What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, and 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 risk factors listed above.
Check your symptoms with healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
Normal Blood Pressure For Children
Normal BP ranges vary in children by age. The University of Iowa Stead Family Childrens Hospital provides this chart:
|Normal Blood Pressure for Children
|112128 mm Hg
|6680 mm Hg
What is considered healthy for your child also varies by height, age, and sex. You can use Baylor College of Medicine’s calculator to see if your childs blood pressure reading is in a healthy range.
What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Reading Is 146/80
A blood pressure reading of 146/80 can be cause for concern. The first step is to take another reading to confirm your blood pressure.
As an aside, home blood pressure monitors are amazingly affordable and great way to stay on top of your blood pressure. So invest in your health and check out .
Elevated blood pressure should be confirmed on at least 3 separate days before diagnosing hypertension.
Already diagnosed with hypertension? If so a blood pressure in this range may indicate the need to adjust your blood pressure medications.
Once you have been assessed by a medical professional there are a number of ways you can address a blood pressure reading of 146/80.
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A New Definition Of High Blood Pressure
The guidelines, in a nutshell, state that normal blood pressure is under 120/80, whereas up until Monday, normal was under 140/90.
Now, elevated blood pressure is systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129. That used to be a vague category called “prehypertension.”
Stage 1 high blood pressure is now between 130 and 139 systolic or between 80 and 89 diastolic .
Stage 2 high blood pressure is now over 140 systolic or 90 diastolic.
The measurements must have been obtained from at least two careful readings on at least two different occasions. What does careful mean? The guidelines provide a six-step tutorial on how, exactly, to correctly measure a blood pressure, which, admittedly, is sorely needed. My patients often have their first blood pressure taken immediately after they have rushed in through downtown traffic, as theyre sipping a large caffeinated beverage. While we always knew this could result in a falsely elevated measurement, it is now officially poor clinical technique resulting in an invalid reading.
What Can Help Bring Down Blood Pressure Quickly
There are several lifestyle and diet changes you can make today that can immediately help lower your blood pressure, including:
- Add potassium-rich foods, like leafy greens and bananas. These naturally lower the pressure within the body and help you excrete sodium.
- Learn to effectively manage stress with meditation, yoga, hobbies, recreational therapy, exposure to green and blue space, and so forth.
- Pick up dark chocolate, which has flavonoids that relax blood vessels.
- Cayenne pepper is a natural vasodilator and very effective at lowering blood pressure immediately.
- Fish oil, garlic, and hibiscus tea are natural supplements with an extensive history in lowering blood pressure.
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Elderly Blood Pressure Range For Men And Women
Guidelines for blood pressure targets in older adults differ among medical organizations. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association updated their guidelines in 2017 to recommend men and women who are 65 or older aim for a blood pressure lower than 130/80 mm Hg.
|Blood pressure categories for adults 65+
|Systolic mm Hg
|High blood pressure crisis
|180 or higher
|120 or higher
Older adults whose blood pressure is elevated but lower than 130/80 mm Hg can help regulate their blood pressure through lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, eating a heart-healthy diet thats low in salt, and limiting alcohol.
The updated ACC and AHA guidelines recommend that older adults with a blood pressure reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher be treated with medication. As blood pressure continues to rise, seniors will enter stage 1 to indicate that hypertension is at a severe level. If numbers continue to increase, seniors will be in stage 2. If blood pressure continues to increase, seniors will be in a high blood pressure crisis. Previous recommendations set the threshold for high blood pressure treatment with medication for adults 65 or older at 150/80 mm Hg.
This change aims to reduce the risk of heart disease in older adults. However, your loved ones doctor will assess their overall health and any other conditions before determining the best course of action to help your aging parent control their blood pressure.
What Hypertension Stage One Does To Your Body
High blood pressure is a risk factor in cardiovascular disease. Hypertension silently causes mass destruction within the bodys vascular system. Healthy arteries are flexible and strong, but elevated blood pressure causes the pressure of blood flowing through the arteries to increase. This increased pressure eventually damages the cell lining of arteries. The damage can cause an array of problems, including aneurysms, limited blood flow, and fatty deposits.
Your brain-health is also impacted by hypertension. Without an adequate blood supply to nourish it, your brain becomes vulnerable to strokes, TIAs, cognitive impairment, and dementia.
Healthy blood vessels are needed for your kidneys to filter waste and excess fluids from the body. Glomerulosclerosis occurs when tiny blood vessels in the kidneys become scarred due to high blood pressure, leaving your kidneys unable to effectively do their job and dangerous levels of waste and fluids to accumulate. High blood pressure is actually one of the most common causes of kidney failure.
The tiny blood vessels in the eyes can also be damaged by hypertension, which can cause problems that distort your vision or lead to vision loss. Severe retinal and nerve damage can even cause permanent blindness.
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Medications For High Blood Pressure
There is a large variety of medicines available to lower and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may call them antihypertensives, .
These medications do not cure high blood pressure, but they do help manage it. Once you start to take medicines to manage your blood pressure, you may need to take them for the rest of your life. However, the dose of these medicines may change over time.
If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose. Two or more different medications are often needed to manage blood pressure.
Make sure you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:
- Building them into your daily routine by taking them at the same time each day.
- Keeping them somewhere that will remind you such as next to your alarm, or with your coffee or tea.
- Using a weekly pill box.
- Asking a family member or friend to remind you.
- Always carrying a list of your medicines and their doses with you.
- Entering a daily alarm in your mobile phone or download an app to remind you.
Take any blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed. Dont stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.
What Is The Lowest Bp Before Death
The lower number indicates how much pressure the blood is exerting against artery walls while the heart is at rest between beats. When an individual is approaching death, the systolic blood pressure will typically drop below 95mm Hg. However, this number can vary greatly as some individuals will always run low.
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Q: What Advice Do You Give Patients Whose Blood Pressure Is In The 130/80 Range Who Previously Werent Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure And Now They Have It
A: This new classification is not saying that you or your doctor have been doing anything wrong with your blood pressure. We have always classified blood pressure above 120/80 as high. The goal of the new classification is to raise awareness about high blood pressure and improve treatment. By diagnosing high blood pressure earlier, we can help prevent more heart attacks and strokes. These new guidelines are not necessarily going to change whether you are prescribed medication for your high blood pressure or what medications youre on the levels. Were still prescribing the same medications you were on before. We are trying to help give everyone access to the treatments they need and more early aggressive treatment. Were just focusing a lot more on diet, weight loss and exercise.
Its really at 140/90 that were treating patients with medications. At 130/80, were looking at lifestyle changes. Its only people with a lot of risk factors that we will be aggressive with and try to get lower than 130/80.
What Does The Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean
Hereâs how to understand your systolic blood pressure number:
- Normal: Below 120
- Stage 1 high blood pressure : 130-139
- Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. Call 911.
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Does High Blood Pressure Have Any Symptoms
High blood pressure typically doesnt have any warning signs. Thats why its often called the silent killer. Because there may not be any symptoms, many people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.
However, early detection of hypertension is key as it can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and more.
If your blood pressure is dangerously high, you may have the following symptoms:
But, its important to know about your high blood pressure and the health risks it poses before it gets to this stage.
The only way to know for sure if you have hypertension is to get your blood pressure measured. You can then work with your doctor to find the treatment options that work best for keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range.
Elderly Blood Pressure Chart: Normal And High Blood Pressure By Age
Your blood pressure is the barometer of your overall circulatory health. Your circulatory system is made up of your heart and blood vessels, which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. But did you know that over 70% of U.S. seniors have high blood pressure? Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is a major health risk that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease.
You can help your elderly loved one take an active role in lowering their blood pressure with simple lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity and eating healthy, balanced meals. If your aging parent lives in an assisted living community, ask about exercise programs and meal options that are low in sodium. But if changes in lifestyle dont help, prescription medications have proven very effective in lowering blood pressure.
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What Is The Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Mild high blood pressure can often be treated by making lifestyle changes, including:
- losing weight
- limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men, or 1 drink per day for women with high blood pressure
However, lifestyle changes may not be enough. Some people also need medication to help reduce blood pressure levels to normal. While medicines are usually very effective at lowering blood pressure, they may cause side effects in some people.
Usually doctors will start a person on a low dose of a medicine and see how it goes. If it doesnt work well enough, or if there are troublesome side effects, other medicines will be used, sometimes in combination, until the blood pressure is controlled. This can take time. Some people will take medicines for life, although others will find that continuing to lose weight and changing their diet reduces the need for medicines.
Someone whose blood pressure is very high or causing symptoms such as headache, or if they have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, may need urgent treatment with medicines to bring the blood pressure down to normal levels.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that you regularly review with your doctor or specialist any medications you are taking for high blood pressure or high cholesterol to assess the ongoing benefits and risks. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure What The Guidelines Say
Your blood pressure is an important part of your overall health.
But what is it? Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. If it is too high, it can put a strain on your heart and blood vessels, and can lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Your blood pressure is measured using a device called a sphygmomanometer that cuff that goes around your arm. The measurement then indicates a unit of pressure known as millimeters of mercury . It shows how hard your heart is working to pump blood.
Your blood pressure is written as two numbers. The top number, known as the systolic pressure, measures the force of the blood against the artery walls when the heart contracts to pump blood out. It is working its hardest at that point.
The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, which shows the force of the blood when the heart is resting in between contractions. That number is lower.
Doctors use standard guidelines to determine if your blood pressure falls into a range known as normal. If it is too high and is consistently higher than the guidelines, it known as hypertension.
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Lifestyle Changes With Blood Pressure Of 160/80
Medications can do a lot to reduce high blood pressure but lifestyle changes remain a frontline of defense.
The first step is to monitor your blood pressure on a consistent basis. Purchase a home blood pressure monitor that uses an arm cuff and check your blood pressure every few days. Keep a record of your blood pressure readings and share it with your doctor at your next visit.
Whether youre checking your blood pressure regularly or not, lifestyle modifications are usually recommended. Lifestyle modifications for those with a blood pressure of 160/80 include the following:
- Stop smoking
New High Blood Pressure Guidelines: Think Your Blood Pressure Is Fine Think Again
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association certainly grabbed the attention of us busy primary care physicians with the recent release of their updated blood pressure guidelines. These organizations had piqued interest by declaring the release date and labeling it as “highly anticipated.” I pooh-poohed all that drama, but upon reading through the 114-page executive summary PDF with 21 authors and almost a thousand references, I have to say, I am duly impressed.
The definition of the diagnosis of high blood pressure and the decision-making process surrounding treatment have traditionally been quite individualized . Personally, I invite these stricter measures, because they are accompanied by solid research, logistical guidance, and useful management strategies.
However, a whole heck of a lot of people just got pulled into a significant medical diagnosis.
Lets review whats new.
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What Diet Helps Control High Blood Pressure
- Eat foods that are lower in fat, salt and calories, such as skim or 1% milk, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole-grain rice and pasta.
- Use flavorings, spices and herbs to make foods tasty without using salt. The optimal recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food. Dont add salt at the table.
- Avoid or cut down on foods high in fat or salt, such as butter and margarine, regular salad dressings, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, fried foods, processed foods or fast foods and salted snacks.
- Ask your provider if you should increase potassium in your diet. Discuss the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet with your provider. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since its rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.
The Blood Pressure Chart
Once you know your numbers, you can use the blood pressure chart to see what they mean and if your blood pressure is in the healthy range. The chart is suitable for adults of any age, as the cut-off point for diagnosing high blood pressure doesnt change with age.
How to use the blood pressure chart
Simply find your top number on the left side of the chart and your bottom number on the bottom. Where the two lines meet is your blood pressure.
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Blood Pressure Levels For Children
Blood pressure levels are different for children than they are for adults. Childrens blood pressure targets are determined by several factors, like their age, sex, and height.
Talk with your childs pediatrician if youre concerned about their blood pressure. The pediatrician can walk you through the charts and help you understand your childs blood pressure.