Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Teens
Typically, high blood pressure may not have warning signs or symptoms, which is why its called ‘the silent killer.’ It is estimated that 46% of adults³ with high blood pressure are unaware of their condition. The only way to know for sure you have high blood pressure is by having your blood pressure measured. This is easy and completely painless, and you can do it yourself at home or have a health practitioner measure it for you.
Like most diseases, if high blood pressure is detected early, it’s easier to prevent its advancement into severe medical conditions that could lead to death.
Although many people wont experience any signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, some individuals may do so, and these can include:
Early morning headaches
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure In Teenagers
Most symptoms of hypotension may be recurrent but dont usually last for a long time. Watch out for the following symptoms, and consult a doctor if they persist :
- Blurred vision or black out
- Standing in an upright posture for a long time and in a warm environment like a hot bath
- Severe iron deficiency anemia
- Drinking alcohol
- Prolonged bed rest
If your childs doctor diagnoses hypotension due to the factors mentioned above, then it may be addressed with certain lifestyle changes.
However, there are a few uncommon causes for hypotension in children, which might indicate an underlying medical condition.
- Hypovolemia due to excess use of diuretics, vasodilators)
- Addisons disease
- Heart diseases and changes in heart rhythm
Heart Rate Vs Blood Pressure
Blood pressure measures the force that moves blood through your blood vessels while your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. They are both important health indicators, but they are measured independently and dont necessarily increase or decrease synchronously.
A temporary increase in heart rate, such as during exercise, is not considered problematic. In fact, your heart is expected to rise during a bout of activity and return to its resting rate afterward. And the more intense you work, the more you should expect your heart rate to rise during exercise. Your heart rate can safely double during activity so long as it returns to its resting rate relatively soon after you finish your workout.
Significant increases in blood pressure, on the other hand, are not normal and should be monitored and shared with your health care provider.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Your child’s doctor may note an elevated blood pressure reading during a routine office visit. Obtaining calm, resting blood pressures on several different occasions will provide better information about whether the blood pressure elevation is consistent or due to fear or stress.
Your child’s doctor will obtain a medical history, including information about your child’s diet, exercise level, home and school activities, and possible stressors. A physical examination may also be performed.
Diagnostic tests may help determine if your child’s high blood pressure is related to an illness, or is “essential” or “primary” hypertension, meaning it has no known cause. Diagnostic procedures may include:
Other tests may be needed to evaluate the health of other organs which may contribute to hypertension.
How High Does Blood Pressure Have To Be To Need Medication
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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or a hormone problem, treating the condition might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.
Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:
Eat a healthy diet:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
- Limit salt.
- Avoid alcohol.
Get regular exercise:
- Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 35 times a week. Teens with severe hypertension should check with the doctor to see which sports and activities are safe. Some like weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training might not be allowed until their blood pressure is better controlled.
Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:
- People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.
If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.
How High Blood Pressure Is Diagnosed In Teens
To diagnose hypertension in teenagers, blood pressure has to be measured multiple times over a period of 2-4 weeks. Hypertension is not diagnosed on the basis of a single reading unless it is accompanied by symptoms or is an extremely high reading.
Since the normal blood pressure varies with the age, gender and height in children and adolescents, the diagnosis of hypertension in teens are different with that of adults.
As per the criteria that is currently accepted :
Prehypertension in children refers to that average SBP and/or DBP is equal or greater than the 90th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile.
Hypertension refers to average SBP and/or DBP is higher than or equal to the 95th percentile for age, sex and height on 3 or more occasions.
Adolescents who have BP levels higher than or equal to 120/80 mmHg should be categorized as prehypertensive.
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What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure readings are composed of two numbersfor example, 120/80 mm Hg. Both numbers are an important part of your blood pressure reading.
The top number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures the pressure in your arteries between each heart beat.
The standard unit of measure, mm Hg, stands for “millimeters of mercury.” Mercury pressure gauges have been replaced with electronic pressure gauges, but the abbreviation is still used.
Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Specific treatment for high blood pressure will be determined by your child’s doctor based on:
Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your child’s tolerance to specific medications, procedures, or treatments
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
If a secondary cause has been found, such as kidney disease, the underlying disease will be treated. If no cause has been determined, the first treatment approach is lifestyle therapy, including the following:
Increasing physical activity
These interventions can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, improve the strength of the heart, and lower blood cholesterol. These are all important steps in preventing heart disease as an adult.
Medications to control high blood pressure are only needed in about 1 percent of children with the disorder. Consult your child’s doctor for more information.
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Low Blood Pressure In A Teenage Girl
Sometimes, teenage girls tend to have hypotension and episodes of unconsciousness during menstruation. This could be triggered due to pain or heavy bleeding during menstruation, or due to vasovagal syncope.
Vasovagal syncope is a reflex disorder that leads to transient loss of consciousness. This is characterized by symptoms, such as acute visual disturbance, auditory disturbance, cognitive slowing, followed by hypotension with lightheadedness and loss of consciousness. However, studies found that the severity of lightheadedness changes during the menstrual cycle and was found to be similar in both VVS patients and healthy individuals.
Also, VVS patients were not found to have any greater risk of gynecological abnormalities and pregnancy complications when compared to otherwise healthy individuals. .
A few changes in lifestyle, such as taking adequate fluids and salts plus moderate exercise, can help manage this condition. However, if your teenager is having frequent episodes of lightheadedness during her periods, then it is best to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist.
Observe the symptoms to know if everything is alright with the child. The next section talks about diagnostic methods for low blood pressure in children.
Study Finds Many Young People Have High Blood Pressure
CDC analyzed data from more than 12,000 participants ages 12 to 19 who responded to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2016. CDC used these data to find out how the 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guideline affects hypertension trends in youth over time.
Using the new guidelines criteria, CDC found that more than 1 in 7 U.S. youth ages 12 to 19 had high blood pressure or elevated blood pressure during 2013 to 2016.
Ask your doctor to measure your childs blood pressure starting at age 3.
Key findings from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report include:
Read the 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guidelineexternal icon for Screening and Management of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.
Listen to a CDC podcast about hypertension among youth.
An estimated 1.3 million youth ages 12 to 19 would have high blood pressure according to the new guidelines, or about 1 in 25 children. In a classroom of 30 youth, 1 person would have hypertension, and about 3 more would have elevated blood pressure.
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What Is High Blood Pressure For A 17 Year Old
A blood pressure level of 140/90 mmHg or higher is considered high. If blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg, its called prehypertension, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Md.
Is 140 over 84 blood pressure okay?
If your blood pressure is consistently lower than 90/60, you have low blood pressure. Blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 is still considered normal. However, most doctors will recommend lifestyle changes if you are in that range. Above 140/90 is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Is 134 over 86 a good blood pressure?
A Look At The Guidelines Under the current guidelines: Normal: Less than 120/80. Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80. Stage 1 hypertension: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89.
Normal Blood Pressure For Teen Boys
Normal blood pressure in adolescents is defined as less than the 90th blood pressure percentile, as outlined in the most recent practice recommendations published in the August 2004 issue of “Pediatrics.” Understanding the normal range for a specific teen requires applying the teens age and height percentage from the standard growth charts to the blood pressure chart. For example, a normal blood pressure for a 13-year-old boy, whose height falls in the 50th percentile, is below 122/77. A normal blood pressure for a 17-year-old boy who falls on the 90th percentile for height is below 135/84.
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What Can Parents Do
Ask your doctor to measure your childs blood pressure starting at age 3. Helping children keep a healthy weight, eat nutritious foods, and get regular physical activity can lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. Try these tips to help your child keep a healthy weight and normal blood pressure:
Food and Drinks
- Offer nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetablesexternal icon in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats. Try serving more fruits and vegetables at meals and as snacks.
- Provide foods that are low in sodium . Sodium raises blood pressure. Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. children eat more sodium than is recommended. Learn more about sodium.
- Make sure water is always available as a no-calorie alternative to sugary drinks, and limit juice.
- Help your child get the recommended amount of physical activity each day. Choose from many age-appropriate activities.
- Be aware of your childs growth. Learn how obesity is measured in children, and use CDCs Child and Teen BMI Calculator to screen your child for potential weight issues.
- Be a role model! Eat healthy meals and snacks, and get the right amount of physical activity every day.
- Help shape a healthy school environment using CDCs Parents for Healthy Schools resources.
Is A Blood Pressure Range Reading Always The Same
There was blood pressure for teenage boys an average blood pressure of 123.9/65.9 mmHg was found, while for teenage girls, the average was 117.6/70.9 mmHg. In cases with blood pressure readings over the 90% fractile, repeated measurements are recommended. Healthy blood pressure can be affected by many factors, including the following:
- The time of day. Healthy blood pressures vary during waking times and are more profound as we sleep.
- Real activity. Healthy blood pressure usually is more important during and shortly after exercise and lower at ease.
- Emotional states. Emotions such as fear, anger, or happiness can change the normal blood pressure rate.
- Stress. Natural or emotional stress can raise normal blood pressure rates.
- Your childs age, height, weight, and gender. Normal blood pressure level changes for every child.
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Side Effects Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may not be discussed as often as high blood pressure, but it should be addressed, as prolonged low blood pressure can negatively affect your organs.
A certain amount of blood pressure is needed to maintain blood flow to the organs, says Dr. Wong. The blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to these organs. If the blood pressure is too low, an adequate blood supply cannot get to these organs.
If left untreated, low blood pressure can increase your risk of fainting, heart attack and organ damage, adds Dr. Desai.
Average Blood Pressure By Age
As you get older, your blood vessels tend to become stiffer and plaque can build up in them, which can raise your blood pressure. If your blood pressure becomes too high, you’re at a greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and more.
In 2015, the average blood pressure worldwide was 127/79 mm Hg in men, and 122/77 mm Hg in women, according to a study analysis published in Lancet.
When researchers for the National Center for Health Statistics looked at average blood pressure in U.S. adults between 2001 and 2008, the average reading was 122/71 mm Hg. The breakout was 124/72 mm Hg for men, and 121/70 mm Hg in women. It rose by age and was significantly higher in Black people.
The researchers found the following breakdown by age, sex, and race or ethnicity:
|Blood Pressure by Age|
As the population ages and life expectancy increases, high blood pressure is becoming more common.
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Why Is High Blood Pressure A Concern
High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke . With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood.
Heart attack and stroke related to high blood pressure are rare in children and adolescents. Yet, studies of young adults with high blood pressure found that many had high blood pressure as a child. By their 20s, studies show that children and adolescents with high blood pressure will exhibit harmful effects on the heart and blood vessels even with mild hypertension.
When To See A Doctor
Any pregnant woman who has any concerns over their health or the developing fetus should talk to or see their doctor or midwife.
People who have high blood pressure or are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure might want to monitor their blood pressure at home.
A healthcare provider can likely recommend the best blood pressure cuffs to use.
If home monitoring indicates that blood pressure is too high or too low, contact a healthcare provider.
Any pregnant woman who experiences signs or symptoms of preeclampsia must seek immediate medical assistance.
There are several ways for a pregnant woman to manage blood pressure safely.
According to March of Dimes, a person can take the following steps:
- take approved blood pressure medication daily
- monitor blood pressure at home
- eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid salt, processed foods, and added sugars
- go to all medical checkups
- avoid drinking, smoking, and recreational drug use
- stay active through walking or other exercises unless otherwise instructed
Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should follow all instructions from their healthcare provider. They should notify their doctor or midwife if they have any changes in their blood pressure or feelings.
It is not always possible to prevent high blood pressure, but a person can take steps to keep their blood pressure at normal levels before and during pregnancy.
The recommend a person take the following measures to prevent high blood pressure:
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