How Can You Reduce Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure
Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. These include the following:
- Eat right: A healthy diet is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since its rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.
- Keep a healthy weight: Going hand-in-hand with a proper diet is keeping a healthy weight. Since being overweight increases your blood pressure, losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower your blood pressure to healthier levels.
- Cut down on salt: The recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day . To prevent hypertension, you should keep your salt intake below this level. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food do not add salt at the table.
- Keep active: Even simple physical activities, such as walking, can lower your blood pressure .
- Drinkalcoholin moderation: Having more than one drink a day and two drinks a day can raise blood pressure.
Is It Bad If Blood Pressure Goes Up And Down
Blood pressure should be basically stable. If it regularly changes from very high to very low, a person can experience a range of complications. It is normal for blood pressure to vary slightly throughout the day, but blood pressure that fluctuates from one extreme to the other should be monitored and managed.
First Why Is Your Blood Pressure High
Its natural to experience short-term spikes in blood pressure, like during exercise or after a cup of coffee. But over time, if your heart consistently pumps out more blood than usual or your blood vessels become stiffer, your blood pressure can stay high, which may lead to hypertension. Many things can cause this to happen, including eating too much salt, being overweight, or even taking certain medications that can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.
You might know that a blood pressure reading has two numbers . The American Heart Association describes normal blood pressure as a first number of 120 or less and a second number of 80 or less.
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When The Cause Of High Blood Pressure Is Unknown Doctors Call It Essential High Blood Pressure They May Also Call It Primary High Blood Pressure According To The American Heart Association In 90% To 95% Of The Cases Of High Blood Pressure The Underlying Cause Isn’t Known See What Causes Essential Or Primary High Blood Pressure
When the cause of high blood pressure is unknown, doctors call it essential high blood pressure. They may also call it primary high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, in 90% to 95% of the cases of high blood pressure, the underlying cause isn’t known. See What causes essential, or primary, high blood pressure?
When high blood pressure is due to recognizable causes that may be treated or reversed, doctors call it secondary high blood pressure. See What causes secondary high blood pressure? to learn more. Often, if your underlying problem is treated, your blood pressure will return to normal.
Your doctor will evaluate your blood pressure readings that same way whether you have primary or secondary high blood pressure. See What do the numbers mean? to learn more.
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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Can Dehydration Cause Low Bp
Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in.
What Questions Should I Ask My Provider
- Are there supplements or non-prescription medicines that I shouldnt take?
- Can I keep taking these medicines if I get pregnant?
- What kinds of exercise should I do?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you dont treat high blood pressure, it can put you at risk for developing serious illnesses later in life such as heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. But if you follow your providers instructions, you can control your blood pressure. Be sure to take any medicines your provider ordered as instructed. Keep taking them even if your blood pressure numbers begin to fall into the normal range. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, watching your weight and getting regular exercise is also a great way to help control your blood pressure.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.
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Chronic Pain And High Blood Pressure
Acute pain that does not go away will become chronic. It can last weeks, months, or even years. This type of pain is associated with a sprain, infection, or an ongoing medical condition. Chronic pain may also occur without any past injury or body damage.
When pain is chronic the nervous system is always working to try to fix it. Over time the nervous system will lose its ability to regulate blood pressure. This is why high blood pressure is often associated with chronic pain.
One study showed people with persistent low back pain for more than two years had higher resting blood pressure levels than those with no pain.
Herbal Supplements That Can Raise Blood Pressure
Its always important to tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking dietary supplements or herbal remedies. However, because the research on these products is so limited, your healthcare provider may not be able to tell you much about how safe or effective they are. Still, we know that certain ones can cause high blood pressure or interact dangerously with blood pressure medications, including:
If you already have hypertension, its best to avoid using any herbal products because we dont yet know how most of them affect the heart. Also, if you notice your blood pressure going up after starting an herbal medication, stop taking it and talk to your doctor.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer. It is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Some people experience headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath with high blood pressure. However, those symptoms can mimic many other things . Usually, these symptoms occur once blood pressure has reached a dangerously high level over a period of time.
Medications That Can Cause High Blood Pressure
Below are 10 common medications that can cause high blood pressure or make hypertension worse. If you use these medications for just a short time, their effects on blood pressure usually happen only when you are taking them, meaning that your high blood pressure will go back to normal after you stop taking them. However, if you take them for years, their blood pressure effects can lead to chronic hypertension.
With some of these medications , it may be more dangerous to stop the medicine than to manage their high blood pressure side effects separately. This is where its up to your doctor to weigh the pros and cons and decide if the medicine is right for you.
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What If Lifestyle Changes Dont Help Lower My Blood Pressure
If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes dont work to lower your blood pressure, your healthcare provider will prescribe medications to help lower your blood pressure. Your provider will take into account other conditions you may have, such as heart or kidney disease and other drugs youre taking when prescribing medications to treat your high blood pressure. Be sure to follow your providers dosing directions exactly.
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.
How To Take Your Own Blood Pressure Effectively
When taking your own blood pressure, its important to take it the right way to get accurate results. When and how you take your own BP can affect your results. Blood-pressure monitoring tips include:
- Take it easy before taking your BP. Rest for at least five minutes before your first measurement. Dont smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise for 30 minutes before taking your BP. Dont talk while taking your BP.
- Take your BP with an empty bladder.
- Sit correctly. Sit with your back straight and well-supported make sure not to cross your legs and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Position your arm correctly. Keep your upper arm at heart level. The way to do this will be a little different depending on whether youre using a wrist or upper-arm monitor, so follow the instructions for your device. Dont place blood pressure cuffs over your sleeves
- Measure at the same time every day. Many doctors will recommend taking your BP in the morning and evening. Dont take your BP right after you wake up.
- Take more than one reading and track your results. Take two or three readings about one minute apart. Some OMRON devices do this automatically and then give you an average of your readings. Take your monitor with you to doctor appointments. Some monitors called, wireless or connected, will allow you to store, track and share your results with your doctor from your mobile device.
Is It Normal For Blood Pressure To Fluctuate
It’s normal for blood pressure to vary somewhat throughout the day. Stress, exercise, and sleep can all make a difference. But if your blood pressure often changes significantly from one healthcare visit to another, there may a problem.
Studies have found that visit-to-visit changes in blood pressure are sometimes linked to a higher risk of heart disease and early death.
This article explains why your blood pressure numbers may be high sometimes and normal other times. It also offers advice about when to see a healthcare provider.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
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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.
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.
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How Is It Diagnosed
Because it is such a common problem, blood pressure is checked at most healthcare visits. High blood pressure is usually discovered during one of these visits. If your blood pressure is high, you will be asked to return for follow-up checks. If repeated checks of your blood pressure show that it is higher than 140/90, you have hypertension.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your life situation, what you eat and drink, and if high blood pressure runs in your family. You may have urine and blood tests. Your provider may order a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram . You may be asked to use a portable blood-pressure measuring device, which will take your pressure at different times during day and night. All of this testing is done to look for a possible cause of your high blood pressure.
Is High Blood Pressure A High Risk For Corona Virus
Growing data shows a higher risk of COVID-19 infections and complications in people with high blood pressure. Analysis of early data from both China and the U.S. shows that high blood pressure is the most commonly shared pre-existing condition among those hospitalized, affecting between 30% to 50% of the patients.
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Can High Blood Pressure Be Prevented Or Avoided
If your high blood pressure is caused by lifestyle factors, you can take steps to reduce your risk:
- Lose weight.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Learn relaxation methods.
If your high blood pressure is caused by disease or the medicine you take, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Additionally, treating any underlying disease can help reduce your high blood pressure.
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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Heart Attack And Heart Disease
High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.
What Can I Do If I Find Out My Blood Pressure Is Dangerously High
Normally, high blood pressure, sometimes called the silent killer, has few symptoms. But sometimes, a patient may be prompted to check their blood pressure because of troubling symptoms like headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and loss of balance. These may be signs of dangerously high blood pressure, also known as a hypertensive crisiswhen your first blood pressure number is greater than 180 or your second number is greater than 120.
In this scenario, do NOT try to lower your blood pressure on your own. A hypertensive crisis is an emergency situation that can end in death, so someone nearby should call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency personnel will begin the process of lowering your blood pressure in the ambulance while on the way to the hospital. Even then, they will follow guidelines on how quickly they can safely lower your blood pressure and will monitor your blood pressure closely.
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How Your Blood Pressure And Circulatory System Work
In order to survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood that your circulatory system carries throughout the body. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries. This pressure blood pressure is the result of two forces: The first force occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force is created as the heart rests between heart beats.