Target Your High Blood Pressure
Once you have been diagnosed with hypertension, remember that high blood pressure can be lowered. For most people, blood pressure readings should be lower than 140/90 mmHg when measured in the doctors office. At home, your blood pressure should generally be below 135/85 mmHg. For those people with diabetes or kidney disease, lower blood pressure is even more important and should be below 130/80 mmHg when measured in the doctors office.
Most people who lead healthy lifestyles do not suffer from high blood pressure. For those with hypertension, following the steps outlined above will lower their blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Facts
What every adult should know about high blood pressure, or hypertension
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
What Is High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of your blood as it flows through the arteries in your body. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When your heart beats, it pushes blood through your arteries. As the blood flows, it puts pressure on your artery walls. This is called blood pressure.
High blood pressure happens when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal. Many different things can cause high blood pressure. If your blood pressure gets too high or stays high for a long time, it can cause health problems. Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at a higher risk for stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and kidney failure.
There are 2 types of high blood pressure.
Primary hypertension. This is also called essential hypertension. It is called this when there is no known cause for your high blood pressure. This is the most common type of hypertension. This type of blood pressure usually takes many years to develop. It probably is a result of your lifestyle, environment, and how your body changes as you age.
Secondary hypertension. This is when a health problem or medicine is causing your high blood pressure. Things that can cause secondary hypertension include:
- Kidney problems.
- Thyroid or adrenal gland problems.
- Some medicines.
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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.
Sudden High Blood Pressure
A sharp increase in blood pressure is not a normal symptom to experience. Many cases of strokes and death have been reported because of a sudden increase in the blood pressure,though individuals who have had normal blood pressure throughout their life are less likely to experience such symptoms. Unanticipated rise in blood pressure is an indication of an underlying heart condition, artery blockage or even a psychological stress. In either case, the after effects can be devastating, which is why a doctor must be consulted immediately.
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Learning To Cope With Stress Can Help
Stress and hypertension have often been linked, but researchers are still looking into a direct relationship between the two. Still, the best advice to hypertensive patients: Try to relax.
When you are stressed, your body sends stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones create a temporary spike in blood pressure, causing your heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow. When the stressful situation is over, blood pressure goes back to its normal level.
Chronic stress, however, may cause your body to stay in this highly-charged state longer than natural.
While stress itself may or may not affect blood pressure, how you cope with stress does. For instance, overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol in response to stressful situations are direct causes of sustained high blood pressure. On the flip side, healthier coping mechanisms like exercising, practicing yoga and meditating can all help lower blood pressure.
Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40’s
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available, which you may be able to use at the time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.
Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.
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Causes Of The Sudden Rise In Blood Pressure
Due to the dangers of a sudden rise in blood pressure, it is important to know the causes and symptoms of it. There are different factors that can cause a rise in blood pressure, among which are:
Pain: severe pain produced as a result of an injury can also cause a rise in blood pressure.
Anxiety: anxiety is one of the most common causes. This is because with stress, certain hormones are released, such as cortisol, which causes the blood vessels to constrict and increases the heart rate.
Salt rich diet: due to excessive salt intake, the body mechanism in charge of blood pressure levels loses efficacy. This causes the blood pressure levels to go off.
Obesity: with obesity, the lipid tissue clogs the blood vessels, so the blood that reaches the heart is insufficient. Consequently, the heart must increase the heart rate and the strength with which it pumps blood, thus increasing the blood pressure.
Pregnancy: It is not uncommon during pregnancy to experience a sudden rise in blood pressure. This situation must be controlled to avoid complications such as preeclampsia, a condition due to fluid retention.
To be able to act quickly in cases of punctual blood pressure rise, it is necessary to recognize the symptoms of it:
What to do in the face of a rise in blood pressure?
It is important to relax.
Healthy life habits to regulate blood pressure
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for having high blood pressure, and your risk increases further if you are obese.
There are two ways to check if you are overweight:
- Body Mass Index – This is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared. In the UK, people with a BMI of between 25 to 30 are overweight, and those with an index above 30 are classed as obese. People with a BMI of 40 or more are morbidly obese.
- Waist size – Using a measuring tape place the tape round your waist between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hip bone. The table below indicates how much your health might be at risk, your ethnicity should also be taken into account.
|Over 80 cm|
The best way to tackle obesity is by reducing the amount of calories that you eat, and taking regular exercise. Your GP can provide you with further information and advice on how you can do this.
More about having a healthy weight
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sudden High Blood Pressure
When the body pressure rises above 120/80 mm Hg, the condition is referred to as high blood pressure which leads to several manifestations in the body. Sudden headache, dizziness, vertigo, impaired vision and difficulty in maintaining balance are some of the symptoms that suggest an acute increase in the blood pressure. In addition, an individual may also experience shortness of breath, chest tightening and temporary loss of sensation in legs and arms.
In more severe episodes, bleeding may occur as the blood vessels are damaged. And if the retina nerves or vessels rupture, it may lead to blindness. In certain rare cases, a person may experience seizures, confusion, altered mental state and even coma, depending on the current health status.
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.
When Should You Call A Doctor For High Blood Pressure
Many symptoms present gradually after years of poorly blood pressure control. Often, the first knowledge of hypertension occurs when a person complains of chest pain or has stroke-like symptoms. Should these occur, it is appropriate to call 911 immediately to activate emergency medical services and seek care.
You may be directed to seek medical care if blood pressure readings are elevated if done as part of a community health screening. Isolated elevated blood pressure readings do not necessarily make the diagnosis of hypertension. Blood pressure readings vary throughout the day, and your primary care provider may record a different reading than the one that was measured in a screening that sent you in for care.
There are non-specific symptoms associated with hypertension that may cause a person to seek care that includes
There are many other reasons to develop these symptoms other than high blood pressure.
Top 10 Causes For Blood Pressure Spikes
With about 32% of Americans living with high blood pressure, its no wonder why blood pressure checks are administered at every doctors appointment. So many high blood pressure cases are not realized because high blood pressure doesnt exhibit any symptoms.
The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured. If your blood pressure is normal , you will likely only need to check on it annually at your yearly checkups. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you monitor your blood pressure at home in addition to lifestyle changes or medications. While your blood pressure levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day, there are some factors that may cause sudden blood pressure spikes.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes
The following can help normalize blood pressure:
- Stopping smoking: Smoking harms the arteries and can cause high blood pressure.
- Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein: Reduce or eliminate added sugars and processed foods.
- Getting regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends moderate-intensity exertion, such as walking at a quick pace. A person should do this for 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week.
- Limiting alcohol consumption: Women should drink no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. Drinking more than this can raise blood pressure.
- Finding healthy ways to lower stress: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other techniques to manage stress can help to avoid spikes in blood pressure.
- Consuming less sodium: Excessively salty foods can cause sharp increases in blood pressure.
- Reducing the intake of caffeine: Caffeinated drinks can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, and may make anxiety worse.
Consult a doctor for personalized guidance.
Natural High Blood Pressure Remedies
There are also natural remedies to interject into your daily lifestyle to regulate blood pressure and prevent cases of sudden high blood pressure. Be sure to discuss the use of the following products with your doctor in addition to your health regimen.
To prevent a blockage of blood vessels, consume celery daily. It contains phytochemicals that relax the muscles, allowing a smoother blood flow.
2. Fenugreek Seeds
This spice has fiber to help maintain blood pressure levels. Boil one to two spoonsful of seeds in water to create a paste. Consume one tablespoon per day.
4. Coconut Water
Drink daily as a source of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium to lower blood pressure.
One of natures best immune system boosters, garlic is a blood thinner. Use at least four grams per day.
A person with high blood pressure is at risk for various health conditions including heart disease. If your high blood pressure numbers rise suddenly, it could indicate an underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention. There are certain medications and hormonal changes that can stimulate an increase in pressure without causing alarm.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes and natural remedies in addition to your prescribed health regimen.
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Why You Should Pay Attention To Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension can wreak havoc on the body before alarming symptoms appear. Thats why regular checkups are a must.
Sometimes, Dr. Lioudis asks patients to check their blood pressure at different times of the day. Its the only way to spot masked hypertension. People with this condition have normal blood pressure in the doctors office, but high blood pressure at home.
We cant do anything for hypertension unless we know it exists, he says. Thats why we advise everyone to have their pressures checked at least yearly. They should also talk with their family doctor about stress, heart or kidney disease, family history of high blood pressure and any other potential contributing factor. By working together, you can bring your blood pressure under control.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
Why Does Blood Pressure Change
Remember that there are three factors controlling blood pressure at any one time:
- The force and rate of the heart contraction.
- The diameter of the blood vessels throughout the body.
- The volume and even viscosity of the blood.
It is further influenced by hormones, electrolytes and nerve impulses. The activity of all these factors collectively determine blood pressure. The entire system is complex and the body has to cater for changes to keep your body working optimally. Your blood pressure changes when you sit down, stand up or lie flat. It drops when you sleep soundly. It can fluctuate in hot or cold weather.
Here are 6 common reasons for a sudden increase in blood pressure.
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Stiffening Of The Arteries
Some physicians consider the most authentic form of pseudo-resistant hypertension to be caused by stiffened brachial arteries that prevent the blood pressure cuff from obtaining a true reading. If your doctor suspects this form of pseudo-resistant hypertension, they might consider other ways to measure your blood pressure.
Is There Is A High Blood Pressure Diet
In about half of people with high blood pressure, limiting sodium intake by eliminating table salt, cooking salt, and salty and processed foods can reduce blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. Losing weight and participating in regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure further.
If these lifestyle changes and choices don’t work, medications should be added. The medications have been proven to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney problems.
- Aim for a healthy weight range for your height and body type. Your health care practitioner can help you calculate a healthy target weight.
- Even a small amount of weight loss can make a major difference in lowering or preventing high blood pressure.
- You must burn more calories than you take in to lose weight.
- Crash or fad diets are not helpful and may be dangerous.
- Some weight loss medications also carry major risks and may even elevate blood pressure, and great caution is advised in using these drugs. Please ask your health care practitioner or pharmacist for help in deciding if a weight loss medication is appropriate for your situation.
Exercise or Increase Physical Activity
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