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What Happens When Your Blood Pressure Is High

Prevent High Blood Pressure

Breathing for Blood Pressure Control: Watch what happens when I do THIS…

Practice healthy living habits, like being physically active, to help prevent high blood pressure.

By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range. Preventing high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Practice the following healthy living habits:

High Blood Pressure Chart

The chart below shows measures for normal and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .

Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .

Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the top number on a blood pressure reading. Diastolic, which is the lower number, represents the blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats.

Systolic
  • congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma

Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.

Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.

Treatment will depend on several factors, including:

  • how high the blood pressure is
  • the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke

The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.

If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.

How Do Blood Pressure Medicines Work

Blood pressure medicines can work several different ways. Blood pressure medicines can keep blood pressure at a healthy level by1:

  • Causing your body to get rid of water, which decreases the amount of water and salt in your body to a healthy level
  • Relaxing your blood vessels
  • Making your heart beat with less force
  • Blocking nerve activity that can restrict your blood vessels

Talk with your health care team about the best type of treatment for you. You may need to take more than one type of medicine to control your blood pressure. You can also talk to your health care team about how long it should take your blood pressure medicine to work.

It is important to take your blood pressure medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to. Do not stop taking your current medicine without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first. Stopping your blood pressure medicine without first talking to your health care team could lead to serious health consequences.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Resistant Hypertension

You can have hypertension without having any symptoms. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked by a health care provider.

However, symptoms may be felt when blood pressure first rises or during a hypertensive crisis, when levels are extremely high. These symptoms may include headaches, shortness of breath, chest pain and nosebleeds.

Dizziness is usually not a symptom of high blood pressure. In fact, dizziness can sometimes be a symptom of low blood pressure. Frequent or unexplained dizziness may be a warning sign of a serious condition and should be addressed by your physician.

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What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure Before During Or After Pregnancy

How High Blood Affects Your Body

Before Pregnancy

  • Make a plan for pregnancy and talk with your doctor or health care team about the following:
  • Any health problems you have or had and any medicines you are taking. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor.7 Your doctor or health care team can help you find medicines that are safe to take during pregnancy.
  • Ways to keep a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.1,7

During Pregnancy

  • Get early and regular prenatal careexternal icon. Go to every appointment with your doctor or health care professional.
  • Talk to your doctor about any medicines you take and which ones are safe. Do not stop or start taking any type of medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, without first talking with your doctor.7
  • Keep track of your blood pressure at home with a home blood pressure monitorexternal icon. Contact your doctor if your blood pressure is higher than usual or if you have symptoms of preeclampsia. Talk to your doctor or insurance company about getting a home monitor.
  • Continue to choose healthy foods and keep a healthy weight.8

After Pregnancy

  • Pay attention to how you feel after you give birth. If you had high blood pressure during pregnancy, you have a higher risk for stroke and other problems after delivery. Tell your doctor or call 9-1-1 right away if you have symptoms of preeclampsia after delivery. You might need emergency medical care.9,10

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Other Inconclusively Related Symptoms

A variety of symptoms may be indirectly related to, but are not always caused by, high blood pressure, such as:

  • Blood spots in the eyes: Blood spots in the eyes are more common in people with diabetes or high blood pressure, but neither condition causes the blood spots. Floaters in the eyes are also not related to high blood pressure. However, an eye doctor may be able to detect damage to the optic nerve caused by untreated high blood pressure.
  • Facial flushing: Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate. It can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers such as sun exposure, cold weather, spicy foods, wind, hot drinks and skin-care products. Facial flushing can also occur with emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise all of which can raise blood pressure temporarily. While facial flushing may occur while your blood pressure is higher than usual, high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing.
  • Dizziness: While dizziness can be a side effect of some blood pressure medications, it is not caused by high blood pressure. However, dizziness should not be ignored, especially if the onset is sudden. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke.

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

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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Treatment Options For High Blood Pressure

A doctor may diagnose high blood pressure if your blood pressure average readings are consistently high on two or more separate appointments. Some people get white coat hypertension, meaning their blood pressure increases at doctor appointments because of nervousness. Let your doctor know if this is the case for you.

You can record your blood pressure at home over several days. If your results are consistently high, meaning over 120/80, schedule a follow-up appointment.

Medications are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure. These include:

If an underlying medical condition causes hypertension, youll need to treat this condition to maintain a healthy blood pressure. For example, people with sleep apnea tend to develop high blood pressure. Treatment of sleep apnea with a CPAP machine can help to lower your high blood pressure due to sleep apnea. Another example is high blood pressure associated with obesity that improves after weight loss.

What Are Other Ways I Can Lower My Blood Pressure

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In addition to taking medicine to control your blood pressure, you can take other steps to help keep your blood pressure levels healthy.

  • Get regular physical activity. Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity helps keep your heart and blood vessels strong. It also can help you keep a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking damages your blood vessels and greatly increases your risk of not only high blood pressure but also heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Eat healthy foods. Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a healthy weight. Having overweight or obesity means your heart must work harder to pump blood and oxygen around the body. Staying at a healthy weight reduces the stress on your heart and reduces your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

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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:

  • Age
  • 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
  • Inactivity
  • Tobacco and illicit drug use
  • Other

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.

What Is High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.

The diastolic pressure is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury .

As a general guide:

  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
  • ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg

Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.

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Is There Anything I Can Do To Lower My Blood Pressure

If your doctor prescribes medication for your high blood pressure, make sure you take it as directed. Don’t skip or increase a dose or stop taking your medication without checking with your doctor first.

A healthy lifestyle is important for anyone with hypertension. Some tips for a healthy lifestyle include:

  • Stop using products containing nicotine, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff and nicotine-containing gum.
  • Reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Limit your alcohol intake to no more than two standard drinks per day for men, and one drink for women.
  • Spend time on things you enjoy doing and being with people you like being with.
  • Manage the stress in your life by figuring out what situations make you feel stressed and find ways to avoid these situations.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy foods and enjoying physical activity most days of the week. If you’re overweight, losing 8-10 pounds can significantly reduce blood pressure.
  • Choose foods according to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

What Happens When Your Body Continues To Have High Blood ...

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.
Sex
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.

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How To Prevent Sudden High Blood Pressure Problem

In 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States had high blood pressure as primary or contributing cause. Each year, the government spends an estimated $46 billion for workers missed days, health care services, and high blood pressure medications. Talk to your doctor about treatment for high blood pressure medications. In the meantime, there are precautions you can take right now.

1. Avoid Stress

Become involved in hobbies such as painting, exercise, and other physical activities to have a stress outlet and keep fit.

2. Limit Caffeine Intake

Talk with your doctor about your caffeine habits and stick to a plan to limit your daily intake.

3. Quit Smoking

As one of the biggest health risks, smoking can lead to serious heart and lung conditions and death.

4. Eat Healthy Foods

Avoid saturated fats and junk food to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

5. Reduce Sodium in Diet

Added salt and salt found in food products can lead to high blood pressure as it increases the solute content in our blood.

6. Exercise Regularly

A healthy heart, and body, requires regular exercise daily for 20 to 30 minutes.

7. Monitor Vitals

It is important to keep an eye on your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels, especially if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

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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Get To Know Your Numbers

Because there arent any symptoms, its important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Get to know the numbers and when to get help from your doctor.

Your blood pressure will have two numbers:

  • Systolic is the upper number, measuring when your heart is forcing blood through your vessels.
  • Diastolic is the lower number, measuring pressure between heart beats.

For example, 120/80 indicates a systolic blood pressure of 120 and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm/Hg.

Secondary High Blood Pressure

Is high blood pressure bad for my brain?

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.

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What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:

  • coronary heart disease – where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
  • strokes – a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
  • heart attacks – a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked

Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.

Treatment And Lifestyle Changes Can Help Control Your High Blood Pressure To Reduce Your Risk Of Life

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains fruits vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. 2017-05-26 So if your numbers come down from 180130 to 11090 and you stop taking medication especially the beta blockers prescribed to treat hypertension your blood pressure can shoot up to 200180. The top number bottom number or both numbers could indicate that you have high blood pressure.

The added stress on the arteries can speed up the clogging of arteries with fatty plaques atherosclerosis. Over time the force and friction of high blood pressure damages the delicate tissues inside the arteries. 2019-11-13 The following side effects can occur and some of them may persist.

Atherosclerosis contributes to many illnesses such as. 2020-09-30 High blood pressure does not typically cause notable symptoms. The AHA note that the common belief that high blood pressure will cause sweating facial flushing or a feeling of nervousness is a.

But even without symptoms high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and. This is known as an aneurysm. This is called diastolic blood pressure and is also displayed on the results from a public machine.

2020-01-26 left untreated hypertension can lead to serious problems such as.

Pin On Hypertension

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