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What Is A Dangerously High Blood Pressure

Heart Attack And Heart Disease

High Blood Pressure Numbers: Normal vs. Dangerous

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 Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

Your blood pressure is an important indicator of your health. If your BP is too high, it can cause you to feel fatigued, jittery, and generally unwell.

Common signs that you have hypertension include tiredness, light-headedness, tightness in your muscles and feet, slow reaction times, and friction burns on the rug in your apartment.

Symptoms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include

  • Headaches,
  • Sudden weight gain, and puffiness around your face, hands or ankles.

If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed

To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.

If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.

What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.

Read Also: What Is Blood Pressure Supposed To Be

How Can I Control My Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is very common in older people. As we age, our vascular system changes. Arteries get stiffer, so blood pressure goes up. This is true even for people who have heart-healthy habits. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of high blood pressure:

If you have read this article and feel that you might be a risk of high blood pressure, it is important to see the doctor for a check-up and a heart health check.

Danger #3: Kidney Damage

Managing high blood pressure

Our kidneys primary responsibility is filtering waste out of the blood a process that, in itself, requires sturdy blood vessels. High blood pressure can cause all sorts of kidney problems, including:

Aneurysm: When something obstructs a blood vessel, it may lead to a buildup of fluid which forms a bulge, or aneurysm. When the blood vessel wall can no longer contain the fluid thats been building up, it may burst.

Kidney scarring: Scarring of the kidneys is usually the final step before kidney failure. Kidney scarring can occur for a variety of reasons, including disease, drug abuse, HIV, or diabetes. Since scarring occurs in a cluster, the kidney may not be able to filter out waste which may lead to failure.

Kidney failure: When a kidney cannot filter waste from the blood, dangerously high levels of fluid and waste may build up. The organ can only handle so much damage before it fails entirely.

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Rising Numbers Can Be Dangerous

“We view a top number of 180 or more over anything over 120 as a possible sign of a ‘hypertensive crisis,’ and at that point we certainly have to be very concerned,” Dr. Lawrence says.

As Mayo Clinic researchers point out, blood pressure readings at that level threaten the integrity of blood vessels, which can become chronically inflamed. Once that happens, the vessels can start to leak fluid or blood, undermining the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood throughout the body.

The result could very well be a stroke or heart attack. Short of that, in some instances, a person in a state of hypertensive crisis may experience symptoms, including severe chest pain or headache, nausea, shortness of breath or even a seizure, explains Mayo Clinic. However, there’s no guarantee that any noticeable symptoms will arise.

The takeaway: Make blood pressure screenings part of your health care routine. The results can be literally life-saving.

How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure

Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.

In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.

Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.;

Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.

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How High Does Blood Pressure Have To Be To Cause A Stroke Or Heart Attack

This is a frequently asked question. But, the focus is wrong. Malignant Blood Pressure indeed has the potential to do extreme damage.

Any High BP level can bring on strokes and heart attacks as it goes up, so do the risks.

For most people, it is not the sudden, spectacular result that brings catastrophe. Its the day-to-day attrition that brings devastating consequences.

It starts with blood vessel damage that leads to plaque build-up. The build-up leads to heart attacks, kidney disease, strokes, and blindness, just like Malignant Hypertension.

How Common Is High Blood Pressure

Dangerous high blood pressure

According to the World Health Organization , hypertension is the most common cardiovascular disease. It affects about 26% world population and expected to rise 29% by 2025.

Here in the US, it touches the lives of about 1 in 3 people.

90% of people over the age of 55 are at risk for hypertension. When you look at 75 and older people, 84% of women and 75% of men are dealing with the condition.

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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.

When Is High Blood Pressure An Emergency

The term hypertensive crisis is used to describe a quick and severe rise in blood pressure with measurements over 180/120 which can quickly lead to consequences like stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, loss of vision, or respiratory failure.

Unfortunately, some people have very difficult to control high blood pressures despite medication, so we need to consider what is a normal blood pressure for you as we decide what type of hypertensive crisis you are experiencing.

One type of hypertensive crisis is milder and can be treated conservatively as an outpatient. The other is very serious and requires immediate attention to prevent life-threatening complications.

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Danger #2: Brain Damage

The brain requires a steady supply of blood to operate. When this blood supply drops, brain cells may begin to die, leading to potentially life-threatening or debilitating health complications. These complications include:

Transient ischemic attack : A short-term disruption of blood supply thats usually the result of a blood clot. A TIA is a big warning that someone may be headed for a full-on stroke.

Impairment: The brain is responsible for cognitive processing, an energy-intensive task which is dependent on blood-oxygen. When blood supply is disrupted, it can no longer function at standard capacity, thus risking impairment.

Stroke: A stroke is the worst thing that can happen to the brain. At this stage, brain cells are rapidly dying. Without medical intervention, a stroke may lead to disability or death.

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

The Dangers Of Low Blood Pressure

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.

Read more:What Causes High Diastolic Blood Pressure?

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When High Blood Pressure Occurs

Blood pressure thats too high for too long can damage your blood vessels and your heart, and increase your risk of having a stroke.

For this reason, its important to understand what high blood pressure is. It usually develops over time.

It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Being overweight or obese also plays a role.

Can I Die From High Blood Pressure

The short answer is yes. Most often, people die from complications of high blood pressure, such as heart attack and stroke.

However, as you might remember seeing in the earlier table, there is such a thing as a hypertensive crisis, which happens when your blood pressure is dangerously high. Hypertensive crises can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, interactions between legal or illegal drugs, consistently not taking your blood pressure medications, or a condition in pregnant women called eclampsia.

A hypertensive crisis can be classified as urgent or emergent.

  • An urgent hypertensive crisis requires immediate medical attention but does not involve organ damage.

  • An emergent hypertensive crisis is considered an emergency because there has been potentially life-threatening damage to your organs. The likely presence of organ damage is the only difference between hypertensive urgency and emergency.

How quickly a person goes from hypertensive urgency to emergency to death varies based on the individual. So if you ever find that your blood pressure is greater than 180/120 mmHg, call 9-1-1 right away to get medical help as soon as possible.

Dangerous Foods You Should Avoid With High Blood Pressure

10 Dangerous foods you should avoid with high blood pressure: High blood pressure or hypertension is when the blood in the body has to pump blood harder than unusual. That is means puts extra stress on your heart and blood vessel. This extra stress eventually leads to a heart attack or stroke.

The person who suffers from hypertension has many symptoms as fatigue, migraines, and eventually heart failure;High blood pressure is called a silent killer since its existence is so subtle.;

Exercising is a natural way that causes the blood to spike but also helps the body burn off the excess salt and sugar by turning them into energy.

However, not everyone has time to exercise, thats why if you want to prevent getting high blood pressure you must avoid these foods mentioned in the list below.;

1. Salt and sodium

Salt and sodium raise your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure.;

The 2015-2010 Dietary guidelines for American Trusted Source suggests that people with high blood pressure limit their daily sodium intake to just 1,500milligrams . According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American eats about 3,400 mg a day, more than twice that amount. so cut down on the amount of salt in your food by stop consuming processed food and also avoid eating restaurant foods.;

What To Think About

What is more dangerous, high or fluctuating blood pressure?
  • The medicine your doctor chooses may be based on other health problems you have. For example, doctors often prescribe ACE inhibitors for people who have diabetes or heart failure.
  • Some people who get a cough while taking ACE inhibitors do well with ARBs, which usually don’t cause a cough.
  • You may need to avoid some over-the-counter medicines. For example, check with your doctor before you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofenwith high blood pressure medicines. NSAIDs may raise blood pressure and keep your blood pressure medicines from working well. NSAIDs may also interact with your blood pressure medicine and cause kidney problems.
  • Don’t take any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or other natural health products unless you talk to your doctor first. Medicines can interact with each other and keep blood pressure medicines from working right or cause a bad reaction.

Use Of Dangerous Drugs During Pregnancy

Some medications such as include phenytoin, trianterene, trimethoprim, lithium, streptomycin, tetracyclines and varfarin, morphine, amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine and phenothiazines, can increase the risk of risk pregnancies due to their side effects, in addition, some medications manage to pass through the placenta and reach the baby, increasing the risk of complications in their development.

Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure

Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.

What Causes High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

High blood pressure in pregnancy can be caused by many things, and there are many ways to identify and manage the problem.

The most common problem seen in pregnancy is low potassium in the blood. This can potentially lead to problems with the nerves and muscles controlling the heart.

Theres also been some research showing that high cholesterol levels in pregnancy may increase the risk of hypertension,

However, there are some things that cause pregnant women to experience this condition, namely:

  • Genetic factors.
  • Have an impoverished lifestyle or a physical disorder such as an asthma attack or depression.
  • used illegal drugs during your lifetime.
  • Have a family history of high blood pressure or diabetes.

During pregnancy, up to 30 % of women develop high blood pressure. High blood pressure is only found in about eight percent of all pregnant women.

Having it increases the risk of preeclampsia, placental abruption, premature labor, stillbirth, intrauterine growth restriction, and anemia.

How To Lower Your Risk Of Hypertension


Unless your blood pressure is sky-high, guidelines suggest first trying non-medical ways to lower it. These include:

If these measures do not lower blood pressure far enough, or if youve had a heart attack or stroke or are at high risk for one, anti-hypertension medications will be needed. There are many types, so your doctor may try several differentkinds and doses until the right combination for you is found.

Hypertension doesnt often cause symptoms, which is why it is known as the silent killer. This gives some people a false sense of security. They dont understand why they need to make an effort to lower their blood pressure, says Dr. Laffin. Fortunately, patients who adopt these measures usually find their blood pressure drops, and with it, their risk of heart attack and stroke.

This article first appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.

Is High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy Dangerous

Theres no concrete evidence that high blood pressure in pregnancy is dangerous, but its a generally accepted belief that overweight or obesity puts you at risk. And its not just related to weight.

Studies have shown that overweight babies are more likely to develop problems with the circulatory system at birth, and overweight adults are more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases during the course of their lives. That said, having a low-risk lifestyle doesnt mean youll never experience health issues

British Columbia Specific Information

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. This damage can cause a heart attack, stroke or other health problems. Your blood pressure reading is based on two measurements called systolic and diastolic. The systolic and diastolic are written as a ratio, for example . A reading of more than 140/90 mmHg taken at your healthcare providers office may indicate high blood pressure. This figure is different for people with diabetes whose blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. People suffering from other illnesses will have different target normal values. For more information on hypertension, visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Hypertension Canada.

Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health. For information on healthy eating for lowering your blood pressure, see:

How Can I Lower Or Prevent High Blood Pressure

If you dont have high blood pressure yet, managing your blood pressure is the best way to avoid dying from it. Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Get physically active. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

  • Change your eating and drinking habits. Try to minimize sodium and caffeine intake. If you need help following a low-sodium, blood pressure-friendly diet, try out the DASH diet.

  • Lose weight. Losing as little as 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure. The effect on blood pressure will be most significant for people who are overweight or obese.

  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. Drinking more than this amount can raise your blood pressure and cause weight gain.

  • Get your blood pressure checked at least yearly. Keep your regular doctors appointments, so you and your doctor can keep track of how your blood pressure is doing.

If you already have high blood pressure, continue to:

  • Exercise regularly and eat a low-sodium diet, like the DASH diet.

  • Check your blood pressure at home.

  • Take any medications youve been prescribed exactly as instructed by your doctor.


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