What Hypertension Stage Three Does To Your Body
Hypertension is often called the silent killer because its sufferers so rarely experience physical symptoms in the early stages. Even the signs that do exist, such as tingling in the arms or legs due to decreased circulation, are often excused by other factors, such as long hours of work. Yet, left undetected/uncontrolled, hypertension is actually causing chaos to most every system in the human body.
Its a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease, microvascular disease, and heart attack. Increased pressure from systolic and diastolic blood pressure causes the vascular system to weaken and stiffen. As the damage continues, the cell lining in the arteries deteriorates and leaves you at risk for fatty deposits, aneurysms, and decreased blood flow to the heart muscle. As the heart works harder and harder, the workload can cause it to enlarge and ultimately fail.
The brain relies upon the nourishment of the vascular system to function properly. Clogged and sluggish blood supply leaves you at risk for cognitive impairment, such as dementia and Alzheimers. It leaves you susceptible to strokes, aneurisms, and TIAs.
What Are The Different Types Of Hypertension
There are two types of hypertension:
- Primary hypertension or essential hypertension is the most common type, and there is no known cause for it. This type of high blood pressure usually takes many years to develop is often the result of lifestyle, environment and older age.
- Secondary hypertension is caused by another health problem or medication:
- Kidney problems
- Thyroid or adrenal gland problems
- Side effects of some medications
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.
Read Also: What Size Blood Pressure Cuff Do I Need
What Are Treatment Options For High Blood Pressure
Treating high blood pressure may include a combined approach of dietary changes, medication and exercise. The goal is to lower your blood pressure and thus lower your risk of developing health problems caused by high blood pressure.;
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg and 130/80 mm Hg, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking to help bring blood pressure down to a normal range. Medication is rarely used at this stage.
Stage I hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 130/80 mmHg but below 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication in addition to recommending lifestyle changes.
Stage II hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may start you on more rigorous medications and recommend stricter lifestyle changes. Medications may include:
Possible side effects
Medications With Blood Pressure Of 160/100
Medications can have a big impact on your blood pressure. There are a variety of different types of blood pressure medications available. Following is a short list of each type of medication and what they do to reduce blood pressure.
- DiureticsHelps rid the body of sodium , which helps control blood pressure.
- Beta-blockersHelps reduce your heart rate, which helps lower blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitorsACE stands for Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme. Helps the body produce less angiotensin, which helps the blood vessels relax and lowers blood pressure.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockersHelps block the chemical that causes blood vessels to narrow, which helps blood vessels stay open and lowers blood pressure.
- Calcium channel blockersHelps lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering smooth muscle cells, which can cause stronger heart contraction and narrow blood vessels.
- Alpha blockersHelps relax certain muscles, which keeps blood vessels open and lowers blood pressure.
- Alpha-2 Receptor AgonistsHelps lower blood pressure by inhibiting sympathetic activity.
- Central agonistsUsing a different nerve path than Alpha and Beta blockers, Central agonists help relax blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
- VasodilatorsHelps dilate the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Talk with your doctor about changing or adjusting the dosage of medications to help bring your blood pressure readings down.
What To Do If You Have Hypertension Stage Three
The first and most important treatment measure is monitoring. Your physician will likely instruct you to take your blood pressure in both arms multiple times per day to log your measurements following a stage three hypertension reading. These readings need to be consistent and accurate to evaluate your safety and the effectiveness of other treatment decisions.
While lifestyle changes are a proactive measure and/or treatment focus for the early stages of hypertension, particularly when cardiovascular disease isnt a risk factor, lifestyle changes alone will not be sufficient treatment for stage two and stage three hypertension. Medication will usually be necessary.
In a hypertensive emergency, you will likely be given multiple anti-hypertensive medications at the hospital to immediately lower your blood pressure. Otherwise, your doctor will likely order a series of tests to help identify the cause and damage of stage three hypertension, including an EKG, kidney function labs, chest X-rays, and so forth, and refer you to an ophthalmologist for a full exam of your eyes. Combined with a health history to factor in existing diseases, such as diabetes, your doctor will use the collected information to decide on a prescription medication type and dose. Potential medications include:
- Thiazide diuretics
- Beta blockers
Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Chart
Older persons, those with a hereditary predisposition, heart problems, or systemic diseases are all especially prone to high blood pressure. A blood pressure chart helps a person to monitor their individual values, to identify abnormalities early on, and to treat unhealthy blood pressure values at an early stage.
Read Also: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
What You Should Know About A Blood Pressure Of 160/120
What is hypertension stage three? Very specific blood pressure guidelines have been created by The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to help the public and medical professionals define blood pressure readings by stages of severity. These stages also help refine the treatment decision-making process and identify effective measures to control hypertension over the long-term.
Blood pressure readings less than 120/80 mmHg are considered within the normal range. Readings that rise up to 129 mmHg systolic but remain less than 80 diastolic are considered elevated. Stage one hypertension begins when readings rise to 130-139/80-89 mmHg, and stage two hypertension is classified as 140-180/90-120 mmHg. Lastly, there is stage three hypertension of readings higher than 180/120 mmHg.
Stage three hypertension is considered either a hypertensive crisis or a hypertensive emergency. With other stages of blood pressure, a diagnosis is made after at least two reliable readings on two separate occasions. With stage three hypertension readings, this isnt the case.
Minus symptoms of organ distress, you should wait five minutes after the initial reading to recheck your hypertension stage three blood pressure. If the reading remains in the range of hypertension stage three and cardiac distress symptoms are absent, then you should immediately report to your physician for further guidance.
Knowing the above will be a key component in managing stage three hypertension.
How To Better Measure Blood Pressure
As you can imagine, a key component of optimizing BP management is to measure an older persons BP and pulse.
Measuring BP allows us to:
- Diagnose people with hypertension,
- Determine how severe it is ,
- Evaluate how well people are responding to a treatment plan, whether that plan involves lifestyle changes or medication or both.
Measuring BP usually sounds straightforward.
People assume its just a matter of finding out what the BP was at the doctors office, or getting a reading from a home monitor, or maybe even a reading from a health fair or drugstore.
But in fact, research has shown that a single office-based BP reading often does not represent a persons usual BP. One study even found that the usual way of measuring BP misdiagnosed 24-32% of volunteers!
This is because people are often anxious when at the doctors office, which can temporarily raise BP. Studies estimate this white-coat hypertension affects 10-20% of people.
Furthermore, BP is constantly changing a bit, moment to moment. So experts agree that its much better to obtain several readings and average them, in order to properly assess a persons usual BP.
As you can imagine, this is not the way most peoples blood pressure is measured by their doctors.
So whats better?
Based on these facts, in 2008 the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association issued a joint scientific statement.
Don’t Miss: Hypertension Va Disability Rating
Check Your Blood Pressure At Home
The new guidelines note that blood pressure should be measured on a regular basis and encourage people to use home blood pressure monitors. Monitors can range from $40 to $100 on average, but your insurance may cover part or all of the cost. Measure your blood pressure a few times a week and see your doctor if you notice any significant changes. Here are some tips on how to choose and use a monitor.
- Select a monitor that goes around your upper arm. Wrist and finger monitors are not as precise.
- Select an automated monitor, which has a cuff that inflates itself.
- Look for a digital readout that is large and bright enough to see clearly.
- Consider a monitor that also plugs into your smartphone to transfer the readings to an app, which then creates a graph of your progress. Some devices can send readings wirelessly to your phone.
What Is Portal Hypertension
Portal hypertension is high blood pressure in the portal venous system. This is the system comprising veins from various organs in the digestive system, including the stomach, pancreas, spleen, and small intestine. These blood vessels come together as the portal vein, which brings blood to the liver. The blood vessels branch into smaller ones, and portal hypertension occurs if the flow of these vessels is blocked, which can happen as the result of liver damage.
How To Properly Interpret Blood Pressure Levels
Because blood pressure is different for every person, there are no specific limits except for excessively high blood pressure values for when it is advisable to see a doctor. However, if the levels rise excessively or the person has symptoms such as shortness of breath, sensations of pressure in the chest, dizziness, or nausea, they should seek medical attention immediately.
Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure
Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.
You May Like: Does Claritin D Raise Blood Pressure
What Is Malignant Hypertension
Malignant hypertension is arare but serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when your blood pressure suddenly rises to at least 180/120. If this condition is not treated immediately, it can lead to serious organ damage, such as the following.
Hypertension is a risk factor for malignant hypertension, and skipping hypertension medications raises your risk. However, malignant hypertension occurs in fewer than 1 out of 100 people with hypertension. Kidney disease, sclerodoma, spinal cord injuries, and certain drugs or medications can cause it. You are also at higher risk if you are male, African American, or of lower socioeconomic status with less access to healthcare.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure readings are composed of two numbersfor example, 120/80 mm Hg.
The top number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures the pressure in your arteries between each heart beat.
The standard unit of measure, mm Hg, stands for “millimeters of mercury.” Mercury pressure gauges have been replaced with electronic pressure gauges, but the abbreviation is still used.
Don’t Miss: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
How Older Adults Can Maintain A Healthy Blood Pressure
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure doesnt have to be complicated. Simple lifestyle changes can help:
- Exercise. National guidelines recommend adults of all ages engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. If mobility or health conditions are a problem, older adults should try to be as physically active as possible.
- Lose weight. If your loved one is overweight, every 2 pounds lost can help reduce blood pressure by 1 mm Hg.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet low in salt. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods. It was designed specifically to help lower blood pressure. Try to limit sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If your loved one chooses to drink alcoholic drinks, limit it to no more than one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
- Dont smoke. Tobacco damages your artery walls. If your loved one smokes, ask their doctor how to help them quit.
- Manage stress. Try simple relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation.
In some cases, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough to lower blood pressure. Your loved one may be having a difficult time achieving significant changes in their lifestyle, or their hypertension may be too severe to treat with diet and exercise alone.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
For most people, the cause of high blood pressure is not known. However, it is clear that various conditions and behaviour make high blood pressure more likely. These are known as risk factors and include:
- leading a sedentary lifestyle
- high alcohol consumption
In a few people, there is an identifiable cause, such as narrowing of the arteries to the kidney or some hormonal conditions.
Recommended Reading: Is Vinegar Good For High Blood Pressure
What Are The Symptoms
One of the sneaky things about high blood pressure is that you can have it for a long time without symptoms. That’s why it is important for you have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
If you do have symptoms, they may be:
Although it happens rarely, the first symptom may be a stroke.
Key Terms About Blood Pressure And Hypertension:
- Systolic blood pressure : the top number when BP is checked.;This reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart squeezes. Its by far the most important number to consider when it comes to older adults.
- Diastolic blood pressure : the lower number when BP is checked. This reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes.
- Pulse: the heart rate. Automatic BP monitors report pulse along with BP. Doctors must evaluate a persons heart rate when considering a change in BP medication.
- Hypertension: Usually defined as BP> 140/90, assuming the readings are taken in a doctors office. If only the systolic BP is high, this is called isolated systolic hypertension. This type of hypertension is very common in older adults, as aging is associated with both increases in systolic BP and decreases in diastolic BP.
Recommended Reading: What Size Blood Pressure Cuff Do I Need
Medicines For High Blood Pressure
|Why are different people given different medicines?|
People respond differently to blood pressure medicines. A number of things can affect how you respond to each medicine, including your ethnic background, age and how much salt you eat. It can take some trial and error to find the medicine or combination of medicines that works best for you.
Younger, non-black people tend to respond slightly better to ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Older people and those of African or Caribbean origin tend to respond better to calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.
These will usually be the first medicines youre offered, aiming to keep the number of medicines needed to a minimum. Read more about finding the right medicines for you.
|Should I be taking aspirin as well?|
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor might recommend that you take aspirin if you are at a higher risk of heart attacks or strokes, for example, if you have had an ischaemic stroke caused by a blood clot or heart attack in the past. This is because aspirin thins your blood and prevents blood clots from forming.
Do not start taking aspirin regularly unless your doctor advsises you to because aspirin’s ability to prevent clots can raise the risk of bleeding from the stomach and intestines, it might also be linked to a higher risk of strokes caused by burst blood vessels.
What Questions Might I Be Asked In The Emergency Room
Your healthcare provider will interview you when you enter the emergency room. Do your best to prepare yourself to answer the following questions, and more, that your healthcare provider may ask.
- What medications are you on?
- Did you forget your blood pressure medication?
- What symptoms do you have?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
If youre unable to check your blood pressure, but think it might be high, dont hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2021.
Read Also: Does Claritin Raise Blood Pressure