Variations In Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure changes to meet your bodys needs. If a reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level.
Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a monitoring device.
Meditation And A Relaxation Technique To Lower Blood Pressure
Several practices that help calm the mind can also lower blood pressure. All are types of meditation, which use different methods to reach a state sometimes described as “thoughtful awareness” or “restful alertness.”
But while researchers are now beginning to better understand how these mental changes affect the cardiovascular system, studying meditation has proved somewhat challenging. For one thing, some studies don’t include a good control treatment to compare with meditation. Second, the people most likely to volunteer for a meditation study are often already sold on meditation’s benefits and so are more likely to report positive effects.
Still, a number of well-designed studies show that meditation can modestly lower blood pressure, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published in the journal Hypertension.
A related technique, designed to evoke the so-called relaxation response, was developed by Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress-induced fight-or-flight response. This self-induced quieting of brain activity has aspects of both transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Dr. Benson recommends practicing the relaxation response twice a day, for 10 to 20 minutes, similar to what other meditation experts recommend. Here’s how to do it.
Breathing Techniques To Lower Blood Pressure
Looking for specialized breathing techniques to lower blood pressure? The term blood pressure refers to the pressure blood exerts on the vein walls. When someone is diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension, this means the force of the blood on the veins is too high, specifically above 130/80 mmHg.
Several factors that contribute to high blood pressure include: smoking, salty diet, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption and family history. Failure to manage ones blood pressure can result in heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and many other conditions.
In addition to taking medication prescribed by your doctor, there are many ways to alter ones lifestyle to manage this condition. Exercising, limiting salt intake, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco smoke can help lower blood pressure.
For those who cant control their high blood pressure with these methods alone, slow, deep breathing techniques may help according to several studies. These techniques work on a cellular level to reduce blood pressure and promote heart health.
Anxiety Or Calm Can Cause False Blood Pressure Readings
Medical professionals have long known that blood pressure measured in a doctors office may not match your true normal blood pressure. This may be due to one of two conditions that cause false readings, and recent research shows that both call for more consistent and accurate blood pressure monitoring.
When stress and anxiety caused by a clinic or hospital visit lead to higher-than-normal blood pressure readings, the effect is known as white coat hypertension , or white coat syndrome, named for the coats doctors wear. WCH occurs in about one in five people. Its not necessarily a response to being in the presence of a doctor or nurse the anxiety that some people have before and during a medical visit can trigger the syndrome.
The other condition, known as masked hypertension, is the opposite of WCH. Masked hypertension occurs when people normally have high blood pressure but it doesnt show up when measured in the doctors office.
WCH can lead to an incorrect misdiagnosis of high blood pressure and overmedication. It also may indicate that the persons blood pressure tends to rise when he or she has anxiety for other reasons. Masked hypertension, on the other hand, can prevent needed treatment for high blood pressure.
Changes in Guidelines
The researchers also discovered that many adults suffer from masked hypertension.
Muntner says accurate readings are important for getting the correct treatment.
High Blood Pressure Can Increase Your Risk Of Diabetes Check Now
Because blood pressure tests are so important, and sometimes uncomfortable, they can be stressful. That is a problem because anxiety and nerves while taking these tests can raise your reading so that it is not an accurate indicator of your true heart health.
This fear of having your blood pressure checked may be caused by another factor, white coat syndrome or white coat hypertension as defined by the Mayo Clinic. This is when people in clinical situations, such as a clinic or doctors office, can experience stress from the surrounding environment. Environmental stress in turn can cause a spike in blood pressure, which can cause falsely inflate readings.
There are ways to relax during a home or even in-office blood pressure test so you can get a good reading.
Don’t Miss: Diastolic Blood Pressure Treatment
High Blood Pressure And Daily Activity
Check with your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your level or intensity. Be active safely. Build up your levels of activity gradually.
Try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, if that is more convenient.
Physical activity is any form of bodily movement performed by our large muscle groups. Moderate-intensity physical activity , such as brisk walking or cycling, is enough to provide health benefits.
Walking is a great activity for all ages. You may like to join one of the Heart Foundations community walking groups.
Some types of exercises, such as body presses and lifting heavy weights, can raise your blood pressure. Avoid these if you have high blood pressure.
Avoid Mistakes With These Steps
Keeping track of your blood pressure is one important step to maintaining heart health as you age. But taking an accurate blood pressure reading isn’t as easy as it may look, and mistakes are common. Follow these seven steps each time you measure your blood pressure to make sure you have the most accurate reading possible.
You May Like: Can You Take Claritin With High Blood Pressure
Other Causes For Hypertension
A doctor in a white coat isnt the only cause for occasional hypertension. Some people experience moments of increased blood pressure because of other stressors, like work, an emergency, or not taking your blood pressure medicine for several days.
Eating food thats high in sodium or consuming a lot of caffeine might also temporarily increase your blood pressure.
While your blood pressure might return to normal once the trigger is removed, the increase in blood pressure can still be cause for concern. The temporary increase in blood pressure, whether its from a doctor or another cause, can cause strain and damage to your heart. If this temporary increase in blood pressure occurs for a long period of time, the damage can become more severe.
How Blood Pressure Is Tested
Blood pressure machines vary, but they’re all a type of measuring device, which often have an arm cuff attached to it.
The cuff is usually wrapped around your upper arm and filled with air until it feels tight. This can feel uncomfortable but it only lasts a few seconds.
It’s important to relax and not talk during this time, because this is when your blood pressure is measured.
If a healthcare professional is doing this for you, they may also use a stethoscope to record your blood pressure.
An automatic device usually picks up the measurements from sensors in the arm cuff, which are sent to a digital display.
You should get the results straight away.
Recommended Reading: Can Mild Pulmonary Hypertension Be Reversed
At Your Local Pharmacy
Public blood pressure machines, such as those found in pharmacies, may provide helpful information about your blood pressure, but they may also have some limitations. The accuracy of these machines depends upon several factors, such as a correct cuff size and proper use of the machines. Ask your health care provider for advice on using public blood pressure machines.
Treating White Coat Syndrome
Treating white coat syndrome can be tricky, as it can be hard for doctors to get an accurate reading of the blood pressure to determine if someone has hypertension.
Typically, doctors do not prescribe chemical medicines to treat someone with high blood pressure based on one high reading. This could lead to problems, such as hypotension, where a personâs blood pressure drops too low, which causes its own set of issues.
Instead, doctors will want to take multiple readings. They may refer individuals to a blood pressure clinic, or ask them to use an at-home blood pressure monitor. A proper diagnosis is crucial to help treat or prevent hypertension.
Read Also: Can Iwatch Monitor Blood Pressure
Is White Coat Hypertension A Concern
You might be thinking, So what if my blood pressure is a little high for a few minutes while Im at the doctors office? Its fine the rest of the time so it cant be that big of a deal
While White Coat Hypertension is largely nothing to worry about, it can be an early-indicator of potential future problems. In other words, if a doctors office visit can stress you out to the point of physical symptoms, its not a far leap to assume that you experience those same symptoms with other day-to-day stressors like work or family .
We Want To Do Something About It
Thrive Family Medicine was founded because we were frustrated, too. We believe in high-quality medical care in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where our patients feel valued. You knowlike how every doctors office is supposed to be.
But we want to take the idea of humanizing healthcare even further. So our goal is to provide transparency, authenticity and a whole-life approach to healthcare including attention to diet, exercise, mental health and more.
If we sound like the kind of practice youd like to check out, wed love to hear from you. Isnt it time to schedule an appointment with doctors who care? Like, actually care?
Don’t Miss: High Blood Pressure And Shaking
Blood Pressure Test What To Do First
Sit a Chair and Relax for at Least 5 Minutes Before Test, Experts Advise
April 25, 2006 — Before your next blood pressure test, you might want to rest in a chair for at least five minutes.
Sitting on the exam table in the doctor’s office isn’t the same, according to new research presented in Denver at the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association’s 12th annual symposium.
Melly Turner, RN, and colleagues studied 100 adults who got blood pressure tests at the ambulatory cardiology clinic of the University of Virginia Health System, where Turner’s team works.
Participants were about 63 years old, on average. They got their blood pressure checked while sitting in two positions:
- Seated in a chair with back support, both feet on the floor, arm supported at heart level
- Seated on an exam table, legs dangling, with no back support
In each position, participants had their blood pressure checked immediately and after waiting at least five minutes. The tests were given in random order.
Help With Breathing Exercises And Hypertension
Do you need help managing stress and mastering breathing exercises? Lark for Hypertension can help you practice breathing techniques so they can become habits and you can rely on them whenever you need them. You can also learn and practice more techniques for managing stress to lower blood pressure.
Also Check: Calibrate Omron
What Is High Blood Pressure
Generally, if a person has a blood pressure reading greater than 140/90 mmHg taken at least 3 times at the same clinic, they have high blood pressure. Your doctor may confirm this using a 24-hour blood pressure measurement or getting you to measure your blood pressure at home.
Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, and may feel quite well. This is why its important to see your doctor and have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you have one or more of the known risk factors.
Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure
Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:
- Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
- Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
- Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.
Don’t Miss: Can Apple Watch Check Your Blood Pressure
How Do You Beat A Blood Pressure Test
Short-term Methods to Lower Your Blood Pressure Before YourDOT Physical
How can i lower my blood pressure quickly for a test?
Lowering Your Blood Pressure Short Term: Before Your DOTPhysical
How can i raise my blood pressure instantly?There are plenty of natural ways and lifestyle changes toraise low blood pressure, including the following lifestylechanges.
Effect Of Raising Arms On Blood Pressure
Having your arm raised to any level above the heart will lower your blood pressure . The higher your arm cuff is raised the lower the pressure will be. For every inch your arm is raised above heart level, your readings may lower by 2 mmHg .
A study was conducted of 128 people who held their arms in different positions while their pressure was measured. When their arms were held slightly lower than heart level, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were higher . When their arms were positioned higher, their BP measurements were lower.
Don’t Miss: To Lower Blood Pressure
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
The most important thing you can do to be able to relax during a blood pressure test is to be confident that your blood pressure is the best that it can be. That may mean making choices such as taking medications as prescribed, following a nutritious diet high in vegetables and fruit and low in sugars and sodium, and staying physically active. On average, participants in the Lark program reduce their blood pressure significantly! That means living a longer, healthier life!
Drink A Full Glass Of Water 45 Minutes Before Your Exam
If you can remove all types of beverages except for water for a week before your DOT physical, you will have a better chance of lowering your blood pressure. If this is not in the cards for you, then a full glass of water 45 minutes before you take your test will help flush your system, prepare you for your urine sample, and lower your sodium levels.
Read Also: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
The Blood Pressure Readings You Get At The Doctors Office May Not Be So Accurate
My blood pressure is one of those health benchmarks Ive never worried much about. It has always been well below 120 over 80, a normal level according to the American College of Cardiology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations.
I learned to check my pressure at home to be sure it stayed normal, carefully following guidelines set by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association, including that the cuff should be placed over bare skin, the patient should not be talking, the arm should be supported with elbow at heart level, with back supported, legs uncrossed and both feet flat on the floor.
So I was surprised last winter when, as I waited to see my doctor, a nurse came in to the exam room and, in a rushed encounter, told me to hold my arm in the air as she placed the cuff over my sweater sleeve and took the measurement. My blood pressure was 130 over 66, which is still normal but on the high side of it. Some might classify it as borderline high pressure.
High blood pressure, considered a leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke, can be a scary thing. About 45 percent of people in the United States have high blood pressure and only 24 percent of them have their blood pressure under control, according to the CDC.
Usually people who are pretty busy dont take the time, he said.
When And Where To Get Your Blood Pressure Tested
You should have a blood pressure test if you’re worried about your blood pressure at any time.
If you’re over 40, you can have this test done as part of an NHS Health Check, which is offered to adults in England aged 40 to 74 every 5 years.
If you have been diagnosed with high or low blood pressure, or you have a high risk of developing either, you may need more frequent checks of your blood pressure.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- your local GP surgery
- some workplaces
You May Like: How To Relieve Hypertension Headache