What Considered Dangerous Hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is difficult to diagnose without regular checkups. For this reason, people call it as the silent killer.
Check the range of healthy blood pressure and learn more about what puts you at risk for hypertension to prevent life-threatening issues. If this disease happened to you, read on to learn about hypertensive crisis and how a medical ID bracelet can save your life.
Primary High Blood Pressure
While the specific cause of primary high blood pressure remains unknown, there is compelling evidence to suggest that a number of risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition.
These risk factors include:
- age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
- a family history of high blood pressure – the condition seems to run in families
- being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
- high-fat diet
- high amount of salt in your diet
- lack of exercise
- excessive alcohol consumption
A number of health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, have also been linked to an increase risk of developing primary high blood pressure.
Diuretics Get Rid Of Extra Water
Also called water pills, they’re often the first choice if diet and exercise changes aren’t enough. They help your body shed excess sodium and water to lower blood pressure. That means you’ll pee more often. Some diuretics may lower the amount of potassium in your body. You might notice more muscle weakness, leg cramps, and fatigue. Others can boost blood sugar in people with diabetes. Erectile dysfunction is a less common side effect.
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Calcium Channel Blockers Slow The Beat
Calcium causes stronger heart contractions. These medications slow its movement into the cells of your heart and blood vessels. That eases your heartbeat and relaxes your blood vessels. These meds can cause dizziness, heart palpitations, swollen ankles, and constipation. Take them with food or milk. Avoid grapefruit juice and alcohol because of possible interactions.
Were You Diagnosed With Hypertension
People who suffer from hypertension know how important it is to receive the proper care for their condition.
Wearing a medical ID bracelet can greatly aid you in emergency situations when you need all the help you can get.
In the case of emergency, hospital workers will know that your hypertension is a chronic issue. Then it may not be related to whatever other trauma your body has experienced, giving them precious time.
In other instances, medical workers can quickly diagnose your emergency if it is actually related to your high blood pressure.
If you are unable to communicate, a medical ID band can save your life by making sure you receive proper care. Don’t just take it from us- read our customer testimonials!
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Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues
High blood pressure can be the first indication of a serious underlying condition. When a patient comes in with high blood pressure, doctors will check their urine and kidney function do an electrocardiogram to check the size of the heart and look for lung changes.
Stress on the blood vessels makes people with hypertension more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms. Correspondingly, chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.
In some women, pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to preeclampsia. Postpartum blood pressure typically goes back to normal levels within six weeks. However, some women who have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy may be more likely to develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases as they age.
Some of these medical issues can also cause spikes in high blood pressure .
What Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure
There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure.
- Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
- Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
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Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important
Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.
Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.
For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.
What Is The Normal Blood Pressure Range
Its normal for the average adults blood pressure levels to fluctuate throughout the day based on what theyre eating, how stressed they are, and whether theyre exercising. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers: systolic and diastolic . Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in arteries when the heart beats, and diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in arteries when the heart rests in between beats. Heres a blood pressure chart from the American Heart Association to help you better understand blood pressure measurements:
Most peoples blood pressure will be somewhere below 120/80 mmHg and above 90/60 mmHg. A blood pressure reading that shows numbers outside this range may indicate that someone has high blood pressure or low blood pressure . When it comes to blood pressure numbers, both systolic and diastolic pressure are important. Still, systolic blood pressure is given more attention because having high systolic pressure may be associated with an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
As people age, their risk of getting high blood pressure goes up. Adults 19-40 years old will have blood pressure levels that fluctuate between 90-135/60-80 mmHg. Latest hypertension guideline from 2017 labels these younger individuals as hypertensive if the systolic blood pressure is 130-139 or diastolic blood pressure is between 80-89, however the treatment would depend on their calculated risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Danger #: Heart Attack Or Heart Disease
High blood pressure damages the body if left unchecked. Remember that the health of blood vessels is vital for every part of the body, including organs, to receive the blood-oxygen it needs to function. Hypertension raises the risk of various heart-related diseases and disorders, including:
Coronary artery disease: This disorder affects the arteries responsible for supplying blood to the heart. CAD causes the narrowing of these arteries, cutting off needed blood-oxygen. CAD may lead to heart attack, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat.
Heart failure: The strain that hypertension places on the heart will cause it to weaken. Eventually, the heart may not be able to sustain the extra work required of it, which may lead to heart failure.
What Is Hypertensive Crisis
There are two kinds of hypertensive crises: Urgent and Emergency.
Once your systolic blood pressure is over 180 and your diastolic blood pressure is over 120, you are in Hypertensive Crisis. For someone with regular hypertension, this may be a short term elevation, so you test again after a few minutes to be sure.
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The Best Emergency Treatment For High Blood Pressure At Home Is Prevention
High blood pressure is common for people in their 60s and 70s. For the most part, high blood pressure comes with no symptoms attached. You may have to limit your morning cups of coffee, but beyond that, you can have high blood pressure and rarely notice it.
The complications of high blood pressure come when your blood pressure raises to dangerous levels, known as a hypertensive crisis. To prepare for this scenario, you should know the warning signs and know when to call 911.
The best at-home treatment for high blood pressure is always preventative treatment. Monitor your levels daily, keep an accessible log of all medications, and stay on top of exercise.
Lastly, install the Snug App on your phone so you can check in daily, ensuring your loved ones that youre looked after. If you miss a check-in, well alert your loved ones for you. That way, they can check up on you in case you need help.
Protecting Your Cardiovascular Health
The good news is that your doctor can identify high blood pressure with regular checks. If found, it can be successfully treated using a combination of medication and heart-healthy lifestyle changesor sometimes, lifestyle changes alone.
Making small changes to your habits, such as eating a lower sodium diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking can lower your blood pressure by 10-20 mmHg or more. And, if your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, it is important that you take it as directed.
Taking high blood pressure seriously and following your doctors treatment instructions can lower your risks of serious complications and make a big difference in your overall health.
If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or think you might be at risk, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider today.
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The Keys To Blood Pressure Health
A balanced diet, physical activity, and a proactive approach to your health can effectively prevent hypertension. Lets get a bit more specific.
Maintain a healthy weight
Your weight may be the most crucial factor in determining whether or not hypertension becomes a chronic issue. Losing even five to ten pounds can help prevent hypertension.
Eat right and exercise
While this advice may sound a bit monotonous, it is nonetheless accurate: eating a healthy and balanced diet is critical, not only to overall health but blood pressure health.
Get your BP checked
Since doctors visits cost an arm and a leg, if your BP is a concern to you, think about purchasing a blood pressure machine. By comparison, these portable machines are very affordable. Check if your BP is in the range of 120-129/80-89. If your readouts are higher than average, you may want to consult your healthcare provider.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is defined as the amount of pressure that is exerted on the artery walls as blood moves through them. It is measured in millimetres of mercury, or mmHg.
A more detailed explanation is provided below.
Two measurements are used to measure blood pressure:
- Systolic pressure – the measure of blood pressure exerted when your heart beats and forces blood around your body.
- Diastolic pressure – the measure of blood pressure when your heart is resting in between beats.
Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are measured in millimetres of mercury .
The figures are usually represented with the systolic pressure first, followed by the diastolic pressure. Therefore, if your GP says that your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’, or 120/80mmHg, they mean that you have a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg.
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Living With High Blood Pressure
Controlling your high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake. If you need medicine to control your high blood pressure, you will likely need it all your life.
Additionally, you will need to get used to regular blood pressure checks. Your doctor may want you to come to the office regularly. Or you may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Some pharmacies and retail clinics have blood pressure machines on site. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. Another option is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
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:
- diuretics to remove excess sodium and water from your body
- beta-blockers to help control heart rate and relax blood vessels
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin ll receptor blockers to block certain substances that tighten blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers to relax muscles around your blood vessels and slow your heart rate
- alpha 1 blockers to block substances that tighten your blood vessels
- vasodilators to help relax muscles in the walls of the arteries
- alpha 2 agonists to relax your blood vessels
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.
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
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Arbs Keep The Flow Going
Instead of lowering your supply of angiotensin II, these drugs block receptors for angiotensin. It’s like placing a shield over a lock. This blockade prevents the chemical’s artery-tightening effects and lowers your blood pressure. ARBs can take several weeks to become fully effective. Possible side effects include dizziness, muscle cramps, insomnia, and high potassium levels. Donât get pregnant while taking this medication.
What To Do For Hypertensive Urgency
With hypertensive urgency, there may be few signs . If your blood pressure reading is high, but you’re experiencing no other symptoms, follow these steps:
Wait: Wait five minutes.
Monitor: Take your blood pressure reading again.
Check for symptoms: Ask yourself if you’re showing any symptoms of hypertensive emergency, including chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, back pain, or difficulty speaking.
Schedule a doctor appointment: If you still show no symptoms, and you have no other risk factors, like congestive heart failure or chronic kidney disease, this is hypertensive urgency. You should speak to your healthcare provider about whether you need any changes in medications at a follow-up appointment, but hospitalization is rarely necessary.
During a hypertensive urgency, there is no evidence of possible organ damage, such as pulmonary edema or cardiac ischemia . Therefore, hospitalization is not necessary, and, according to some doctors, not recommended. Trying to rapidly lower blood pressure can be dangerous, and admitting someone to the ICU can cause unwanted medical bills.
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High Blood Pressure In Pregnant Women
High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy. Readings higher than 140 systolic or 90 diastolic is considered high. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. About 8 percent of women develop some form of hypertension while pregnant, says the .
There are two main categories of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
- Chronic hypertension:This is when blood pressure is high before a woman becomes pregnant or when high blood pressure develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: These types of high blood pressure problems are specific to pregnant women and typically develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These types of problems typically disappear after a woman gives birth.
Your doctor may prescribe medications if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Upmc Central Pa Portal
UPMC Central Pa. Portal provides patients across the central Pennsylvania region with secure access to their health information. It is the fastest way to send a message to your doctor, refill prescriptions, get test results, and schedule and manage appointments, including video visits.
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