to talk through these and make a treatment plan with you that fits your needs.
Some of your concerns may include:
Will I have to be on this medication for the rest of my life?
What are the side effects?
Will I get dependent on this?
Will I be able to afford this medication?
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