What Is Normal Blood Pressure
A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80. It’s read as “120 over 80.” The top number is called the systolic, and bottom number is called the diastolic. The ranges are:
- Normal: Less than 120 over 80
- Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
- Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120 — See a doctor right away
If your blood pressure is above the normal range, talk to your doctor about how to lower it.
Causes Of Sudden High Blood Pressure
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of out every three American adults suffers from diagnosed high blood pressure with only one half keeping their pressure under control. Sudden high blood pressure usually occurs to a small percentage of people with high blood pressure. This can include young adults, including a high number of African-American men, and those experiencing:
- Collagen vascular disorders
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
Sudden high blood pressure can also be brought on by daily activities and practices.
- Medication use such as over-the-counter pain relievers, a combination of various medications, and abuse of cocaine and marijuana can spike blood pressure levels.
- Smoking can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure as the chemicals, including nicotine, damage the linings of our blood vessels.
- Diet habits are critical to maintaining normal blood pressure levels as the bad fat and sodium found in many foods increase the blood solute content. It also can build up and block the blood vessels, leading to major heart trouble such as a stroke.
- Stress is part of our everyday life and becoming anxious about your worries can increase risk for spikes in blood pressure twofold.
- Medical conditions like kidney disease, spinal injuries, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid issues, and scleroderma can raise blood pressure rapidly.
Prognosis Of High Blood Pressure
Untreated high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease , kidney failure, or stroke at an early age. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke. It is also one of the three most important risk factors for heart attack that a person can modify .
Treatment that lowers high blood pressure greatly decreases the risk of stroke and heart failure. Such treatment may also decrease the risk of a heart attack, although not as dramatically.
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What Are The Symptoms
High blood pressure doesn’t usually cause symptoms. Most people don’t know they have it until they go to the doctor for some other reason.
Very high blood pressure can cause severe headaches and vision problems. These symptoms can also be caused by dangerously high blood pressure called malignant high blood pressure. It may also be called a hypertensive crisis or hypertensive emergency. Malignant high blood pressure is a medical emergency.
Exercise For People With Low Blood Pressure
Also check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have low blood pressure . Exercise especially exercise that involves sudden changes in posture can trigger symptoms, including dizziness, blurred vision, and nausea.
That doesnt mean you shouldnt exercise if you have low blood pressure. In fact, exercise can also be beneficial in treating hypotension, as it helps improve blood circulation.
If you have low blood pressure, opt for moderate activities that dont involve bending and rising quickly to an upright position.
A spike or drop in blood pressure during exercise can be a sign of a medical condition.
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What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For Older Adults
Recent updates to guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed the definition of high blood pressure or hypertension for most people. High blood pressure is now generally defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number . However, there are important considerations for older adults in deciding whether to start treatment for high blood pressure, including other health conditions and overall fitness. If your blood pressure is above 130/80, your doctor will evaluate your health to determine what treatment is needed to balance risks and benefits in your particular situation.
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.
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What You Need To Know
- Twenty percent of patients with hypertension are resistant.
- Resistant hypertension may have no symptoms at all for months or years, but then can cause heart attack, stroke, and vision and kidney damage.
- Some people have pseudoresistant hypertension, which is caused by other factors, such as conflicting medications or white coat hypertension .
- Pseudoresistant hypertension is important to diagnose and treat.
- Assessment and treatment of resistant hypertension includes addressing any identifiable conditions or causes and adjusting medications in a personalized way.
High Blood Pressure And Periods
There is no consensus regarding menstruation’s effects on blood pressure. As blood pressure consistently rises and falls throughout the day, it is hard to pinpoint a direct causation, so any connection between high blood pressure and periods remains inconclusive.
An August 2012 study published in the International Journal of Science and Nature found that while female sex hormones do indeed have an effect on the cardiovascular system, the body is capable of adjusting itself and its blood pressure throughout the duration of menstruation.
If there is a connection between high blood pressure and periods, it is not yet clinically significant enough to be cause for concern.
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How Do I Know If I Have Morning Hypertension
Having a home blood pressure monitor at hand can be useful in determining whether you have morning hypertension. These devices are easily available at your neighbourhood pharmacy, and are reasonably priced. There are several types of monitors available, so talk to your pharmacist about the type of model that would suit you best.
It is best to check your BP, using the same arm each time, at the following times:
High Blood Pressure Chart
The chart below shows measures for normal and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .
Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .
Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the top number on a blood pressure reading. Diastolic, which is the lower number, represents the blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats.
- congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma
Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.
Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.
Treatment will depend on several factors, including:
- how high the blood pressure is
- the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke
The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.
If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.
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Reasons Your Blood Pressure Fluctuates
If you are seeing regular fluctuations in your blood pressure readings, youre not alone. Some variation in your blood pressure throughout the day is normal. In fact, there are a number of reasons for this including small changes in daily life, such as stress, exercise or even how well you slept the night before.
According to the American Heart Association , there are more than 116 million adults in the U.S. with high blood pressure. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome Adams, released a for hypertension control to make it a national public health priority. Experts have called for monitoring your blood pressure at home because it is a great way to gain a better understanding of your numbers.
Knowing and regularly measuring your can help you see irregularities that you want to call to your doctors attention. Keeping track of your numbers may help your doctor determine a course of action or treatment. If variances in your blood pressure readings exist, it is important to know that there are some factors you can controlbut some you cant. Lets look at some of the reasons that may cause your blood pressure to fluctuate.
Treatments For Sudden Rise In Blood Pressure
A rise in already high blood pressure requires immediate medical attention. You can expect to have intravenous therapy and tests to determine what caused the spike in your pressure. Once your pressure is stabilized to a satisfactory level, then your doctor will discuss further treatment. Depending on your current health condition and any issues aside from high blood pressure, your treatment will vary.For example, if there is fluid in your lungs, you will be treated with prescribed diuretics to remove the fluid. If there is damage to your heart, you will be prescribed specific heart medication. Medications you may be taking may need to be adjusted or changed to another type, depending on your test results. Any kidney damage or tumors may require surgery.
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Exercise For People At Risk For Or With High Blood Pressure
Its safe to exercise if youre at risk for high blood pressure or with high blood pressure . In fact, regular exercise can help you keep your blood pressure in check.
If youre at risk for or have hypertension, speak to your doctor about the safest way to exercise. This may involve:
- choosing moderate activities
- working up to daily exercise
If youre concerned about your blood pressure, you can monitor it before, during, and after your workout.
/6what Should You Do If You Observe Any Flare
If you have a prior history of cardiovascular complications or have been taking medications for a while, do not attempt to curtail off your medications in lieu of vaccination. Keep taking all medications, maintain proper records and most of all, be aware of the side effects beforehand. Consult a doctor before getting vaccinated, if you are someone who may be more at risk right now.
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Whos At Risk For Labile Hypertension
Labile hypertension tends to be situational. This means the spikes occur in response to stressful events a fender bender, intensive physical exertion or thinking about financial woes, for example. This helps distinguish labile hypertension from true hypertension, in which blood pressure is high all the time.
Although hypertension can develop at any time, it raises a red flag when it occurs in young people or after age 60.
People who develop hypertension in their 40s particularly if they have a family history of hypertension are more likely to have essential hypertension than labile hypertension. They tend to be overweight or have underlying dietary issues, such as excessive sodium intake or heavy alcohol consumption.
Regulating Blood Pressure: The Renin
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is a series of reactions designed to help regulate blood pressure.
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What Is Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a significant predictor of heart attacks across the world. Atherosclerosis builds up over a long period of time and the root cause is almost always poor diet and exercise habits.
When we consume food, it is digested by our body and put into the bloodstream. Then the signaling molecules, like insulin, are responsible for moving the nutrients out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
When the body begins to not respond to insulin, it has trouble putting the sugar into the cells. As a result, the sugar stays in the bloodstream much longer, raising your blood sugar levels, leading to diabetes.
Diabetes and other forms of hyperinsulinemia can make your body very sugar-saturated and full of oxidized fats. Lymphocytes, white blood cells, consume these oxidized fats to protect the body and become foam cells.
Foam cells will consume oxidized fats until they explode. When they explode, the body recruits more white blood cells to the site and lays a layer of calcium over those fats to prevent them from reaching the rest of the body.
Monitoring how much calcium has been deposited in your body can be judged through tests like blood pressure. Calcium deposits in cardiovascular tissue, such as heart valves and major arteries, are traditionally referred to as plaque.
This calcification causes arteries and heart valves to get very stiff, and it is one of the biggest categories for the cause of chronic high blood pressure and heart disease.
What To Think About
- The medicine your doctor chooses may be based on other health problems you have. For example, doctors often prescribe ACE inhibitors for people who have diabetes or heart failure.
- Some people who get a cough while taking ACE inhibitors do well with ARBs, which usually don’t cause a cough.
- You may need to avoid some over-the-counter medicines. For example, check with your doctor before you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofenwith high blood pressure medicines. NSAIDs may raise blood pressure and keep your blood pressure medicines from working well. NSAIDs may also interact with your blood pressure medicine and cause kidney problems.
- Don’t take any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or other natural health products unless you talk to your doctor first. Medicines can interact with each other and keep blood pressure medicines from working right or cause a bad reaction.
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British Columbia Specific Information
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. This damage can cause a heart attack, stroke or other health problems. Your blood pressure reading is based on two measurements called systolic and diastolic. The systolic and diastolic are written as a ratio, for example . A reading of more than 140/90 mmHg taken at your healthcare providers office may indicate high blood pressure. This figure is different for people with diabetes whose blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. People suffering from other illnesses will have different target normal values. For more information on hypertension, visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Hypertension Canada.
Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health. For information on healthy eating for lowering your blood pressure, see:
Classification Of Blood Pressure
Blood pressure in adults is classified as normal, elevated blood pressure, stage 1 hypertension, or stage 2;hypertension.;
However, the higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of complicationseven within the normal blood pressure rangeso these limits are somewhat arbitrary.
Stage 2 high blood pressure
140 or higher
90 or higher
* People who have systolic and diastolic blood pressures in different categories are considered to be in the higher blood pressure category.
Information is based on the 2017 Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults issued by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
A hypertensive urgency is diastolic blood pressure that is more than 120 mm Hg but has not yet caused any organ damage that is apparent to people or their doctors. A hypertensive urgency usually does not cause symptoms.
A hypertensive emergency is a particularly severe form of high blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is at least 120 mm Hg, and there is evidence of progressive damage in one or more vital organs , often accompanied by a variety of symptoms. Hypertensive emergencies are uncommon, but they are several times more common among blacks than among whites, among men than among women, and among people in lower socioeconomic groups than among those in higher socioeconomic groups. If untreated, a hypertensive emergency can be fatal.
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