Eat Less Meat More Plants
A plant-based diet is an easy way to increase fiber and reduce the amount of sodium and unhealthy saturated and trans fat you take in from dairy foods and meat. Increase the number of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and whole grains youre eating. Instead of red meat, opt for healthier lean proteins like fish, poultry, or tofu.
The 4 Stages Of Hypertension
What is hypertension? Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than usual. This pressure depends upon the resistance of the blood vessels and how hard the heart has to work. Hypertension can lead to severe health complications and will increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and/or kidney disease. Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Many of these adults are not even aware of their hypertension.
Managing High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Is A Commitment
If you have High Blood Pressure Stage 2, its vital you listen to your doctor. Remember you are a part of your healthcare team.
You and your doctor are partners. Educate yourself about High Blood Pressure Stage 2 and learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home. Armed with this information, you can commit to living heart healthy.
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How Common Is Hypertension In Children
Hypertension is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents. A recent study that looked at 15,000 adolescents found that nearly one in five had hypertension. And theres reason to believe that hypertension is vastly underdiagnosed in children, since:
- it can be difficult to measure in infants and young children
- its sometimes challenging to identify
- its often thought of as not something that really affects kids
The rise in the number of children with primary hypertension in the United States is thought to correlate with the rise of obesity.
Lifestyle Changes Without Medications
Upon returning home, I was a man on a mission. I went shopping online for a home blood pressure monitor from a trusted brand. I ordered the Omron 7120-HEM monitor and it was delivered the next day.
I also ordered two books and they were on Kindle, so I could start reading them right away :
Both of these books changed the way I looked at hypertension. I had assumed the term hypertension meant excessive stress leading to consistently increased blood pressure over time. How misunderstood have I been?
Thanks to these books, I began to understand hypertension as a metabolic disorderor more specifically, a mineral imbalance on the cellular levelrather than constriction of blood vessels due to excessive stress. Dr Moores explanation of this gets quite technical and complex, so I wont get into the details here. But the biggest takeaway is that this mineral imbalance is caused by too much sodium and too little potassium in the body cells. Supposedly this cellular imbalance causes the smooth muscle cells lining our blood vessels to contract instead of relax, thus constricting these blood vessels and raising blood pressure.
A good analogy would be squeezing a water hose to make the water squirt out at higher speedand when you really think about this, you can begin to see why high blood pressure is so harsh on the blood vessels.
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Managing High Blood Pressure
Not drinking alcohol, or limiting the amount of alcohol that you drink, can help control high blood pressure.
Regular physical activity is important for your overall health, and it is an effective way to lower your blood pressure.
A diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low in sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can help manage high blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can also help keep blood pressure in check.
Lifestyle choices are important to managing blood pressure, but sometimes healthy choices are not enough. Your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure.
How Blood Pressure Is Measured
Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called a sphygmomanometer, through which the user listens for the sound of the force of blood in the patients arteries when the heart beats . Measured in millimeters of mercury , systolic pressure is the top number in your blood pressure reading. The second, or bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries of the heart at rest the diastolic pressure. Generally, as an adult, you are considered to have;high blood pressure;if your systolic pressure reading is greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg or if your diastolic pressure is greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg. But for every 20 mm Hg your systolic pressure raises above 115, and for every 10 mm Hg your diastolic pressure rises over 75, your risk of cardiovascular disease doubles so lower pressures are generally better.
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Guideline For High Blood Pressure In Adults
- Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al.
The following are key points to remember from the 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults:
Part 1:;General Approach, Screening, and Follow-up
Part 2:; Principles of Drug Therapy and Special Populations
Chest Pain And Palpitations
Hypertension affects the heart in various ways. A person may experience a pounding in the chest as the heart beats harder. This is known as palpitations. The heartbeat may also become irregular. Severe chest pain can also occur especially in a hypertensive crisis. As with other symptoms like shortness of breath, severe chest pain must be investigated further as it could be a sign of a heart attack.
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How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury . A typical normal blood pressure in an adult is 120/80 mm Hg, or “120 over 80.” The top number refers to the pressure when the heart is pushing blood out through the arteries . The bottom number refers to the pressure when the heart is at restbetween beats .
Its easy to tell whether an adult has hypertension, because theres a standard set of measurements:
- Normal blood pressuresystolic < 120 mmHg and diastolic < 80 mm Hg
- Pre-hypertensionsystolic 120-139 mmHg or diastolic 80-89 mmHg
- Stage 1 hypertensionsystolic 140-159 mmHg or diastolic 90-99 mmHg
- Stage 2 hypertensionsystolic 160 or diastolic 100 mmHg
But its harder with children. Thats because there are no universal cut-offs as there are for adults; instead, whether a child has hypertension depends on how his blood pressure compares to his peers .
- Pre-hypertension90th to 95th percentile
- Stage 1 hypertension95th 99th
- Stage 2 hypertensionanything higher than 99th plus 5 mm mercury
What Is The Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Mild high blood pressure can often be treated by making lifestyle changes, including:
- losing weight
- limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men, or 1 drink per day for women with high blood pressure
However, lifestyle changes may not be enough. Some people also need medication to help reduce blood pressure levels to normal. While medicines are usually very effective at lowering blood pressure, they may cause side effects in some people.
Usually doctors will start a person on a low dose of a medicine and see how it goes. If it doesnt work well enough, or if there are troublesome side effects, other medicines will be used, sometimes in combination, until the blood pressure is controlled. This can take time. Some people will take medicines for life, although others will find that continuing to lose weight and changing their diet reduces the need for medicines.
Someone whose blood pressure is very high or causing symptoms such as headache, or if they have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, may need urgent treatment with medicines to bring the blood pressure down to normal levels.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that you regularly review with your doctor or specialist any medications you are taking for high blood pressure or high cholesterol to assess the ongoing benefits and risks. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
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What Are The Causes Of Hypertension
Each type of hypertension has different causes.
Primary high blood pressure usually develops gradually and in most cases, there is no known cause.
Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition and generally appears suddenly, causing higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. Some conditions which may lead to secondary hypertension include:
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
- Thyroid problems
- Defects in blood vessels that you are born with
- Certain medications such as birth control pills, cold remedies, congestants, over-the-counter pain relievers, some prescription drugs
- Illegal drugs
- Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
What Is High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure has two components:
Systolic pressure is the top number. It represents the pressure the heart generates when it beats to pump blood to the rest of the body.
Diastolic pressure is the bottom number. It refers to the pressure in the blood vessels between heartbeats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury . So blood pressure would be expressed, for example, as 120/80 mm Hg.
High blood pressure is diagnosed when one or both of these numbers is too high. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.
For decades, high blood pressure was defined as 140/90 mm Hg. In November, 2017, new United States guidelines lowered the threshold for diagnosing the condition. According to new guidelines, anyone with a reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher has blood pressure. Based on this new definition, nearly half of Americans now fall into this group.
Blood pressure is now categorized as follows:
Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg
Elevated: 120/80 to 129/79 mm Hg
Stage 1 hypertension: 130/80 to 139/89 mm Hg
Stage 2 hypertension: 140/90 mm Hg and above
Although high blood pressure can cause symptoms such as headache and pounding heartbeat, it often causes no symptoms at all.
So why worry about high blood pressure? Because even when high blood pressure is not causing any symptoms, it can silently damage many organs, including the:
If you are diagnosed with hypertension, other tests will check for organ damage. These tests can include:
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What Complications Are Associated With Hypertension
While kids with hypertension are unlikely to have heart attacks and strokes, it still has significant risks. Hypertension causes changes in the structures of the blood vessels and heart. Since hypertension in children has historically been understudied, there isnt a lot of data about exactly what these changes mean. But we do know that in adults, hypertension increases the chance of complications in the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. Theres also compelling evidence that some of these changes are seen in children with high blood pressure.
These changes affect:
Blood vesselshigh blood pressure can damage blood vessels throughout the body, which makes it harder for organs to work efficiently.
Kidneysif the blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, they may stop removing waste and extra fluid from the body. This extra fluid can raise blood pressure even more.
Other organsif left untreated, hypertension makes it harder for blood to reach many different parts of the body, including the eyes and the brain, and can lead to blindness and strokes.
If Your Hypertension Is Resistant
It may take time for you and your doctor to work out a successful lifestyle and medication plan to lower your blood pressure.
Its very likely that youll find a combination of drugs that works, especially since new medications are always under development.
If your hypertension is resistant, its important that you keep working with your doctor and stick with your medication plan.
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Stage 2 Hypertension Treatments
If youre diagnosed with Stage 2, your healthcare provider will definitely prescribe lifestyle changes. In addition, they are likely to prescribe medication based on your risk of cardiovascular disease, medical history and blood pressure measurements. The following is lifestyle changes and common medication treatments for Stage 2 Hypertension.
Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Looking back on all my doctor visits through the past decade, I could see a clear pattern that I did not see before. On almost every doctor visit, either the nurse or doctor would make a comment about my blood pressure. It started with offhand remarks that sounded harmless enough:
Hmm, a bit elevated there, but nothing to be concerned about yet.
Blood pressure here uh, I dont know perhaps youre a bit stressed. Traffic is pretty bad out there today, eh?
The whole time, I was in denial and dismissed it as a white coat phenomenonwhere you get nervous at a doctors office and your blood pressure goes up as a result. However, as the years went onand my blood pressure continued to creep upthe casual remarks turned into concerned comments.
;Your blood pressure is somewhat high. Maybe we should have you come in once a week and take a few repeat readings?
Do you have a blood pressure monitor at home? Your blood pressure is a tad elevated, so it may be a good idea to keep track of that, yes?
Sometimes my blood pressure was so high that the nurses taking my reading would look at me in shock. Some nurses simply didnt believe the numbers and re-did the measurement on my other arm. Still high every time. While the numbers varied, we were seeing readings between 151/89 and 162/100.
As soon as I was getting such alarming numbers, I started to keep a record of these readings. From eight readings in six appointments over two years, my average blood pressure was 157/94.
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Seizures And Loss Of Consciousness
High blood pressure affects the brain in several ways. With the brain tissue being so sensitive to changes, particularly changes in the blood oxygen levels, a person may experience seizures. Sometimes there may even be loss of consciousness although this is uncommon. Both instances are more likely to occur with a hypertensive crisis. The impact on the central nervous system may also result in anxiety or even nausea.
Lifestyle Modification For Stage
Once you have diagnosed as stage-2 hypertension, you need to follow lifestyle modifications. It helps your hypertension medication treatment to achieve your BP target. Additionally, it lowers your risk towards hypertension complications. ;Some of the effective lifestyle modifications reduce sodium intake, take healthy foods, regular exercise, limit alcohol consumption, maintain healthy body weight, maintain healthy waist size, stay away from tobacco, and manage your stress smartly. Visit hypertension lifestyle changes to learn how to lower your blood pressure.
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Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure
While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.
Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80
Great job! Your blood pressure is normal. To keep your readings in this range, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet;and getting regular exercise.
Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80
The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle;choices are a great place to start.
Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89
You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.
Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher
Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
How To Treat The Different Stages Of Hypertension
The American Heart Association released an updated hypertension guideline in 2017 that discussed new blood pressure targets and treatment recommendations for patients with high blood pressure.
In the new hypertension guideline, the definition of hypertension was altered to reflect new targets for systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements. These blood pressure targets help guide clinical decision making by categorizing hypertension: normal BP, elevated BP, stage 1, and stage 2.1
Previously, high blood pressure was defined as a systolic blood pressure measurement of 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure measurement of 90 mmHg or higher.1;The updated guideline redefined hypertension as a systolic blood pressure measurement of 130 mmHg and greater or diastolic blood pressure measurement of 80 mmHg and beyond.1;As a result, patients with systolic BP measurements greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg are now considered to have stage 2 hypertension.1
There are more hypertensive patients than ever beforethis widespread condition is projected to increase 8% between 2013 and 2030.2;Therefore, the hypertension guideline provided new treatment recommendations that included both lifestyle changes and pharmacological strategies to help manage this condition.1;It is key for healthcare providers to have a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively treat the various stages of hypertension to help prevent its dangerous effects.
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