Nix Your Nicotine Addiction
Each cigarette you smoke temporarily raises blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. If youre a heavy smoker, your blood pressure can stay elevated for extended periods of time.
Even secondhand smoke can put you at increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
Drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner is perfectly fine. It might even offer heart-health benefits when done in moderation.
But drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to lots of health issues, including high blood pressure.
Excessive drinking can also reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications.
What does drinking in moderation mean? The AHA recommends that men limit their consumption to two alcoholic drinks per day. Women should limit their intake to one alcoholic drink per day.
One drink equals:
Consider Taking Vitamins And Supplements
Research shows that a few vitamins and minerals may be helpful in lowering blood pressure. But talk to your doctor before taking any. Make sure they know everything you take.
- Vitamin C: This has antioxidants that protect the linings of your blood vessels. Orange juice is a good source, as are fruits like kiwi and strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, kale, tomatoes, and sweet red peppers. Adults should get 400 mg per day.
Potassium: This helps your body get rid of sodium through your pee. Men should aim for 3,400 mg a day, and women around 2,600. Itâs found in fruits like bananas and prunes and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and artichoke.
Vitamin D: This helps make the enzyme renin, which is linked to blood pressure health. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel, or milk. You also can absorb vitamin D from sunlight or take it in a supplement.
What Is The Recommended Blood Pressure For People With Diabetes
Our blood pressure is constantly in flux. Depending on our level of activity, stress, and even what we eat, our blood pressure values can read quite differently throughout the day. However, when a persons average blood pressure reading trends on the higher side, it might be time to seek medical intervention.
So, does having high blood pressure and diabetes go hand in hand? Thankfully, not always. If you have diabetes, it doesnt mean that you are guaranteed to experience blood pressure irregularities or experience high blood pressure at some point in your life. However, the chances that you will are higher than the general public.
Traditionally, the normal value for a blood pressure reading is 120/80. This being said, most patients with diabetes aim for blood pressure readings between 130/80 and 140/90, which are still considered safe. To ensure that your blood pressure is in that range, you need to have it screened by a medical professional regularly. A healthy adult should have their blood pressure checked every 18 to 24 months. If you have diabetes, you should have your pressure checked every three to four months.
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Medicines For High Blood Pressure
Several types of medicine can be used to help control high blood pressure.
Many people need to take a combination of different medicines.
- if you’re under 55 years of age you’ll usually be offered an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin-2 receptor blocker
- if you’re aged 55 or older, or you’re any age and of African or Caribbean origin you’ll usually be offered a calcium channel blocker
You may need to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. But your doctor might be able to reduce or stop your treatment if your blood pressure stays under control for several years.
It’s really important to take your medicine as directed. If you miss doses, it will not work as well.
The medicine will not necessarily make you feel any different, but this does not mean it’s not working.
Medicines used to treat high blood pressure can have side effects, but most people do not get any.
If you do get side effects, do not stop taking your medicine. Talk to your doctor, who may advise changing your medicine.
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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What Is Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure, which is defined as having recurrent blood pressure readings below typical values, is also a source of concern for people living with diabetes. While many people are interested in finding ways of lowering blood pressure, the goal is always to achieve regular and healthy ranges, not to experience true low blood pressure, which can be medically dangerous. Causing various symptoms that can be difficult to manage, having too low blood pressure can have as many associated health risks as chronic high blood pressure.
How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure
You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle. This means:
If you already have high blood pressure, it is important to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should get regular medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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How To Manage Your High Blood Pressure During The Covid
The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for many people. However, those with high blood pressure may feel an increased burden on both their physical and mental health due to the potential risk of more serious illness.
You may be wondering what you can do to help manage your blood pressure as well as your mental and physical health during this time. Try out some of the tips below:
Natural Ways With Potential
If you do an Internet search, youll find dozens of other natural ways to lower blood pressure. They may be effective, but the evidence is limited or questionable.
Take stress reduction, for example. In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement on the role of meditation in cardiovascular riskreduction. The AHA determined the concept was plausible, but the studies included too few subjects and used different endpoints, which made drawing conclusions impossible.
Some studies showed significant benefit, and others showed none. There simply wasnt enough data to say that meditation consistently lowers blood pressure, says Dr. Laffin. More likely, anything that relaxes you decreases blood pressure temporarily, but isnt a solution for people with sustained hypertension.
The same issue applies to various foods, spices, herbs and vitamins. You will probably find a study or two on each that says it lowers blood pressure, but these have never been robustly studied, he says.
If you are serious about using natural ways to lower blood pressure, choose one or more methods that have stood the test of time.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
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Does Having High Blood Pressure Increase Your Risk For Covid
Were still learning about underlying health conditions and their impact on COVID-19. As such, its currently unknown whether having high blood pressure increases your risk for contracting the virus.
But could high blood pressure put you at an increased risk of complications if you do contract the virus and get sick? Researchers are working to answer that question.
A recent study investigated more than 2,800 hospitalized individuals with confirmed COVID-19 in China. Investigators made the following observations related to high blood pressure:
- Out of all study participants, 29.5 percent had high blood pressure. Of those with high blood pressure, 83.5 percent were taking medications to manage their condition.
- There was a twofold increase in the risk of death due to COVID-19 in people with high blood pressure when compared to those without high blood pressure.
- Those with high blood pressure who werent taking medications to manage their condition were at a greater risk for death compared to those who took blood pressure medications.
- After a meta-analysis, blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors and ARBs were associated with a lower risk of death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently updated their list of factors that put an individual at increased risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.
While a specific type of high blood pressure pulmonary hypertension is listed as a risk factor for serious illness, general hypertension is currently not.
Can Dehydration Cause High Blood Pressure
Hypertension- High blood pressure is common in people who are chronically dehydrated. When the bodys cells lack water, the brain sends a signal to the pituitary glad to secrete vasopressin, a chemical that causes constriction of the blood vessels. This causes blood pressure to increase which leads to hypertension.
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How Long Will I Live With High Blood Pressure
When dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure, life expectancy depends on many factors, including your age, gender, and overall health. This being said, it is always advised that anyone living with diabetes should take the steps to better control their blood pressure to reduce the risk of long-term health effects. According to a study from the University of Chicago, getting treatment as soon as possible is crucial for people diagnosed with hypertension.
Lifestyle Changes To Lower And Manage Hypertension
Additional lifestyle changes can also help you lower and manage blood pressure. These include:
Keeping a Healthy Weight Maintaining a healthy weight can help you control high blood pressure and keep other complications at bay.
Moreover, reducing your weight by just 3 to 5 percent can help lower your risk of health problems related to high blood pressure.
While a body mass index which measures your weight in relation to your height and gives an estimate of your total body fat of less than 25 is the goal for controlling blood pressure, your doctor can help you determine your specific weight goals.
Exercise Regular exercise can keep your weight under control, as well as help lower your blood pressure.
The AHA recommends an average of 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity three or four times a week to lower blood pressure.
Limiting Alcohol Consumption Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, even if you don’t have hypertension, so everyone should monitor alcoholic intake.
Healthy women of all ages and men older than 65 should stick to drinking up to one drink a day, while men 65 and younger should stay within up to two drinks a day.
Smoking also causes a temporary increase in blood pressure.
Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.
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How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally Over Time
Now that weve discussed why theres no fail-proof, safe, and fast way to lower blood pressure, remember, there are still many ways to lower your blood pressure over time. Here are some simple recommendations:
Exercise most days of the week. Exercise is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. Being physically active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week goes a long way toward keeping or getting your blood pressure under control.
Consume a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium causes blood pressure to rise. The AHA recommends keeping your daily sodium intake to less than 2 grams, but keeping it less than 1.5 grams is even better! The DASH diet provides a low-sodium eating plan for you to use as an example.
Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. Drinking more than average1 drink for women and 2 drinks for mencan cause your blood pressure to rise. Plus, alcohol can cause you to pack on the pounds, which can also lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Make stress reduction a priority. Stressful situations can cause your blood pressure to go up temporarily. But if you continue to be stressed, your blood pressure can remain high. Find calming activities you can do every day to help you relieve stress. Coloring, walking outside, listening to relaxing music, and even taking a warm bath can help you keep you lower your stress levels.
Home Remedies For Managing High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force at which blood pumps from the heart into the arteries. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
When blood pressure is high, the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully. This puts increased pressure on the delicate tissues in the arteries and damages the blood vessels.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about half of American adults, estimates the American College of Cardiology.
Known as a silent killer, it usually doesnt cause symptoms until theres significant damage done to the heart. Without visible symptoms, most people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.
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How Much Should You Eat
A 2004 Institute of Medicine report recommends that adults consume at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day to lower blood pressure.
This amount would also blunt the effects of dietary sodium and reduce the risks of kidney stones and bone loss.
For example, eating three quarters of a cup of black beans will help you achieve almost 50 per cent of your daily potassium goal.
While to achieve the full amount, you would have to consume 11 bananas.
However, health experts recommend adults consume at least 4.7g of the nutrient each day to notice any benefit.
But in real terms this is the equivalent of 11 bananas, which each contain on average 420mg.
Dr Alicia McDonough, of the University of Southern California, who conducted a review into blood pressure and dietary habits, said: ‘Eating a high potassium diet is like taking a diuretic.
‘Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure.
‘But evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension.
‘When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion.’
Hypertension – which usually has no symptoms – affects more than one billion people across the world, according to figures.
Rich in potassium, the fresh produce helps prevent hypertension by balancing levels of salt within the body
Of those who have been diagnosed, hundreds of thousands take daily pills to control their blood pressure.
A Path To Lasting Lifestyle Change
Give your patients the advice they need to set and achieve sustainable health goals. Explore AMA’s resources to help patients create healthy habits.
The AMAs What Doctors Wish Patients Knew series provides physicians with a platform to share what they want patients to understand about todays health care headlines, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
For this installment, Neha Sachdev, MD, a family physician who is the director of health systems relationships at the AMA, shared what she and her physician colleagues wish patients knew about high blood pressure.
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What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100
Your doctor If your blood pressure is higher than 160/100 mmHg, then three visits are enough. If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg, then five visits are needed before a diagnosis can be made. If either your systolic or diastolic blood pressure stays high, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer. It is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Some people experience headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath with high blood pressure. However, those symptoms can mimic many other things . Usually, these symptoms occur once blood pressure has reached a dangerously high level over a period of time.
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What Changes Would You Make To The Dash Diet
DASH is a good diet, but it doesn’t go far enough for people who are trying to reverse heart disease.
In my new book, The Spectrum, we talk about how you really do have a spectrum of choices. The more you need to change, the more you have to change. It’s the old “ounce of prevention, pound of cure.”
The point is that we need to personalize a way of eating and living that is right for us based upon our needs, our genes, and our preferences. If you just want to lose a few pounds or get your blood pressure, or cholesterol, or blood sugar down, you can start by making just a few changes.
DASH is a good place to begin. If that is not enough to bring your blood pressure down, now you have a choice: You can go on drugs for the rest of your life, or you can make even bigger lifestyle changes.