What The Study Found
The researchers behind the Circulation study looked at health data of more than 500,000 Americans and found that each month during the pandemic, blood pressure increased by an average of 1.1 to 2.5 millimeters of mercury systolic and 0.14 to 0.53 diastolic. This was the case for both women and men, regardless of age.
“The causes of an overall increase in blood pressure are not clear,” the New York Times reported. “The reasons may include an increase in alcohol consumption, a decline in exercise, rising stress, a drop in doctors’ visits and less adherence to a medication regimen.”
“It is probably multifactorial,” said Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association. “But I think a critical piece is that we know so many people lost contact with the health care system, and lost control of blood pressure and diabetes.”
What Is Ace Inhibitors Medication
ACE inhibitors are another class of antihypertensive drugs. They reduce the body’s levels of angiotensin II, a substance that narrows blood vessels. This means that arteries are more open and the blood pressure is lower. ACE inhibitors can be used alone, or with other medications such as diuretics. Side effects of ACE inhibitors can include skin rash, dry cough, dizziness, and elevated potassium levels. Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding should not take ACE inhibitors.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.
You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
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What Is Calcium Channel Blockers Medication
Calcium channel blockers are drugs that reduce the movement of calcium into cells of the heart and vessels. This reduces the strength of heart contractions and relaxes the arteries, allowing them to remain more open, lowering blood pressure. Side effects of calcium channel blockers can include heart palpitations, dizziness, swollen ankles, and constipation. Calcium channel blockers can be taken alone or with other blood pressure medications. They should be taken with food or milk. Because of potential interactions, those taking calcium channel blockers should avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice.
Secondary High Blood Pressure
Some cases of high blood pressure are the result of underlying factors or cause and this is known as secondary high blood pressure.
Underlying factors include:
- kidney conditions, such as a kidney infection, or kidney disease
- narrowing of the arteries
- hormonal conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome
- conditions that affect the bodys tissue, such as lupus
- medication, such as the oral contraceptive pill, or the type of painkillers that are known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen
- recreational drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines and crystal meth
Occasionally, a rise in blood pressure can result from taking herbal remedies, such as herbal supplements.
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What If Lifestyle Changes Dont Help Lower My Blood Pressure
If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes dont work to lower your blood pressure, your healthcare provider will prescribe medications to help lower your blood pressure. Your provider will take into account other conditions you may have, such as heart or kidney disease and other drugs youre taking when prescribing medications to treat your high blood pressure. Be sure to follow your providers dosing directions exactly.
Treatment And Medication Options For High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure will likely need lifelong treatment to help ward off or delay serious health problems brought on by the condition.
Options to treat high blood pressure may include eating a healthy diet with less salt, taking medication, and incorporating additional lifestyle changes. These include exercise, limiting alcohol intake, smoking cessation, and managing stress.
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Tips For Living With High Blood Pressure Patient
Hypertension often lasts a lifetime, so following a careful management plan is essential. Keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure and can improve your quality of life. The following are tips to manage your blood pressure:
- Take blood pressure medicine as directed, if prescribed to you
- Increase physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight
Signs Of High Blood Pressure
Many adults have high blood pressure, but they arent aware of it. Thats why medical experts call hypertension a silent condition. The only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to measure it regularly. You can do this at home or during a visit to your doctors office.
Although not directly caused by hypertension, there are a few symptoms that can indirectly result from high blood pressure numbers. These include:
Blood spots in the eyes
Having red spots in your eyes is most commonly seen in individuals with high blood pressure or diabetes. Diabetes and high blood pressure do not cause blood spots, however. An ophthalmologist can best determine if untreated hypertension is causing optic nerve damage, leading to blood spots in the eyes.
Lots of internal and external factors can cause facial flushing, like eating spicy foods, drinking hot drinks, wind, stress, hormone fluctuation, and skincare products. Your face can flush when you have higher than normal blood pressure, but hypertension isnt causing facial flushing.
Early warning signs of a stroke include sudden onset of dizziness, loss of balance, and trouble walking. High blood pressure is the top risk factor for stroke, so its possible for high blood pressure and dizziness to be related. Dizziness is also a common side effect of some blood pressure medications.
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Number Of Pregnant Women With High Blood Pressure Rises More Than Thirteenfold Since 1970 Study Finds
If not treated, high blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to a number of complications for both the mother and the baby. Hypertension can affect a mother’s kidneys and increase her risk of future heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
It can also increase the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, preeclampsia, placental abruption, cesarean delivery, and HELLP syndrome .
What Causes A Hypertension
Blood pressure is given as a reading of two numbers, such as 110/70. The higher number is the pressure when the heart beats. The diastolic, or lower number shows the pressure between the heartbeats, while the relaxed heart is refilling with blood. Normal blood pressure readings are lower than 120/80. The cause of most hypertension is unknown. Occasionally, conditions of the kidney or adrenal gland are the cause of high blood pressure.
There are several factors that may cause high blood pressure, but the exact cause is unknown. The following factors may increase one’s risk for high blood pressure:
- Sleep apnea
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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Some people buy their own blood pressure monitor to use at home. This means you can measure your blood pressure on an ongoing basis.
The blood pressure readings you do at home are as good as those done by your doctor.
If you decide to buy one, it’s important to get the correct cuff size. If the cuff is too big or too small, it can give an inaccurate reading.
If you take your own blood pressure and get an unusually high reading, take it a second time after at least five minutes. If it’s still high and you’re worried, contact your nurse or GP.
What Are Common Symptoms Of Hypertension
Hypertension is called a “silent killer”. Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is essential that blood pressure is measured regularly.
When symptoms do occur, they can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.
The only way to detect hypertension is to have a health professional measure blood pressure. Having blood pressure measured is quick and painless. Although individuals can measure their own blood pressure using automated devices, an evaluation by a health professional is important for assessment of risk and associated conditions.
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How To Treat High Blood Pressure Without Medication
The first thing you should do if you have high blood pressure is to change your lifestyle. This is a condition that is caused by what you eat, what you drink, and how you treat you body in general.
Why not take medication to normalize your blood pressure? Well, you can. It will lower your blood pressure significantly and reduce your risks of heart attack and stroke.
Although, the negative side effects of blood pressure-reducing medications should not be ignored! Chronic cough, erectile dysfunction, dizziness, digestive problems, chronic fatigue, headaches, nauseaSounds like fun!
All you need to do is stop doing what has been causing your blood pressure to be so high. This way you wont need the medication! To do so, youll need to:
- Eat a healthy, potassium-rich diet*
- Dont eat salt
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Learn how to relax and control your stress
*The healthy diet recommended to people with high blood pressure is the DASH diet. The Dash diet isnt bad compared to the standard American diet, but its not the best. Instead, I recommend following my heart health diet program, it is only one month and it will lower your blood pressure.
The DASH diet recommends to eat more fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, but just a reduction in meat. Why? We know that animal products are linked to higher blood pressure. In fact, the more dairy you eat, the higher your blood pressure is.
It is the standard American diet that is causing your blood pressure to be so high.
Duration Of High Blood Pressure
The amount of time it takes to lower blood pressure varies depending on how high your blood pressure is and the aggressiveness of your treatment program. Medication can help lower blood pressure quickly, usually within a couple of days.
But because of potential side effects, a long-term aggressive medication regimen may not be sustainable.
Your doctor will prescribe lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure, too. Studies show a healthy diet and regular exercise begin to make a significant impact on blood pressure levels within three weeks.
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Advancing Research For Improved Health
In support of our mission, we are committed to advancing high blood pressure research in part through the following ways.
- We perform research. The NHLBI Division of Intramural Research and its Cardiovascular Branch conducts research on diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure. Other DIR groups, such as the Center for Molecular Medicine and Systems Biology Center, perform research on heart and vascular diseases.
- We fund research. The research we fund today will help improve our future health. Our Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and its Vascular Biology and Hypertension Branch oversee much of the research we fund on the regulation of blood pressure, pathways involved in high blood pressure, and the complications from uncontrolled high blood pressure. The Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science supports research to translate these discoveries into clinical practice. Search the NIH RePORTer to learn about research NHLBI is funding on high blood pressure.
- We stimulate high-impact research. Our Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program includes participants who have high blood pressure, which may help us understand how genes contribute to differences in disease severity and how patients respond to treatment. The NHLBI Strategic Vision highlights ways we may support research over the next decade, including new efforts for studying high blood pressure.
Learn about exciting high blood pressure research we are exploring.
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.
The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.
A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.
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How To Lower Blood Pressure
There are lots of things you can do to lower your blood pressure.
If your doctor has given you blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed. However, you’ll also need to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, following these tips will be good for your blood pressure and good for your heart.
Stopping smoking is a great thing you can do for your blood pressure and your heart health.
Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Phone Quitline 0800 778 778, or visit quit.org.nz for information and support.
Eat more heart-healthy foods and less salt
What you put into your body can make a big difference to your blood pressure.
Eat a wide variety of heart-healthy foods like:
- whole grains
Read more about the benefits of exercise.
Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link between stress and long-term high blood pressure. However being stressed contributes to other risk factors like poor diet and drinking more alcohol.
You can’t always remove the sources of stress in your life. But here are some things you can do to manage them.
- Enjoy exercise every day, like taking a walk.
- Take a break for yourself.
- Get 7-8 hours plus sleep each night.
- Talk about how you are feeling.
- Try relaxation music or breathing exercises.
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 five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.
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Drink Alcohol In Moderation
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will increase your blood pressure and raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.
Sticking to the recommended amounts of alcohol consumption is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
The recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption are:
- 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men
- 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women.
A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure or spirits.
More about drinking alcohol reponsibly
Most Common High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Most commonly high blood pressure causes no symptoms at all. This means that people with high blood pressure can be having damage occur to their heart, kidneys, eyes, and circulation without feeling badly! It is very important, therefore, to have blood pressure testing as part of the routine physical examination. However, in people with uncomplicated high blood pressure, they may experience
- dizziness, and
- shortness of breath.
The consequences of high blood pressure depend on the severity and the duration of the pressure, as well as the underlying medical condition of the individual affected. High blood pressure can affect the heart to cause:
- shortness of breath,
- heart attack.
High blood pressure can impair the function of the kidneys, leading to fluid retention and swelling of the legs, and even kidney failure. High blood pressure can affect the eyes, causing vision loss. High blood pressure can seriously affect the circulation causing pain in the legs with walking, cold feet, and stroke.
Fortunately, when high blood pressure is detected early, treated, and monitored, the consequences of high blood pressure can be avoided.
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What Is Portal Hypertension
The portal venous system contains veins coming from the stomach, intestine, spleen, and pancreas. These veins merge into the portal vein, which branches into smaller vessels and travel through the liver. Portal hypertension occurs when there is an increase in the blood pressure within the portal venous system. When the vessels in the liver are blocked due to liver damage, blood cannot flow properly through the liver. This causes high blood pressure in the portal system.
Portal Hypertension Causes
Cirrhosis of the liver is the most common cause of portal hypertension. In cirrhosis, the scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the liver. Blood clots in the portal vein, blockages of the veins that carry blood from the liver to the heart, parasitic infection , and focal nodular hyperplasia are also causes of portal hypertension.
Portal Hypertension Symptoms
Symptoms of portal hypertension include the following:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding, which can cause black, tarry stools or blood in stools, or vomiting of blood
- Encephalopathy or confusion
- Reduced levels of platelets
Portal Hypertension Treatment
Primary High Blood Pressure
While the specific cause of primary high blood pressure remains unknown, there is compelling evidence to suggest that a number of risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition.
These risk factors include:
- age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
- a family history of high blood pressure – the condition seems to run in families
- being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
- high-fat diet
- high amount of salt in your diet
- lack of exercise
- excessive alcohol consumption
A number of health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, have also been linked to an increase risk of developing primary high blood pressure.
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