Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
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.
Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.
Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .
Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.
Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.
You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.
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SafeBeat Initiative: Understanding The Highs And Lows Of . If your blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels , there is the risk that it will cause damage to the organs. Blood might leak from them. When pressure is dangerously high, your organs won’t get the blood they need to function properly. When your blood pressure is too high, the arteries can become inflamed.
Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Here are the most common symptoms of hypotension which routinely occur upon standing:
- Cold and sweaty skin
- Quick and shallow breathing
Sudden drops in blood pressure can cause any of these symptoms. Extreme drops in blood pressure can cause your body to go into shock. Chronically low blood pressure can be dangerous because the body wont get enough oxygen to the heart and brain, which may cause permanent damage. Regularly checking your blood pressure with a home blood pressure monitor is essential.
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Variations In Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure changes to meet your bodys needs. If a reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level.
Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a monitoring device.
Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks
One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.
When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.
âThatâs important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,â says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.
Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. âEvery person has to be evaluated as an individual,â she says. âRealistically, we canât get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.â
It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.
And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.
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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.
What Is A Dangerous Blood Sugar Reading And What Should You Do About It
How high is high and how low is low find out so that next time you know how to handle an emergency.
Your blood sugar levels dont stay constant throughout the day. They vary, rising and falling before and after you have a meal, exercise, or take your medication. People who do not have diabetes dont feel the difference very much, as their variations remain within a certain range. But if you have diabetes, you may unexpectedly experience blood glucose levels that are acutely higher or lower than usual, which can be dangerous.It is important for you to be able to recognise the symptoms of high blood sugar hyperglycaemia, and low blood sugar hypoglycaemia, and know how to treat them quickly before they can lead to disastrous complications. The best way to do this is to frequently self-monitor blood glucose levels with a glucometer.
According to Dr Ketan K Mehta, Consulting Physician, CardioPulmonologist & Diabetologist at Health Harmony, Mumbai, Blood sugar levels are a marker of diabetes complications. Too high or too low levels of blood sugar values are detrimental. An important aspect of managing diabetes is self-monitoring of blood sugar levels. But do more than only monitoring blood sugar levels. Go the extra mile and use smartphone app-based programmes to keep track of your blood sugar levels and learn to get them under control by managing your diet, activity levels and weight.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure also known as hypertension is a disease in which blood flows through blood vessels at a higher than normal pressure.
Blood pressure is measured with two numbers. The first, or top number, is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats, called the systolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the higher of the two numbers. The second, or bottom number, measures the force of blood in your arteries while your heart is relaxed between beats. The bottom number is the lower of the two and is called the diastolic pressure.
Normal pressure is 120/80 or lower. Your blood pressure is considered high if it reads 130/80. Stage 2 high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If you get a blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher more than once, seek medical treatment right away. A reading this high is considered hypertensive crisis.
Readings between 120/80 and 129/89 are considered pre-hypertension. People with pre-hypertension do not have blood pressure as low as it should be but are not yet considered to have high blood pressure.
If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
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Health For Thought High/low Blood Pressure Is Bad For
HEALTH FOR THOUGHT High/Low Blood Pressure is BAD for . Blood might leak from them. If your blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels , there is the risk that it will cause damage to the organs. When pressure is dangerously high, your organs won’t get the blood they need to function properly. When your blood pressure is too high, the arteries can become inflamed.
Even more risky is stage 2, which is when a reading is between 140 and 180 over 90 to 120.
Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure
Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.
Measuring Your Blood Pressure At Home
You can also diagnose yourself with hypertension by measuring your blood pressure at home. If readings are high over two visits at the doctors office, and if your blood pressure is higher than 135/85 mmHg when properly measured at home, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made. This requires you to measure your blood pressure twice a day, in the morning and evening, for one week. Pay no attention to the measurements from the first day. Measuring blood pressure at home requires accurate equipment and proper measuring techniques. Measure the blood pressure of others in your house their blood pressure may also be high.
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How To Bring Down The Blood Sugar Level Quickly
When level of blood sugar is dangerous, you need to bring it down quickly, to avoid further complications. When trying to lower down the sugar level quickly, be very careful, as the level can drop down too low, which can also be dangerous. Extremely low blood sugar levels is termed as hypoglycemia, which is equally common in diabetics. Hence, maintaining the blood sugar levels within the normal range is essential.
Few ways to bring down the level of blood sugar quickly include,
- Drink lot of water: Excess water dilutes the blood sugar and help to pass it out through urine. This way the sugar level drops down.
- If suffering from kidney or heart problem avoid this solution and follow medical advice.
- Exercise: Vigorous exercise increases heart rate. Increased heart rate for more than 15 minutes can increase the insulin response. This can help to bring down the level of blood sugar quickly.
- High protein snack: Protein helps in stabilizing the sugar level. Always check the high protein snack is not high in sugar level. Cheese and almond can be a good option.
- Insulin administration: Insulin helps in lowering down the sugar level quickly. Therefore a doctors advised dose can be taken. Never miss checking the sugar level after insulin administration, to prevent hypoglycemia.
All the above solutions prove to be very helpful to quickly bring down the sugar level. Always keep a handy snack when trying these tips to help, in case the sugar level dips too low.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat High Blood Pressure
Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered first line when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line, pressure-lowering medications are:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the production of the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels dont narrow. Examples: lisinopril , enalapril or captopril.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing. Examples: metoprolol , valsartan or losartan.
- Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine , nifedipine , diltiazem .
- Diuretics flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill. Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide or chlorothiazide.
What Are Normal Blood Pressure Levels
Blood pressure is the force of blood against blood vessel walls as the blood moves through the circulatory system. Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day and varies depending on our activity. It is important to know what your blood pressure runs, as abnormally high or low blood pressure could indicate underlying health conditions. Lets take an in-depth look at blood pressure levels to understand what it means if your blood pressure is high or low.
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Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
High Blood Pressure Readings
Stage one high blood pressure readings are those whose systolic pressure falls between 140 and 159 and/or whose diastolic pressure falls between 90 and 99. In other words, a reading of 145/95 would be considered to be within the stage one high blood pressure range.
- Stage one high blood pressure readings are those whose systolic pressure falls between 140 and 159 and/or whose diastolic pressure falls between 90 and 99.
- In other words, a reading of 145/95 would be considered to be within the stage one high blood pressure range.
Stage two high blood pressure is considered to be within a dangerous blood pressure range. In that case, the systolic pressure would be over 160 and/or the diastolic pressure would be over 100. A reading of 170/105, for instance, would be considered stage two high blood pressure and is classified as a dangerous blood pressure level.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
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 â 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.
|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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Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
The AHA explains that blood pressure is essentially the amount of force exerted by blood as it pushes up against blood vessel walls. Blood pressure is deemed to be “high” when the force of that push is higher than it should safely be.
The problem is that high blood pressure also known as hypertension is often symptomless. Many people don’t even know they have it until a cardiac emergency, such as a heart attack, strikes. Prevention by means of routine blood pressure screenings is key.
A blood pressure reading is delivered as a ratio of a top number and a bottom number . Both numbers are expressed as millimeters of mercury. The top number references blood pressure when the heart is beating, and the bottom number refers to the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.