What Is The Best Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Treatment frequently begins with lifestyle adjustments alone if your BP puts you in the elevated or stage 1 category, with an otherwise very low risk of developing heart disease over the following 10 years. Just like the risk factors above put you in the crosshairs of HBP, reducing those risk factors can help bring your BP back down.
Heres where to start:
Stroke And Brain Problems
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.
Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
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Secondary Hypertension Treatment Options
If your doctor discovers an underlying issue causing your hypertension, treatment will focus on that other condition. For example, if a medication youve started taking is causing increased blood pressure, your doctor will try other medications that dont have this side effect.
Sometimes, hypertension is persistent despite treatment for the underlying cause. In this case, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help reduce your blood pressure.
Treatment plans for hypertension often evolve. What worked at first may become less useful over time. Your doctor will continue to work with you to refine your treatment.
What Causes High Blood Pressure In Men How Do Blood Pressure Lowering Medications Work
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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.
What Natural Remedies Therapies And Supplements Lower Blood Pressure
Alternative therapies may be helpful to people trying to control their blood pressure.
- Acupuncture and biofeedback are well-accepted alternative techniques that may help some people with high blood pressure.
- Techniques that induce relaxation and reduce stress are recommended. These include meditation, yoga, and relaxation training.
- These techniques alone may not control high blood pressure for many people. They should not be used as a substitute for medical therapy without first consulting with your health care practitioner.
Dietary supplements and alternative medications and therapies are sometimes recommended for high blood pressure.
- Examples include vitamins, garlic, fish oil, L-arginine, soy, coenzyme Q10, herbs, phytosterols, and chelation therapy.
- While these substances may be beneficial, the exact nature of their benefits is not known.
- Scientific studies have produced no evidence that these therapies lower blood pressure or prevent the complications of high blood pressure.
- Most of these substances are harmless if taken in moderate doses. Most people can take them without problems.
- Talk to your health care practitioner if you are considering any of these treatments. Substituting these therapies for medical therapies that have been shown to lower blood pressure and the risk of complications may have a harmful effect on your health.
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What About ‘white Coat Hypertension’
If you have a physical exam that shows elevated blood pressure, your doctor might say it could be “white coat hypertension,” meaning the stress of seeing the doctor caused the high reading.
White coat hypertension was once thought to be benign, but that may not be the case, says Ulrich Broeckel, who is assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He co-authored a study of 1,677 patients aged 25 to 74. The study, reported in the British Medical Journal, measured structural changes in the heart, which Broeckel says were probably related to stress and the response to stress. “We found a significant difference between people who had white coat hypertension and those who didn’t. It suggests that if people have these increases in blood pressure when they see a doctor, they have them in other stressful situations,” says Broeckel.
Buying A Blood Pressure Instrument To Measure Your Blood Pressure At Home
Blood pressure instruments can be purchased in most pharmacies. Buy a blood pressure instrument that has been approved by the Association for the Advancement in Medical Instrumentation , the British Hypertension Society or the International Protocol . These labels will be marked clearly on the box. If you are unsure whether an instrument is approved, ask your pharmacist for help. Once you have bought the instrument, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check it to make sure the instrument measures your blood pressure accurately.
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Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
Several risk factors can contribute to high blood pressure. Lets look into different risk factors.
The risk of hypertension is five times higher if the person is obese than those of normal weight.
It is has been estimated that approximately one-third of the essential high blood pressure population is responsive to sodium intake.
In such cases, the pressure on the blood vessel walls increases with increasing salt intake.
The salt intake makes the bloodstream release water from the cell due to osmotic pressure. Further, it helps in equilibrating the concentration gradient of salt between the cells and the bloodstream.
Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia
According to the research studies, insulin resistance is responsible for the increased arterial pressure in some patients with high blood pressure.
It is a common and under-recognized cause of high blood pressure
The inheritance is probably multifactorial, or many different genetic defects each have elevated blood pressure as one of their phenotypic expressions.
High blood pressure can be caused by mutations in single genes inherited on a mendelian basis.
According to the research paper, as we age, the number of collagen fibers in artery and arteriole walls increases, making blood vessels stiffer.
The reduced elasticity comes to a smaller cross-sectional area in systole raising means arterial blood pressure.
Management Of Hypertension In The Elderly
We can treat moderately elevated blood pressure levels in the elderly by making simple lifestyle changes. This should be the first step before we resort to drugs. The following changes can be enough for some seniors to put their hypertension under control:
- Adopting a healthy diet with a limited sodium intake
- Losing excess body weight and maintaining a healthy BMI
- Being physically active every day for at least 30 minutes
- Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
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High Blood Pressure And Older Adults
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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major health problem that is common in older adults. Your bodys network of blood vessels, known as the vascular system, changes with age. Arteries get stiffer, causing blood pressure to go up. This can be true even for people who have heart-healthy habits and feel just fine. High blood pressure, sometimes called “the silent killer,” often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. Though it affects nearly half of all adults, many may not even be aware they have it.
If high blood pressure isn’t controlled with lifestyle changes and medication, it can lead to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke, vascular dementia, eye problems, and kidney disease. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.
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Symptoms Of Sudden High Blood Pressure
Unlike traditional high blood pressure, where there are no visual symptoms until major damage has occurred, sudden high blood pressure alerts you immediately.
- Weakness or numbness in arms, legs, face
- Mentality changes such as anxiety, fatigue, confusion, restlessness
In extreme cases of sudden high blood pressure, there may be bleeding from damaged blood vessels, blindness from ruptured retina nerves or vessels, and possibly seizures.
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.
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Eating More Fruits And Vegetables And Less Fat
People who have high blood pressure or people at high risk for developing high blood pressure should reduce their intake of saturated fats in favor of unsaturated forms.
that those with high blood pressure prioritize more heart-healthy foods, such as:
- whole grain, high fiber foods
- a variety of fruits and vegetables
- pulses, such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils
- fish rich in omega-3 twice per week
- nontropical vegetable oils, such as olive oil
- skinless poultry and fish
- low fat dairy products
If a person has high blood pressure or wished to maintain moderate blood pressure, it is important to avoid trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, animal fats, and processed fast foods when creating a diet plan.
However, omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in oily fish and olive oil, have protective effects on the heart. However, these are still fats. While they are typically healthful, people with a risk of hypertension should still include them in their total fat intake.
contribute to hypertension. A fall in blood pressure usually follows weight loss, as the heart does not have to work so hard to pump blood around the body.
A balanced diet with a calorie intake that matches the individuals size, sex, and activity level will help.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
High blood pressure is usually diagnosed using the familiar blood pressure test that involves a cuff wrapped around the upper arm. The cuff is inflated and then sensors measure the pressure of blood beating against the arteries.
A reading appears as two numbers. The first, the higher of the two, is your systolic pressure. That’s the force in the arteries when the heart beats. The second number is your diastolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
Normal blood pressure goes up from about 64/40 at birth to about 120/80 in a healthy adult. If someone were to take your blood pressure right after you gave a speech or jogged 5 miles, it’d probably be slightly high. This isn’t necessarily cause for alarm: It’s natural for blood pressure to rise and fall with changes in activity or emotional state.
It’s also normal for blood pressure to vary from person to person, even from one area of the body to another. But if your blood pressure stays high, you should talk with your doctor about treatment. Hypertension forces the heart to work far beyond its capacity. Along with injuring blood vessels, it can damage your brain, eyes, and kidneys.
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Another Complication Worth Considering
If the threat of premature death from complications of untreated high blood pressure doesn’t get your attention, perhaps this will: A recent study showed that men with high blood pressure were 2.5 times as likely as men with normal pressure to develop erectile dysfunction . Men with prehypertension also had a higher incidence of ED than did men with normal pressure.
Michael Doumas, MD, of the University of Athens in Greece, presented the study at the American Society of Hypertension 20th Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition. In order to assess the link between hypertension and erectile dysfunction, researchers excluded men who had a history of diabetes, heart disease, renal failure, or liver and vascular disease, which are associated with ED.
While the study of men aged 31 to 65 didn’t compare younger vs. older men, the fact that more than one-third of the participants with high blood pressure had erectile dysfunction should be seen as another very good reason to seek treatment and follow doctor’s orders.
Highlights Of The Study
A patient with very elevated systolic blood pressure and low diastolic blood pressure is difficult to treat if one strictly follows the guidelines, as sBP is a clear indication for antihypertensive treatment, but dBP 70 mm Hg is a relative contraindication.
We suggest that an adequate search and analysis ought to be performed to solve this problem.
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Tips For Taking Blood Pressure Medication
Untreated high blood pressure can increase your risk of serious health problems. If your doctor prescribes medication to lower your blood pressure, remember:
- If you take blood pressure medication and your blood pressure goes down, it means medication and lifestyle changes are working. If another doctor asks if you have high blood pressure, the answer is, “Yes, but it is being treated.”
- Healthy lifestyle changes may help lower the dosage you need.
- Get up slowly from a seated or lying position and stand for a bit before walking. This lets your blood pressure adjust before walking to prevent lightheadedness and falls.
- Tell your doctor about all the drugs you take. Don’t forget to mention over-the-counter drugs, including vitamins and supplements. They may affect your blood pressure. They also can change how well your blood pressure medication works.
- Blood pressure medication should be taken at the same time each day as part of your daily routine. For example, take it in the morning with breakfast or in the evening before brushing your teeth. If you miss a dose, do not double the dose the next day.
- Remember to refill your medication before you run out and bring it with you when traveling. Its important to keep taking your medication unless your doctor tells you to stop.
- Before having surgery, ask your doctor if you should take your blood pressure medication on the day of your operation.
What Problems Can It Cause
All types of high blood pressure, including isolated systolic hypertension, can slowly damage the inside of your arteries and cause tiny tears in their walls. A chemical called LDL cholesterol can build up in those damaged blood vessels and form a layer called plaque. That makes your arteries narrower and raises your blood pressure even higher.
When that happens, the arteries that carry oxygen to your heart can get blocked, and that can lead to a heart attack or a stroke . It also can make blood vessels in your brain burst, and that can cause a stroke, too.
In other parts of your body, it can strain the blood vessels in your eyes and make you lose your eyesight or damage the arteries around your kidneys so they donÃ¢t filter your blood the way they should.
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