What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
The only way you can know for sure if you have high blood pressure is by having a nurse or doctor measure it. Monitoring your blood pressure at home also helps keep your blood pressure in check. Most often, high blood pressure is “silent,” meaning it has no other signs to warn you, according to the CDC.
Does Losing Weight Help Against High Blood Pressure
Of course. Test subjects who lost an average of four kilos in a year had their upper pressure reduced by 3 to 10 points, and their lower pressure by 1 to 6 points.
Losing weight is an important remedy in this era of obesity. The fat on the abdomen in particular causes problems. This fat produces hormones that increase blood pressure. If the belly fat disappears, it also lowers blood pressure.
Best Overall: Omron Platinum Blood Pressure Monitor
Accommodates multiple users with app
High storage capacity
Limited cuff size
Only two users without mobile app
The Omron Platinum Upper Arm, validated by the American Heart Association for clinical accuracy, is a highly-rated around-the-arm blood pressure monitor that checks off many of the boxes mentioned by Dr. Oen-Hsiaoand then some. First, it takes three consecutive readings of your blood pressure, computing an average of them to give you the most accurate reading possible. Then there is that fact that it can accommodate multiple usersmeaning you and your significant other can both use it and store up to 100 readings each on the gadget itself. And, unlike many monitors that need to be plugged in, you wont have to wrestle any wires during your reading because it is totally wireless. It further establishes itself as tech-savvy with its Bluetooth capabilitiesnot only can it connect to your phone via Bluetooth but there is also an optional Omron app where you can store unlimited readings and share them when needed via email. Finally, you get to enjoy it’s easy-to-read and well-lit monitor.
Reading Storage: 200 readings | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: Yes | Fit: Upper arm cuff
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What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you and your healthcare provider will talk about your target blood pressure. Your provider may suggest that you:
- Check your own blood pressure regularly with a home blood pressure monitor. These electronic monitors are available at most pharmacies or online.
- Work on controlling anger and managing stress.
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.
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The Lowdown On Low Blood Pressure
“In a healthy person, low blood pressure is a sign of good health as long as the systolic pressure is above 80,” explains Dr. Pacold. “Very low blood pressure in a person with heart disease could be a sign of heart failure.”
One type of low blood pressure that could predict future heart problems is called orthostatic hypotension. In this type of low blood pressure, “there is a drop of 10 to 20 points of blood pressure when a person moves from a sitting or supine position to a standing position,” Pacold says. “It causes a sudden sense of lightheadedness and can be due to a heart that is starting to have trouble compensating.”
A recent study on orthostatic hypotension published in the journal Hypertension followed more than 12,000 adults for about 17 years. None of them had heart failure at the start. People who had episodes of orthostatic hypotension during the study period, especially between the ages of 45 to 55, were more likely to develop heart failure by the end.
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.
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What To Look For In A Blood Pressure Monitor
Fit: The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings, they explain on their website. However, we did include a few wrist monitors, which can be a better fit for someone with larger arms. Most importantly, make sure your cuff is well-fitting. Measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff, advises the AHA.;
Features: Like any gadget, blood pressure monitors offer varying bells and whistles. If you are tech-savvy, you might want to consider going with a model that includes features like Bluetooth, app connectivity, and ample storage for readings. However, for others, it isnt worth paying for a state-of-the-art gadget and you are better off sticking with something that is efficient and easy to use.;;
Budget: High quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment, and that you will be using it daily for several years.;
Other Considerations: The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, to make sure it is validated for these conditions.
How Can I Be More Active
- Check first with your healthcare provider before increasing your physical activity. Ask your provider what type and amount of exercise is right for you.
- Choose aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming.
- Start slowly and increase activity gradually. Aim for a regular routine of activity 5 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.
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Get Regular Blood Pressure Checks
If your blood pressure is in the healthy range and you have no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and no personal or family history of high blood pressure, it is still important to have a check at least every two years. Your doctor can also check your blood pressure; ;during routine visits.
If your blood pressure is highnormal , or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke;or heart attack, it is best to have it checked more frequently such as every 6 to 12 months or as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor for advice.
How Blood Pressure Is Measured
A doctor or nurse will measure your blood pressure with a small gauge attached to an inflatable cuff. It’s simple and painless.
The person taking your blood pressure wraps the cuff around your upper arm. Some cuffs go around the forearm or wrist, but often they aren’t as accurate.
Your doctor or nurse will use a stethoscope to listen to the blood moving through your artery.
Theyâll inflate the cuff to a pressure higher than your systolic blood pressure, and it will tighten around your arm. Then theyâll release it. As the cuff deflates, the first sound they hear through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure. It sounds like a whooshing noise. The point where this noise goes away marks the diastolic blood pressure.
In a blood pressure reading, the systolic number always comes first, and then the diastolic number. For example, your numbers may be “120 over 80” or written as 120/80.
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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 Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure
There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.
- Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
- Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your blood pressure measured, you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.
- Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
- Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.
This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure
Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.
In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.
Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.;
Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.
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Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure
While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.
Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80
Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80
The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle;choices are a great place to start.
Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89
You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.
Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher
Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
What Is The Best Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Depending on your high blood pressure, lifestyle changes and/or medications may be helpful in maintaining a healthy and normal blood pressure. Some common lifestyle recommendations include:
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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.
Do I Have High Blood Pressure
One reason to visit your doctor regularly is to have your blood pressure checked. Routine checks of your blood pressure will help pick up an early rise in blood pressure, even though you might feel fine. If there’s an indication that your blood pressure is high at two or more checkups, the doctor may ask you to check your blood pressure at home at different times of the day. If the pressure stays high, even when you are relaxed, the doctor may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and, most likely, medications.
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Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
1. Pomegranate Juice
While most traditional fruit juices are laden with processed sugar and practically devoid of useful nutrients, 100 percent pomegranate juice is actually one of the healthiest juices on the planet.
One of the most desirable benefits of pomegranate juice includes the ability it has to lower blood pressure naturally. The science is in: Pomegranate juice has major blood pressure-lowering ability, both in short- and long-term studies.
It has also been tested for its ability to reduce blood pressure in patients with diabetes, patients undergoing kidney dialysis and those with carotid artery disease, all with the same successful results.
Weve all known for a long time that spinach is a crazy healthy food and helps seriously reduce disease-causing inflammation. The awesome antioxidants it contains land it on this list of foods that lower blood pressure.
A subject of relatively new research, coriander has been used traditionally for years to treat a number of conditions.
In 2009, a revolutionary study began attempting to define what exactly coriander can do. Researchers;found that it exhibited several positive benefits, including a hypotensive effect.
Theyre not just a snack anymore; pistachio nutrition is no small thing when it comes to heart health.
5. Beetroot Juice
In overweight and obese subjects past middle age, the effects are not as noticeable, at least in the short term.
6. Olive Oil
7. Dark Chocolate
8. Flax Seed
Why Does Blood Pressure Increase With Age
Doctors dont completely understand why blood pressure tends to rise with age. Blood pressure is the force of blood as it flows through the arteries. As you age, your arteries may narrow and become stiff. Narrow arteries lead to an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the walls of the arteries and the heart itself.
In some cases, high blood pressure could be a result of lifestyle, the environment, certain medications, or other conditions such as sleep apnea, kidney disease, or thyroid problems.
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