Heart Attack And Heart Disease
High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.
If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.
What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.
Address Obesity And Metabolic Syndrome With Low
Abdominal obesity and hypertension are often found together with other cardiovascular disease risk factors this is referred to as metabolic syndrome.24 There is growing evidence that reducing sugars and starches in the diet can improve metabolic syndrome and hypertension.25
Further, there have been many trials over the years showing that low-carb diets are either better or equivalent to low-fat diets when it comes to weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk markers.26
Many individuals who adopt a low-carb or ketogenic diet see a rapid reduction in blood pressure. The Virta study of cardiovascular disease markers found that diastolic blood pressure measurements dropped significantly in participants and 11.5% were able to stop high blood pressure medications.27
However, there is still uncertainty about the long term blood pressure-lowering benefits of a low-carb diet, and whether the effect is due to weight loss alone or from an added benefit of lowering carbohydrates.28
Why does low-carb nutrition work? Research is still preliminary, but a number of mechanisms are theorized: weight loss, lower levels of circulating insulin, reduced insulin resistance, improved insulin sensitivity, reduction in sodium retention by the kidney, lowered blood sugar, and others.29
This not only works in scientific studies but also in real life with numerous anecdotal reports of success.
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Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including problems associated with low blood pressure. Learn about current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
When To See The Doctor
If you have had episodes where you feel faint or have fainted, see your doctor. In many cases, an episode of low blood pressure is nothing to worry about, but some people may have an underlying problem that needs treatment.
Treating low blood pressure will help reduce symptoms and lower the chances of you fainting or falling and injuring yourself.
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Cause: Expanded Blood Vessels
Sometimes your blood vessels widen. That means there’s more space for blood to spread out, which puts less pressure on the walls of those vessels. Some drugs, especially a type called vasodilators, can cause this. So can spinal injuries that damage certain nerves, serious bacterial infections, and allergic reactions. Hormone problems like Addison’s disease, which weakens the adrenal glands, can also do it.
Signs Of High Or Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure numbers could mean that essential parts of your body like the brain and heart arent receiving enough blood. Some people can have low numbers without it causing them any issues. Others experience symptoms that may show a link between their hypotension and other health problems.
Some common signs of low blood pressure include:
- Heart problems
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Q What Should You Eat When Experiencing Low Blood Pressure
- Drinking plenty of fluids- hydration is key, and dehydration can severely affect blood volume.
- Drink plenty of water through the day, especially after a workout session.
- Vitamin B12- lack of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia. So, you have to consume foods like eggs, cereals, and beef to avoid a dip in your blood pressure.
- Folate- folate helps keep blood pressure levels at a steady level, and foods like asparagus, liver, and garbanzo beans are rich in folate.
- Salt: Salty foods are known to increase blood pressure, and you can eat food like smoked fish, cottage cheese, canned soup, and olives.
- Caffeine: Caffeinated tea and coffee can spike your blood pressure by stimulating the cardiovascular system and giving your rate a boost.
Treatment Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may or may not require treatment, depending on the cause.
Healthy people with low blood pressure that is not causing any symptoms generally do not need any treatment.
If low blood pressure is causing symptoms, the aim of treatment is to bring the blood pressure back to normal to relieve the symptoms, as well as treat the cause. If the underlying cause is a particular type of medicine, your doctor may advise you to stop taking it or reduce the dose.
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What Are The Risk Factors
Syncope is common, but adults over age 80 are at greater risk of hospitalization and death.
Younger people without cardiac disease but who’ve experienced syncope while standing or have specific stress or situational triggers aren’t as likely to experience cardiac syncope.
Cardiac syncope is a higher risk in: people older than age 60 men presence of known heart disease brief palpitations or sudden loss of consciousness fainting during exertion fainting while supine an abnormal cardiac exam or family history of inheritable conditions. Other existing conditions and medications used are particularly important in older patients.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out , seek treatment right away. Or call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.
- Black or maroon stools
Hypotension Blood pressure – low Postprandial hypotension Orthostatic hypotension Neurally mediated hypotension NMH
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Apps To Track Blood Pressure
Although there are apps that promise to check your blood pressure without using equipment, this isnt an accurate or reliable method.
However, there are apps available that can help you track your blood pressure results. This can be helpful in identifying patterns in your blood pressure. Your doctor may use this information to determine if you require blood pressure medications.
Some examples of free blood pressure-monitoring apps include:
- Blood Pressure Monitor Family Litefor iPhone. You can enter your blood pressure, weight, and height, as well as track the medications you take.
- Blood Pressure for Android. This app tracks your blood pressure and features several statistical and graphical analysis tools.
- Blood Pressure Companion for iPhone. This app allows you to track your blood pressure as well as view graphs and trends on your blood pressure readings across several days or weeks.
These apps can help you quickly and easily track your blood pressure readings. Measuring your blood pressure regularly on the same arm can help you most accurately track your blood pressure readings.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure .
A blood pressure reading appears as two numbers. The first and higher of the two is a measure of systolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood. The second number measures diastolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 . In healthy people, low blood pressure without any symptoms is not usually a concern and does not need to be treated. But low blood pressure can be a sign of an underlying problem — especially in the elderly — where it may cause inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
Chronic low blood pressure with no symptoms is almost never serious. But health problems can occur when blood pressure drops suddenly and the brain is deprived of an adequate blood supply. This can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness. Sudden drops in blood pressure most commonly occur in someone who’s rising from a lying down or sitting position to standing. This kind of low blood pressure is known as postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Another type of low blood pressure can occur when someone stands for a long period of time. This is called neurally mediated hypotension.
When Is Hypotension A Problem
Regular hypotension is not an issue if youre an adult in good health who does not experience any negative symptoms, says Dr. Anand. But if low blood pressure is unexpected and sudden , or in any of the following instances, a doctor visit is essential:
You experience lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting or confusion.
Why you should see your doctor:Symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting spells are a concern because of the potential for harm should they occur while someones doing a critical task like driving a car, working with machinery or caring for a young child, says Dr. Anand. Your doctor can check to ensure your low blood pressure isnt a sign of any other conditions, and can also make suggestions for lifestyle changes that may lessen symptoms. Some suggestions may include, standing up more slowly after sitting, drinking more water, avoiding alcohol or caffeine, and wearing compression stockings.
You are a senior citizen.
Why you should see your doctor: Blood pressure regulation can decline with age, or other medication youre on, so its important your doctor assess your overall health, diet and prescription medication regimen.
You are pregnant.
You are on certain types of prescription medication.
What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low & How To Raise It
Maintaining ideal blood pressure can be a difficult task for some. As very high as well as low blood pressure levels can be dangerous, it is necessary to maintain the normal range. So, while a healthy routine and medications are important for high blood pressure, it is also essential to know about the symptoms of very low blood pressure. Let us understand what to do when your blood pressure drops too low and how to raise it.
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What Are The Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
- High blood pressure can be experienced by people with certain risk factors. Know them to understand if you are at risk and to know if your blood pressure is high.As age advances, the risks of high blood pressure increases.
- A family history of blood pressure can increase your risk too.
- If you weight more than what is ideal, it increases the volume of blood circulated, thus increasing the pressure on the arteries.
- If you are used to a sedentary lifestyle and have not being active, your chances of having high blood pressure can increase.
- Dietary factors like excess salt, too much consumption of oily and fried food can put you at an increased risk of high blood pressure and other problems like high cholesterol.
- Taking low amounts of potassium can also disturb the balance and cause excess accumulation of sodium in the blood.
- Inadequate vitamin D levels can interfere with an enzyme production in the kidneys, which plays an important role in regulating blood pressure.
- Consumption of alcohol, smoking and use of tobacco, in general increases the risk of several medical ailments including high blood pressure.
- Lifestyle habits play an important role and stress can add to your risk of having high blood pressure.
How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Like high blood pressure, low blood pressure can be diagnosed easily with a .
If you feel dizzy or faint when you stand up, you might need to have your blood pressure measured when youre lying down and again while you are standing up.
You might be offered a tilt table test. This is where you lie on a table that starts in a horizontal position, then slowly tilts so that youre in an almost upright position as if you were standing. You will have your blood pressure and pulse monitored, and any symptoms you feel will be recorded. You might also have a blood test to check the levels of certain hormones.
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What Are The Possible Complications Of High Blood Pressure
Knowing about the potential complications of high blood pressure can help you to know if you have high blood pressure.
Heart Diseases Heart failure when the heart is unable to pump enough blood, it can lead to swelling in legs, feet and cause breathing difficulty. Heart attack can be a result of sudden blocking of blood circulation to the heart muscle, presented with chest pain, difficulty in breathing, sweating and nausea.
Stroke When blood supplying the brain gets blocked, cutting off the oxygen supply, it can result in a medical emergency. It is presented with sudden onset of weakness or numbness in arms, jaws and difficulty in speech.
Circulatory Problems An abnormal bulge in the arterial wall is called aneurysm, which blocks blood flow and causes obstruction. Peripheral artery disease, which is building up of plaque on the inner lining of arteries of legs affecting blood flow symptoms include heaviness and pain in legs, swelling, cramping and numbness in buttocks and legs after walking for long.
Others High blood pressure for a long time can cause damage to the kidneys, eyes and other organs, hence timely treatment and prevention is necessary.
Diagnosing The Cause Of Low Blood Pressure
The first key to know how to raise low blood pressure is to detect what causes the problem in the first place. This is something which should only be done by a doctor as they will not only be able to determine major illnesses or underlying conditions, but advise on the most effective course of treatment. The best medical professional to see will be an arterial hypotension specialist as they should have the most comprehensive knowledge on the subject.
However, raising low blood pressure is also about stopping certain actions which might lower blood pressure. This is why we have some general recommendations to help keep a healthy blood pressure level until a specialist can make confirmation of a diagnosis. Until then, keeping an eye on the symptoms and making sure you are not in need of emergency care is important. If you are, then you will need to see a doctor right away.
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About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
When To See A Doctor
If you feel confused or notice fast, shallow breathing, a weak, rapid pulse, and cold, clammy skin, you may be in shock . Get to an emergency room right away. But lower blood pressure numbers, especially without other symptoms, aren’t usually a sign of a big problem. Talk to your doctor if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded as well.
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Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Low blood pressure is manifested by various symptoms. They can vary in degree, but also be part of another problem, so it is important to give consideration as well as seeking professional medical advice. Low blood pressure symptoms include:
- Tiredness and constant fatigue
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Having you the feeling you’re going to faint or in some cases even fainting
- Reduced concentration
- Pallid skin color
You are probably wondering how to raise low blood pressure because you have experienced a drop in yours. If this blood pressure drop is due to cardiac problems you will be able to feel the beating of your heart intensely. However, if the pressure drops due to something like internal bleeding, you will see different symptoms such as blood in your stool. When it is due to an infection, a high fever above 38 degrees may develop. If you experience low blood pressure, you should be attentive to any other symptoms and consult your doctor as soon as possible.
What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low And How To Raise It
Falling down of blood pressure below the normal range is referred to as low blood pressure or hypotension. The normal blood pressure reading is 120/80mm Hg, and a person with low blood pressure shows a reading of 90/60mm Hg or low. Having a low blood pressure without any symptoms might not be much of a problem, but if the symptoms start showing up it means that the blood supply to the body is being affected. If this happens the doctor might diagnose the condition to get the cause.
It is important to know what to do if your blood pressure drops too low and how to raise it. But before that let us understand the causes of low blood pressure and understand why your blood pressure drops too low. Some of the conditions causing low blood pressure involve
- Chest pain or heart attack in a patient suffering from heart disease.
- Sitting and standing may lead to vertigo or dizziness in the patient with postural hypotension.
- Increase in urea and creatinine levels in the patient with kidney disease. This happens due to decreased blood supply to the kidney.
- Kidney failure, heart failure, lung failure, and brain failure.
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