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
Why Is It Dangerous To Lower My Blood Pressure Too Quickly
Before we talk about specific examples, lets learn why its dangerous to lower your blood pressure too quickly. Your heart and blood vessels carry blood to all your body parts, including large, important organs that keep you alive, like your lungs and especially your brain. Large drops in blood pressure can suddenly stop your brain from getting the continuous blood flow and oxygen it needs. This can lead to a stroke and permanent brain damage.
Which Hormone Is Relesed To Help Lower Blood Pressure
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How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, doesnt usually cause symptoms. So you wont know if you have high blood pressure without it being measured by a health professional.
Around 1 in 3 Australians have been diagnosed with hypertension.
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Which Medicines Are Prescribed For High Blood Pressure
Some people will find that lifestyle changes alone wont be enough to control their blood pressure and so they’ll need to take medicines. Often, 2 types of medicines that work in different ways will be needed sometimes more than 2 are necessary.
Blood pressure medicines are typically taken every day. Many people will need to take them for the rest of their lives. The most commonly used blood pressure medicines are ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics and calcium channel blockers.
Your doctor will choose the most appropriate medicine for you based on your blood pressure measurements, your overall risk of heart and blood vessel disease, and any other medical conditions you have or medicines that you take. Your doctor may set a target blood pressure.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dosage of one medicine and review your progress a few weeks later. If you experience any side effects, tell your doctor straight away.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is measured using a machine called a blood pressure monitor.
A cuff is put over your arm. This cuff is attached to a machine which measures the pressure inside your arteries. When the machine is switched on the cuff tightens and then slowly loosens again. It is quick and painless. At the end, the machine will give a blood pressure reading.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury .
A blood pressure reading contains two numbers and will be written as a figure like 120/75
The first number is the pressure when your heart beats . The second number is when your heart relaxes .
During a blood pressure test, a blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your arm so a blood pressure monitor can measure your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Your doctor may recommend you take measurements yourself while at home. This may help them understand how your blood pressure changes throughout the day or how its responding to treatment.
Some pharmacies offer blood pressure checks too.
Keep Yourself At A Healthy Weight
Having overweight or obesity increases your risk for high blood pressure. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index . If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDCs Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to assess body fat.
Talk with your health care team about ways to reach a healthy weight, including choosing healthy foods and getting regular physical activity.
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Here’s How To Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure isn’t something to ignore. It can cause a heart attack or stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mmHg or are taking medication for hypertension.” There are several ways to help lower your blood pressure and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Brooke Nicole a Nutrition Consultant with a Master’s degree in Public Health who explained simple ways to manage your blood pressure. That said, please always consult with your doctor for medical advice. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Best Medicine When You Have High Blood Pressure And Cant Take Witha Blood Thinner
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Do I Have High Blood Pressure
Anyone can have high blood pressure. Some medical conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, kidney disease, and thyroid problems, can cause high blood pressure. Some people have a greater chance of having it because of things they can’t change. These are:
- Age. The chance of having high blood pressure increases as you get older, especially isolated systolic hypertension.
- Gender. Before age 55, men have a greater chance of having high blood pressure. Women are more likely to have high blood pressure after menopause.
- Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in some families.
- Race. African Americans are at increased risk for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms, but routine checks of your blood pressure will help detect increasing levels. If your blood pressure reading is high at two or more check-ups, the doctor may also ask you to measure your blood pressure at home.
There are important considerations for older adults in deciding whether to start treatment for high blood pressure if it is above 130/80, including other health conditions and overall fitness. Your doctor may work with you to find a blood pressure target that is best for your well-being and may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and medications.
Limit Saturated And Trans Fats
The AHA recommend that people limit their daily intake of saturated fats. According to the AHA, saturated fats should make up no more than of a 2000 calorie-per-day diet.
The also recommend avoiding trans fats, which can increase bad cholesterol levels while decreasing good cholesterol levels. Like high blood pressure, trans fats increase a persons chances of developing heart disease and stroke.
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Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Blood Pressure Numbers
If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, you might be wondering what to do. The guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury , meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension.
While you shouldn’t shrug off the change, there’s also no need to panic. “Obviously, nothing happened overnight inside a woman’s body or to her health with the release of the guidelines,” says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The change, however, should spur you to take your blood pressure seriously. “These guidelines have been long anticipated and are very welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem drastic, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help thousands of people,” says Dr. Fisher.
Lower Your Salt Intake
Nicole states, “Salt attracts water, which your kidneys process both of those. Your kidneys do a pretty good job at controlling your level of salt, but when there is an abundant amount of salt, your kidney is not able to process it appropriately and therefore, makes it harder for your kidneys to remove all the excess water and sodium that ultimately causes pressure on your heart artery walls. The best way to lower your salt intake is to eat less processed foods.”
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High Blood Pressure In Older People
The target blood pressure reading for the over-80s is below 150/90 mmHg when it’s measured in the clinic or surgery, and below 145/85 mmHg for home readings.
While there are definite benefits from taking medicines to reduce blood pressure if you’re under the age of 80, it’s less clear it’s useful if you’re over 80.
It’s now thought that if you reach 80 while you’re taking medicine for high blood pressure, it’s fine to continue treatment provided it’s still helping you and is not causing side effects.
If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure and you’re aged over 80, your doctor will also consider your other health risk factors when deciding whether to give you treatment for the high blood pressure.
Page last reviewed: 23 October 2019 Next review due: 23 October 2022
Try Meditation Or Deep Breathing
While these two behaviors could also fall under stress reduction techniques, meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention.
Both meditation and deep breathing may activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate, and lowering blood pressure.
Theres quite a bit of research in this area, with studies showing that different styles of meditation appear to have benefits for lowering blood pressure .
Deep breathing techniques can also be quite effective.
In one study, participants were asked to either take six deep breaths over the course of 30 seconds or simply sit still for 30 seconds. Those who took breaths lowered their blood pressure more than those who just sat .
Try guided meditation or deep breathing. Heres a video to get you started.
Bottom line: Both meditation and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
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When To See A Doctor
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to stroke, heart attack, and even death if left untreated. While there is a lot you can do at home to help lower your systolic blood pressure, it’s important to follow all treatment recommendations from your healthcare provider.
If you experience severe headache, blurred vision, drooping on one side of the face, weakness on one side of the body, chest pain, or other concerning symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Tips For Taking Blood Pressure Medication
Untreated high blood pressure can increase your risk of serious health problems. If your doctor prescribes medication to lower your blood pressure, remember:
- If you take blood pressure medication and your blood pressure goes down, it means medication and lifestyle changes are working. If another doctor asks if you have high blood pressure, the answer is, “Yes, but it is being treated.”
- Healthy lifestyle changes may help lower the dosage you need.
- Get up slowly from a seated or lying position and stand for a bit before walking. This lets your blood pressure adjust before walking to prevent lightheadedness and falls.
- Tell your doctor about all the drugs you take. Don’t forget to mention over-the-counter drugs, including vitamins and supplements. They may affect your blood pressure. They also can change how well your blood pressure medication works.
- Blood pressure medication should be taken at the same time each day as part of your daily routine. For example, take it in the morning with breakfast or in the evening before brushing your teeth. If you miss a dose, do not double the dose the next day.
- Remember to refill your medication before you run out and bring it with you when traveling. Its important to keep taking your medication unless your doctor tells you to stop.
- Before having surgery, ask your doctor if you should take your blood pressure medication on the day of your operation.