What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. When a health care professional measures your blood pressure, they use a blood pressure cuff around your arm that gradually tightens. The results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood.
A blood pressure reading is given as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number. Blood pressure levels are classified based on those two numbers.
- Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is systolic blood pressure lower than 90 or diastolic blood pressure lower than 60. If you have low blood pressure, you may feel lightheaded, weak, dizzy, or even faint. It can be caused by not getting enough fluids, blood loss, some medical conditions, or medications, including those prescribed for high blood pressure.
- Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- Elevated blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
- High blood pressure is defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number.
The Bottom Line On Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can be confusing. But its also an amazing predictor of your future heart health. Get familiar with your blood pressure numbers. Know them as well as you know your weight. Then listen to your doctors recommendations. If your doctor prescribes medication, dont put off taking it because you think you can fix the problem through diet and exercise. For some people, lifestyle changes alone arent enough.
Sema continues to follow the same routine she initiated 30 years ago. In the morning, she spends 20 minutes meditating followed by 30 minutes on the treadmill. In the evening, shes back on the treadmill for another 30 minutes. When I go to the doctor now, she says. Im happy to tell him, Im doing all that I can. Now its up to you.
Today We Will Talk About Blood Pressure Spikes Which Means A Sudden Increase In Blood Pressure Numbers But Wait Do You Even Know What Is The Normal Blood Pressure Number Take A Look
Written by Satata Karmakar | Updated : August 22, 2022 12:02 PM IST
Blood pressure is the amount of pressure your blood is using while pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is a condition in which this pressure goes up, leading to several health complications. Therefore, one should know how to manage the blood pressure, what factors can trigger the condition and most importantly, what should one do when there is a sudden spike in the blood pressure.
Today, we will talk about blood pressure spikes, which means a sudden increase in blood pressure numbers. But, wait, do you even know what is the normal blood pressure number? Take a look:
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Lose Weight If Youre Overweight
Weight loss is an important part of reducing high blood pressure, especially for people with obesity, as its a strong risk factor for hypertension. Dr. Mehta says people who are overweight can have between a two- to six-fold increase in risk of developing hypertension.
With less weight, the heart and arteries do not have to work as hard, says Dr. Desai. The heart muscle and the muscles in the arteries do not thicken. Thickening can lead to further increases in blood pressure because of reduced give or elasticity of blood vessels.
Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian about a safe weight loss plan that will work for you, or consider trying a support app like Noom. Even modest weight loss in these patients4 to 10 poundsis associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure levels, says Dr. Mehta. However, a 2013 study of more than 740 people found long-term reductions in blood pressure only persisted with weight loss exceeding 2% of the persons initial weightCost-Effectiveness of High Blood Pressure Interventions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 7/11/2021. .
Ready To Build Healthier Habits? Start Noom
What Are Beta Blockers And Ace Inhibitors
Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors are two common types of blood pressure medications. Beta blockers work by blocking the action of adrenaline, which can help to lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors work by blocking the action of a chemical that helps to widen blood vessels, which can also help to lower blood pressure.
If you are concerned about high blood pressure, talk to your health care team. If your doctor or nurse has instructed you to keep track of your entries on a daily basis, the CareClinic App or printing out a PDF or Microsoft Word log sheet are two options that might help get you started!
How Often Should I Have My Blood Pressure Checked
Its recommended that Australian adults have their blood pressure checked by their doctor at least every 2 years. Some people may be advised to have more frequent checks for example, people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
People with diabetes should have their blood pressure checked at least every 6 months if its normal and every 3 months if they have high blood pressure.
All Australians aged 45 and over and 30 and over for those of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent are eligible for a regular, 20-minute heart health check with their GP or nurse. This checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your health professional will be able to assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years.
High Blood Pressure And Older Adults
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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major health problem that is common in older adults. Your bodys network of blood vessels, known as the vascular system, changes with age. Arteries get stiffer, causing blood pressure to go up. This can be true even for people who have heart-healthy habits and feel just fine. High blood pressure, sometimes called “the silent killer,” often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. Though it affects nearly half of all adults, many may not even be aware they have it.
If high blood pressure isn’t controlled with lifestyle changes and medication, it can lead to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke, vascular dementia, eye problems, and kidney disease. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
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How To Use A Printable Blood Pressure Log Sheet
1. Download a blood pressure log template.
2. Print the blood pressure log and keep it in a handy place, such as next to your bed or on the fridge.
3. Every day, take your blood pressure using a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.
4. Record your blood pressure readings on the blood pressure log.
5. Be sure to record your readings at least once per day, and more frequently if you are managing high blood pressure.
6. Use the blood pressure log to track your progress over time and share it with your health care team.
Take Blood Pressure Medications As Prescribed
The American Heart Association state that people should take their blood pressure medications according to their doctors exact instructions. People should never quit or cut back on their medications unless their doctor has advised them to do so.
If a person has trouble remembering to take their blood pressure medications, they should set up daily reminders on their phone or other devices.
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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.
Try These Medicinal Herbs
Herbal medicines have long been used in many cultures to treat a variety of ailments.
Some herbs have even been shown to possibly lower blood pressure. However, more research is needed to identify the doses and components in the herbs that are most useful.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements. They may interfere with your prescription medications.
Heres a partial list of plants and herbs that are used by cultures throughout the world to lower blood pressure:
- black bean
- river lily
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Make your bedroom comfortable.
The 2010 national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased rate of high blood pressure.
Regularly sleeping fewer than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of high blood pressure long term .
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Keep Track Of Your Blood Pressure
Monitoring your blood pressure at home can tell you if certain lifestyle changes are working to lower your blood pressure. It can also alert you and your doctor to potential complications you are facing.
A blood pressure monitor can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription. If you are living with high blood pressure talk to your doctor about home monitoring and she can help you get started.
Your doctor can help you control your high blood pressure. Regular doctor visits are an important component of keeping your blood pressure in line naturally. Ask your doctor how many times she would like you to check your blood pressure at home and how often.
If your doctor decides to make changes to your daily medications, she may recommend starting to check your blood pressure two weeks after the change.
When Treatment Is Recommended
Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Your doctor will carry out some blood and urine tests, and ask questions about your health to determine your risk of other problems:
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg , but your risk of other problems is low you’ll be advised to make some changes to your lifestyle
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg and your risk of other problems is high you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 160/100mmHg you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
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Get The Facts On Alcohol And Blood Pressure
Many of us like to have a drink when we go out with friends or family. The right concoction can make a delicious dish even better or help set the mood for a fun evening. But alcohol and blood pressure dont always mix well.
Drinking a lot can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at greater risk for a wide variety of further cardiovascular issues. So when you decide to drink, its important not to have too much.
How much is too much? If youre a woman, try not to have more than one drink per day. For men, no more than two drinks per day. A standard drink is a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine or 1.5 oz. of spirits.
However, if youve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you on a different daily limit, or suggest you cut out alcohol completely.
And just to clear something up: Red wine isnt necessarily good for your heart the research is still unclear and we still suggest moderation.
Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure
Whatever your age, you can take steps each day to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
You can help prevent high blood pressurealso called hypertensionby making healthy choices and managing other health conditions you may have.
Health care professionals and other partners can help by visiting The Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Control Hypertension. Learn about specific steps that key sectors can take to make a substantial, positive impact on the health of Americans.
Read The Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Control Hypertension and share it with your colleagues, peers, and loved ones. Incorporate actionable steps into your work, community, or personal life to help reduce high blood pressure.
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Making Progress On Lowering Your Blood Pressure With Diet Heres Where To Head Next
Taking control of your diet is a huge first step toward lowering and managing high blood pressure, and its something to be proud of. Many people start with a high blood pressure diet. And when theyre ready, take the next step with other activities that are key to bringing blood pressure down to a healthier level, including:
- Get moving in simple, easy ways. Try to get at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate physical activity, which includes things like brisk walking, dancing, canoeing, gardening, vacuuming, sweeping and mowing.
- Check out deep breathing or meditation. Chronic stress means higher blood pressure. Deep breathing and meditation can help reduce the effects of stress for better physical and mental health, and even just a few minutes can make a difference.
- Investigate how to quit smoking. Stopping smoking is essential to preventing or managing high blood pressure. But its not easy for help, your doctor is a great place to start.
- Set a weight goal. Dropping even just a few pounds can start to have a positive impact on your blood pressure. But losing weight is often easier said than done your doctor can help you come up with a personalized plan youre more likely to stick with.
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
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 .
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How To Raise Low Blood Pressure
If youre dealing with hypotension, the first step is making an appointment with your doctor. After discussing your medical history, lifestyle, and other factors, your doctor may change your medication or suggest certain lifestyle changes to get to the root of the issue.
Its important not to stop taking any medications or change dosages without talking to a healthcare professional first. The same is true of dietary or other changes.
How Can I Be More Active
- Check first with your healthcare provider before increasing your physical activity. Ask your provider what type and amount of exercise is right for you.
- Choose aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming.
- Start slowly and increase activity gradually. Aim for a regular routine of activity five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.
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Follow A Healthy Diet
- Eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit every day.
- Limit your fat intake to 20 to 35% of your total energy intake. Consume healthy unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.
- Reduce your salt intake to fewer than 4 grams per day if you have high blood pressure. This is less than one teaspoon of salt. Salt contains sodium, which is linked to high blood pressure.
How To Manage Blood Pressure Accurately
Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have consistently elevated pressure.
It is often called the silent killer’ because you can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected.
Also, there are two numbers in your blood pressure reading.
The systolic blood pressure is the top figure, and it measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats or contracts.
The diastolic blood pressure is the bottom figure, and it measures the pressure in your blood vessels between beats when your heart is relaxing. It is very important to regularly check your blood pressure.
Below are some tips on measuring your blood pressure accurately.
Tips to Measure Blood Pressure Accurately
- Before taking your blood pressure, don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages, or exercise for at least 30 minutes.
- Ensure you use a cuff that fits your arm properly. Cuffs that are too small can cause your blood pressure to rise artificially.
- If you exercise after waking, take your blood pressure before exercising.
- Always sit for five minutes in a comfortable position with your legs and ankles uncrossed and your back supported against a chair before and while checking your blood pressure
- Take your blood pressure at the same time daily.
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