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How To Prevent Blood Pressure

How Do I Know If My Blood Pressure Is High

How To Prevent High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get regular blood pressure checks from your health care provider. Your provider will use a gauge, a stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff. For most adults, blood pressure readings will be in one of four categories:

Normal blood pressure means

  • Your systolic pressure is between 120-139 OR
  • Your diastolic pressure is between 80-89

Stage 1 high blood pressure means

  • Your systolic pressure is between 140-159 OR
  • Your diastolic pressure is between 90-99

Stage 2 high blood pressure means

  • Your systolic pressure is 160 or higher OR
  • Your diastolic pressure is 100 or higher

For children and teens, the health care provider compares the blood pressure reading to what is normal for other kids who are the same age, height, and gender.

People with diabetes or chronic kidney disease should keep their blood pressure below 130/80.

What Is High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. When you have hypertension , it means the pressure against the blood vessel walls in your body is consistently too high. High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because you may not be aware that anything is wrong, but the damage is still occurring within your body.

Your blood pressure reading has two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats or contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on your blood vessels between beats when your heart is relaxing.

For example, a blood pressure of 110/70 is within the normal range, but a blood pressure of 135/85 is stage 1 hypertension, and so on .

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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. Limiting sodium to just 2,400 milligrams per day can lower your number 2 to 8 points.

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.

Ways to cut out sneaky salt and add healthy flavor:

  • Read labels. Look for “salt,” “sodium,” “sea salt,” and “kosher salt.”
  • Rinse salty canned food such as beans or tuna before using it.
  • Substitute herbs and spices for sodium and salt when cooking.
  • Avoid instant or flavored side dishes, which usually have a lot of added sodium. Instead, try cooking plain rice, pasta, or grains without adding salt. You can add other flavorings or a bit of salt when you serve them.
  • Look for “low sodium” on food labels.

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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.

Schedule Regular Wellness Checkups

How To Prevent High Blood Pressure With Diet

Going to regular checkups for your condition can help ensure that youre succeeding in reducing and managing your high blood pressure and avoiding the dangerous complications it can cause.

To find out more about ways to prevent high blood pressure and its complications, book an appointment online or over the phone with Waco Primary Care today.

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Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.

Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .

Measure Your Blood Pressure On A Regular Basis

Measuring your blood pressure is an important step toward keeping a healthy blood pressure. Because high blood pressure and elevated blood pressure often have no symptoms, checking your blood pressure is the only way to know for sure whether it is too high.

You can measure your blood pressure at home with a home blood pressure monitor, or you can visit your doctor or nurse to have your blood pressure checked.

If you learn that you have high blood pressure, you should take steps to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

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Diagnosing High Blood Pressure

The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.

Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.

Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .

Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.

Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.

You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.

Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40’s

How To Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally | How To Prevent High Blood Pressure Naturally

The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.

Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available, which you may be able to use at the time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.

Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.

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Will I Need To Follow A Special Diet

If you are overweight, your healthcare provider may want you to lose weight. Also, most healthcare providers recommend a diet that is low in fat and salt as part of the treatment for patients with high blood pressure. Spices and herbs can be used instead of salt to add flavor to food.

Your healthcare provider can refer you to a registered dietitian who will help you learn more about eating the right foods in the right amounts to help control your blood pressure. If you have kidney disease or diabetes, you should not make changes in your diet without speaking to your healthcare provider.

Decrease Your Salt Intake

Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.

While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, French fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.

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Ways To Prevent High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is one of the most prevalent and preventable risks for heart disease. Hypertension can be genetic and may increase with age, but there are also a number of factors that are very manageable, helping you prevent high blood pressure to the best of your ability. And like the other manageable risk factors for heart disease, it centers on lifestyle.

What Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure

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There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.

  • Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
  • Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat the cause or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.

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What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure

If your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, they will talk with you about your recommended blood pressure target or goal. They may suggest that you:

  • Check your blood pressure regularly with a home blood pressure monitor. These are automated electronic monitors and are available at most pharmacies or online.
  • Quit smoking and/or using tobacco products.
  • Work on controlling anger and managing stress.

What If Lifestyle Changes Dont Help Lower My Blood Pressure

If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes dont work to lower your blood pressure, your healthcare provider will prescribe medications to help lower your blood pressure. Your provider will take into account other conditions you may have, such as heart or kidney disease and other drugs youre taking when prescribing medications to treat your high blood pressure. Be sure to follow your providers dosing directions exactly.

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Primary High Blood Pressure

While the specific cause of primary high blood pressure remains unknown, there is compelling evidence to suggest that a number of risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition.

These risk factors include:

  • age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
  • a family history of high blood pressure – the condition seems to run in families
  • being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
  • high amount of salt in your diet
  • lack of exercise
  • excessive alcohol consumption

A number of health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, have also been linked to an increase risk of developing primary high blood pressure.

Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates

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Many studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

Sugar, especially fructose, may increase your blood pressure more than salt, according to one 2014 review. In trials lasting at least 8 weeks, sugar increased blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg diastolic and 6.9 mm Hg systolic .

A 2020 study that compared various popular diets found that for people who with more weight or obesity, low carb and low fat diets lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 mm Hg and their systolic blood pressure 3 mm Hg after 6 months .

Another benefit of a low carb, low sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because youre consuming more protein and fat.

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About High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.

The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.

A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.

The Training Helps Prevent High Blood Pressure Too

“I think it’s promising,” Joyner says about the prospects of integrating strength training for the respiratory muscles into preventive care. It could be beneficial for people who are unable to do traditional aerobic exercise, he says, and the simplicity is appealing, too, given people can easily use the device at home.

“Taking a deep, resisted, breath offers a new and unconventional way to generate the benefits of exercise and physical activity,” Joyner concluded in an editorial that was published alongside a prior study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

So, how exactly does breath training lower blood pressure? Craighead points to the role of endothelial cells, which line our blood vessels and promote the production of nitric oxide a key compound that protects the heart. Nitric oxide helps widen our blood vessels, promoting good blood flow, which prevents the buildup of plaque in arteries. “What we found was that six weeks of IMST will increase endothelial function by about 45%,” Craighead explains.

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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.

Hypertension Prevention Factors You Can Control

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Your age, a family history of hypertension, and ethnicity are among the hypertension risk factors that are out of your control. When it comes to preventing high blood pressure, the idea is to focus on the risk factors that you can change.

“We can’t do anything about our age, but we can do something about our lifestyle,” says Olugbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, a clinical hypertension specialist, the director of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change, and a professor in the department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City.

To avoid a hypertension diagnosis, make these healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. When it comes to hypertension prevention, your weight is crucial, says Dr. Ogedegbe. People who are overweight should try to lose weight, and people of normal weight should avoid adding on any pounds. If you are carrying extra weight or have a body mass index of 25 or higher losing as little as 10 pounds can help prevent high blood pressure, according to the AHA.
  • Exercise regularly. Get moving to prevent hypertension. “Physical activity is crucial,” says Ogedegbe. The more exercise you get, the better, but even a little bit can help control blood pressure. The AHA recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This should also be supplemented with muscle strengthening activity, such as free weights or resistance training, two days per week.
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    Low Blood Pressure Definition And Facts

    • Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is blood pressure low enough that the flow of blood to the organs of the body is inadequate and symptoms and/or signs of low blood flow develop.
    • Low pressure alone, without symptoms or signs, usually is not unhealthy.
    • The symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. These symptoms are most prominent when individuals go from the lying or sitting position to the standing position .
    • Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the bodys organs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. The most severe form is shock.
    • Common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood, heart disease, and medications.
    • The cause of low blood pressure can be determined with blood tests, radiologic studies, and cardiac testing to look for heart failure and arrhythmias.
    • Treatment of low blood pressure is determined by the cause of the low pressure.

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