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.
What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Reading Is 200/120
A blood pressure reading of 200/120 is cause for concern. The first step is to take another reading to confirm your blood pressure.
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You may want to calm down before getting another blood pressure reading. Lie down and rest for a few minutes.
A blood pressure reading of 200/120 coupled with symptoms such as headache, nausea, blurry vision, chest pain and shortness of breath point to a hypertensive emergency.
This is a potentially life-threating issue and you should call 911 immediately.Once you have been assessed by a medical professional there are a number of ways you can address a blood pressure reading of 200/120 .
What Is High Blood Pressure/hypertension
Our heart pumps blood in our entire body. As it travels, the blood supplies oxygen to the bodys vital organs. Sometimes, a problem in the body makes it difficult for the heart to pump the blood, for example, when the artery becomes too narrow, etc.
High blood pressure is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. It can lead to a variety of health problems, some of which can be life-threatening.
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Sodium And Blood Pressure
How much salt is too much salt? AHA recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day. This is one leveled teaspoon of salt, and the average American diet contains 2.5 times more salt, Dr. Bakris says. Thats a lot of salt being eaten.
Most of this salt comes from processed and packaged foods, not the salt shaker.
One Chinese-style meal has a tremendous amount of salt 4,000 to 8,000 mg, depending on what you order and if you are salt sensitive, your blood pressure may increase by as much as 40 points within a few hours, he says.
All that sodium in your bloodstream attracts more water into your blood vessels, which raises your blood volume. That is what causes your blood pressure to go up. Its similar to the way pressure increases in a garden hose if you turn up the spigot, the AHA notes.
Your kidney has to get rid of that salt, and it takes your kidney 24 to 48 hours to recalibrate, Dr. Bakris says. You may find yourself getting up at night to pee often because your blood pressure is elevated from salt and your kidney is trying to lower it by peeing it out.
Monitoring And Treatment Of Resistant Hypertension
Reining in blood pressure levels begins with the basics, such as understanding your pressure patterns. Sometimes that means wearing a pager-sized automatic blood pressure recorder for 24 hours or checking pressure with an at-home monitor several times a day. Treatment also usually involves a change or addition of medications and investigation of secondary causes along with key lifestyle changes, including:
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How To Measure Blood Pressure
If you want to know how to control high blood pressure in old age, or in fact, any age, the first step is measuring it. There are a few ways to measure blood pressure, the simplest being with an electronic sensor that goes around your wrist. You can use it yourself, and its relatively accurate but not the most sensitive device out there.
What is the normal pulse rate for an elderly person? Regular heart rate varies from person to person, but a normal range for adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Additionally, low pulse rate and high blood pressure in the elderly are possible, especially if ones hypertension is chronic. Namely, a low pulse rate may indicate a problem with the hearts electrical conduction pathway.
There are special devices called ambulatory blood pressure monitors that record your blood pressure for the entire day and give the most accurate readings, but theyre more expensive, and they arent the standard practice yet. And, of course, theres the good old blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.
Even more important than the device you use is the way you take the measurements. First of all, they have to be performed multiple times before making a definitive diagnosis. Second, the person has to be adequately prepared. What does that mean? For the most accurate readings of high blood pressure in elderly people, the patients should:
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Your blood pressure varies from day to day, even from moment to moment. Generally, if a person has a blood pressure reading taken on 3 separate occasions that is greater than 140/90 mmHg, they have high blood pressure. Your doctor may ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home, or wear a monitor over a 24-hour period, to see how it varies and to make sure they get an accurate reading.
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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.
Blood Pressure Cuff Placement
Most blood pressure reading errors are the result of improper sizing of the blood pressure cuff or placing the cuff over clothing. Improper placement of the cuff over clothing can cause your blood pressure measurement to increase by 10 to 50 points. If the cuff is too small, it can add 2 to 10 points to your bp measurement. Be sure to roll up your sleeve for a blood pressure test and also let your doctor know if the cuff feels too tight around your arm.
Sudden Increase In Blood Pressure 6 Common Reasons
Posted by Dr. Chris
Changes in the blood pressure occur throughout the day. In fact your blood pressure can change several times within a minute and sudden fluctuations largely depends on what you are doing and your state of mind. However, for most people the blood pressure will not rise above nor drop below the normal range. It is important to understand that there is no specific number that can be considered normal for blood pressure. Not even the widely accepted 120/80 mmHg.
Instead your blood pressure fluctuates within a normal range which changes with age. For adults, the uppermost level is known as the systolic pressure. It is the pressure recorded when your heart contracts and normally can vary from 90 to 119 mmHg. Similarly the lowest level known as the diastolic pressure can vary from 60 to 79 mmHg. It is the pressure recorded when your heart relaxes. Therefore the ideal blood pressure for adults which is said to be 120/80mmHg is actually the highest normal reading, after which are either have pre-hypertension or hypertension .
However, there are some occasions where there can be a minor increase for just short periods of time. It can slightly exceed the normal maximum levels but returns to normal soon thereafter. It is for this reason that doctors take blood pressure readings on at least 3 separate occasions to diagnose hypertension. If one reading is high, your doctor will wait about 5 minutes and ask you to relax before checking your BP again.
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
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Blood Pressure After Exercise
Depending on your resting blood pressure, your blood pressure may be higher than 120/80 after exercise. This idea sometimes confuses people who are being treated for hypertension , especially because exercise is recommended as a way to lower blood pressure.
It is true that getting regular exercise can help you get your blood pressure into a healthy range. But this is a long-term effect of exercise, not an immediate effect.
Physical activity often increases blood pressure. This is a natural result of autoregulation in response to increased blood demand from the muscles.
In order to meet the increased blood demand, the heart has to pump faster and harder, pushing a larger volume of blood into the fixed space of the blood vessels. Because arteries cannot expand very much to accommodate this extra blood, the blood pressure will temporarily rise.
So You Have High Blood Pressure What Else Could Be Wrong
If you have high blood pressure, get checked for diabetes and high cholesterol. Most people who have high blood pressure also have some of the other risks for heart disease and stroke, such as not getting enough physical activity, having unhealthy eating habits, smoking, being overweight or drinking too much alcohol. Ask your doctor to test your kidney function through a blood and urine test, and through the electrolytes in your blood kidney problems can cause high blood pressure.
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When Should You Go To The Er For High Blood Pressure
Complications caused by hypertension , is one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits. Elevated blood pressure levels can cause substantial damage to our bodies and lead to conditions that can become life-threatening.
Knowing when to seek immediate emergency care can help you avoid delays in getting medical attention, and decrease your risk of developing severe complications caused by extremely high blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, when blood pressure levels increase severely and reach measurements of 180/110 or greater, you should seek immediate medical attention.
There are other warning signs coupled with high blood pressure that indicate you are having a hypertensive crisis and require emergency care. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Severe chest pain
- Severe headaches accompanied by blurred vision and confusion
- Shortness of breath
- Severe anxiety
The cause of a severe spike in your blood pressure and these symptoms could be the result of missing your blood pressure medications, a stroke, a heart attack, kidney failure or an artery rupture.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally Over Time
Now that weve discussed why theres no fail-proof, safe, and fast way to lower blood pressure, remember, there are still many ways to lower your blood pressure over time. Here are some simple recommendations:
Exercise most days of the week. Exercise is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. Being physically active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week goes a long way toward keeping or getting your blood pressure under control.
Consume a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium causes blood pressure to rise. The AHA recommends keeping your daily sodium intake to less than 2 grams, but keeping it less than 1.5 grams is even better! The DASH diet provides a low-sodium eating plan for you to use as an example.
Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. Drinking more than average1 drink for women and 2 drinks for mencan cause your blood pressure to rise. Plus, alcohol can cause you to pack on the pounds, which can also lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Make stress reduction a priority. Stressful situations can cause your blood pressure to go up temporarily. But if you continue to be stressed, your blood pressure can remain high. Find calming activities you can do every day to help you relieve stress. Coloring, walking outside, listening to relaxing music, and even taking a warm bath can help you keep you lower your stress levels.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treating high blood pressure depends on the severity of your condition.
Your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan that will help you manage your blood pressure.
At first, you may need to take medications to help lower your blood pressure.
For example, you can take a combination of beta-blockers and diuretics to reduce the amount of sodium and water in your kidneys. This helps your body get rid of extra sodium and water, which can slow the progression of high blood pressure.
Your doctor may also give you a diuretic or beta-blocker to help lower the number of blood vessels that are damaged. This helps your body get rid of extra fluid.
If your blood pressure doesnt respond to these treatments, you may need to take a blood pressure medication that can lower your blood pressure. These medications are called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.
Some people may need to take a combination of drugs to treat high blood pressure.
What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure readings include two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure . This is the force of blood on the artery walls as your heart pumps. The second number is the diastolic pressure . This is the force of blood on the artery walls between heartbeats.
If the top number stays high, or the bottom number stays high, or both, that means you have high blood pressure . It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. Your doctor will give you a goal for your blood pressure.
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Can A Freestanding Er Handle My Hypertensive Crisis
Most definitely. At Advance ER, you will find much of the same equipment as in a hospital-based ER, including what is needed to treat a hypertensive crisis, heart attack or stroke.Without the long wait times, you will be comfortable, diagnosed and treated in record time. Our unique Specialists NOW program also makes a cardiologist available* for additional consultation assistance, as needed, he says. Were open 24/7 every day of the year, and youll get a board-certified physician with many years of experience, so dont hesitate to come in if you are concerned about your blood pressure reading or if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
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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What Causes Hypertension
The causes depend on the type of hypertension: primary and secondary. Sometimes the blood pressure may suddenly increase, with or without any history of hypertension. These sudden spikes typically last for a short time and are called sudden high blood pressure or hypertensive urgency. The blood pressure may often return to normal after a while.
Primary or essential hypertension
In most adults, there is no identifiable cause for hypertension. Primary or essential hypertension is not caused by a disease or health condition.
Primary hypertension can result due to multiple factors:
- Physical changes in the body due to age
- Salt sensitivity
In some people, hypertension is caused by an underlying health condition. This is called secondary hypertension and tends to appear suddenly. Secondary hypertension causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension is caused by specific conditions and their complications, such as
- Kidney disease
How Do I Know I Have It
It is a medical condition with negligible physical symptoms, but it can quietly damage different body parts of the patient. The best way to monitor your hearts health is to measure your blood pressure levels regularly. You can do it easily, even at your home.
Blood pressure readings are in millimeters of mercury . The top number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heartbeats. The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart rests between beats. As long as a person measures their blood pressure correctly, the results are just as reliable as a doctors measurement.
The following table, from the American Heart Association , shows the classification of high blood pressure in adults:
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