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.
Living With High Blood Pressure
Even if your doctor has prescribed medicine for you, you can still take many steps at home to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk. Some people can even take less medicine after making these changes.
Studies Addressing Whether Low Dbp Related To Worse Prognosis In Sh Is A High
As early as 1978, Anderson noted that, in the Framingham Heart Study data, when treating HTN, the benefit of sBP decrease was linear and continuous . Indeed, this is a motivation to further decrease sBP to lower values. In contrast, no importance was placed on diminishing dBP below approximately 90 mm Hg . This absence of an additional benefit of progressive dBP decrease explains, at least in part, a very important fact, i.e., why sBP has a more significant prognostic influence than dBP does. Subsequently, in 1979, Stewart demonstrated a >5-fold increased mortality rate from MI associated with an excessive dBP decrease induced by drug treatment . The BP J-shaped curve debate started 40 years ago, and there is no indication that it will end in the near future. The J-shaped/U-shaped curve means that, for example, mortality is lower at the nadir and that both higher and lower values are associated with higher mortality.
In the vast majority of studies, the univariate association of low dBP with worse prognosis has been proved. In many studies, multivariate analysis is missing; in others, results are conflicting regarding this J-curve relationship. Here, we analyze several important studies.
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An Unresolved But Important Clinical Problem: How To Treat Very High Sbp With Too Low Dbp
In practice, when we decrease sBP to the target level, we also diminish dBP; if the dBP level drops too much, we can actually increase mortality in an iatrogenic way. The explanation is simple: when BP is too low , provided it lasts, this results in tissue hypoperfusion and poor outcomes, although not all studies have confirmed this J-curve phenomenon. A fall in BP is particularly dangerous in patients with hemodynamically significant stenosis of the arteries, because a low prestenotic BP will result in even lower poststenotic pressure. To prevent tissue hypoperfusion, the HTN guidelines recommend that in-treatment dBP should be 70 mm Hg .
To the best of our knowledge, no definite answer to this question has been provided by RCTs. However, it would not be so difficult to take the RCT records of patients who had SH with dBP <70 mm Hg at baseline and analyze outcomes with pretreatment sBP value as a continuous variable.
Do I Have High Blood Pressure
One reason to visit your doctor regularly is to have your blood pressure checked. Routine checks of your blood pressure will help pick up an early rise in blood pressure, even though you might feel fine. If there’s an indication that your blood pressure is high at two or more checkups, the doctor may ask you to check your blood pressure at home at different times of the day. If the pressure stays high, even when you are relaxed, the doctor may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and, most likely, medications.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose High Blood Pressure
Because symptoms are so uncommon, the only way to know you have HBP is to have your blood pressure tested at your doctors office. Your doctor will use a device called a sphygmomanometer, which features an inflatable cuff that wraps around your upper arm. The cuff is attached to a scale, and when it inflates, it measures your systolic BP. It measures your diastolic BP as the cuff slowly deflates. Your doctor will also likely press a stethoscope to listen for any abnormal sounds as your blood flows.
You officially have HBPyour doctor may call it hypertensionwhen your readings are above normal during at least two visits to the doctor. However, many doctors will ask you to measure your own blood pressure using either a home monitor or with a 24-hour monitoring device your doctor lends you. Doing this will help confirm that your blood pressure remains high during the normal course of your day.
Why is this important? Many people have whats called white-coat hypertension, which means that your blood pressure spikes in your doctors office but returns to normal elsewhere. For example, your reading may be high when you have a physical and normal when you use the device at your pharmacist or grocery store .
Lets look at the numbers. The American Heart Association provides the measurements that you should aim for, as well as the ranges that put you in the danger zone. All measurements are mm Hg.
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 donât filter your blood the way they should.
Ask The Doctor: Treatment For High Systolic Pressure
Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D.
Q.I’m 71 and my systolic pressure is usually in the 150s to 160s, which is high, but my diastolic is usually in the 80s, which is normal. Do I need treatment?
A. A blood pressure measurement includes two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure . Your systolic pressure is high: 140 or over is high. And your lower number is not normal: normal diastolic pressure is below 80. However, even if your diastolic pressure were truly normal, say 70, you would still benefit from treatment. You would have a condition called isolated systolic hypertension . Many studies have shown that treatment of people with ISH lowers their risk of heart disease and stroke.
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What Causes Systolic Hypertension
Several psychological and physical factors can impact systolic blood pressure in an individual. However, it is important to keep in mind that blood pressure is not a static measurement, as the values for both systolic and diastolic ranges change constantly throughout the day. This is because your circulatory system is a dynamic structure that has to adjust to various stressors. As a result, your doctor will never make a diagnosis of hypertension from a single visit, but rather take blood pressure readings across multiple visits before making a definite diagnosis.
Every organ in the body contributes to your blood pressure, with the kidneys, heart, and brain playing the biggest roles in systolic blood pressure values. Heart health can directly create a significant impact on systolic blood pressure, as the force its creates may have to pump harder if you suffer from medical conditions. Having kidney failure will also lead to increases in blood pressure due to the ineffective removal of excess fluid, creating an increased burden on the heart.
Factors affecting our mental state, such as being frightened or anxious, can also affect systolic blood pressure. This is an autonomic response by the body to help deal with immediate stressors. These situations typically result in increased heart rate and blood pressure, as your body is preparing to go into action.
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Who Is At Risk For High Blood Pressure
Your family history, lifestyle and medications can increase the chances youll develop high blood pressure. Risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- Drinking too much
- Some medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, also known as NSAIDS, some decongestants, weight loss medicines and stimulants)
- Some underlying health conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, kidney conditions, adrenal gland tumors and thyroid diseases
- Tobacco and illicit drug use
Unfortunately, family history is a large contributing factor. Even if you eat well, are physically active and avoid risk factors, you may still experience high blood pressure.
Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013;698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
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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 Changes Do You Need To Make
Make these lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure:
- Lose extra weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 4.5 kg may lower your blood pressure. It may also allow you to take less blood pressure medicine. Losing weight may also lower your cholesterol.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Diastolic Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is generally considered a silent disease as it is notorious for not producing many, if any, appreciable symptoms. This is the reason why most medical professionals consider having high blood pressure an asymptomatic disease, having no symptoms.
However, secondary causes of high blood pressure may present with additional presentable symptoms in addition to increases in blood pressure. Hypothyroidism, for example, is characterized by an underactive thyroid gland leading to a decrease in the production of thyroid hormone, and can present with weight gain, intolerance to cold, and feelings of tiredness, in addition to elevations in diastolic blood pressure.
Primary hypertension cases do not have any presenting symptom but instead can lead to long-term health consequences if not treated early in the course of the disease. This is why taking blood pressure measurement on a regular basis is vitally important, as it is the only reliable method for identifying the condition.
It is also important to mention to having blood pressure reach very dangerous levels can lead to the presentation of symptoms that should prompt immediate medical intervention. These symptoms include:
- Renin Inhibitors
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.
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Effects Of Exercise On Blood Pressure
Aerobic activities such as swimming, cycling, and running put additional demands on your cardiovascular system. Your muscles need more oxygen than they do when youre at rest, so you have to breathe more quickly.
Your heart starts to pump harder and faster to circulate blood to deliver oxygen to your muscles. As a result, systolic blood pressure rises.
Its normal for systolic blood pressure to rise to between 160 and 220 mm Hg during exercise. Unless youve cleared it with your doctor, stop exercising if your systolic blood pressure surpasses 200 mm Hg. Beyond 220 mm Hg, your risk of a heart problem increases.
Different factors can influence how your cardiovascular system responds to exercise. Some of these factors include diet, medical conditions, and medications.
For instance, exercise hypertension is a condition that causes an extreme spike in blood pressure during physical activity. People with exercise hypertension can experience spikes in systolic blood pressure up to 250 mm Hg during exercise.
In general, your blood pressure should return to normal within several hours of a workout. Even then, you might notice that your blood pressure doesnt return to exactly what it was before exercise. Thats because its normal for blood pressure to drop slightly within a few hours of exercise.
Decrease Your Salt Intake
Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.
While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, french fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.
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What Can You Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure
Making lifestyle changes can help you to prevent high blood pressure. You can:
- Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra weight.
- Eat heart-healthy foods.
- Eat less salt and salty foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.
Lack Of Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to several health issues, including high blood pressure.
According to the AHA, physical activity can help a person lower their blood pressure. It can also improve their heart health and reduce their weight.
The AHA recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-intense physical activity, such as walking briskly, running, or bicycling.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure
Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about
- Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
- Not smoking
- Managing stress
In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.
Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.
Getting To Know Systolic And Diastolic Blood Pressure
Systolic pressure, or the upper number in your blood pressure measurement, indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats or during the contraction of heart muscles. The normal systolic pressure is 120 mmHg or millimeters of mercury. Anything above 120 up to 139 mmHg is a sign of prehypertension while 140 mmHg and above indicates high blood pressure.
On the other hand, diastolic pressure, or the lower number, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart muscles are relaxed and blood refills your heart or pressure in your arteries in between two heartbeats. The normal reading for diastolic pressure is less than 80 mmHg. If yours went 90 and above, it could mean you have hypertension.
In other words, the optimal blood pressure is 120/80. Anything beyond or below these numbers could indicate heart problems and you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
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What Does Diastolic Hypertension Mean
Having high diastolic blood pressure is a sign that your blood vessels have become less elastic, hardened, and scarred. Blood pressure is not a static reading as it tends to fluctuate throughout the day with the normal rate of diastolic blood pressure ranging between 60 to 80 mmHg.
Having flexible blood vessels allows your body to appropriately manage oscillations in blood pressure. However, when your blood vessels are rigid, the chances of vessel rupture or obstruction is more likely to occur.