What About Blood Pressure Thats Too Low
Low blood pressure is known as hypotension. In adults, a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or below is often considered hypotension.
Hypotension can be dangerous because blood pressure thats too low doesnt supply your body and heart with enough oxygenated blood.
Some potential causes of hypotension can include:
Key Points About High Blood Pressure In Children
High blood pressure means that the pressure inside the arteries is too high. This may harm the arteries and cause the heart to work harder.
High blood pressure often has no known cause. Some health conditions and medicines may cause high blood pressure.
Blood pressure changes. Your child’s provider will check it over a period of days or weeks before making a diagnosis of high blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes like weight loss, exercise, and healthy eating can help to lower high blood pressure.
What Can You Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure
You can help lower your risk of high blood pressure by practicing the lifestyle changes mentioned above.
Additionally, consider working with your doctor to carefully manage any preexisting health conditions that can contribute to high blood pressure, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.
You can also monitor your blood pressure at home if youd like to keep a closer eye on changes in your blood pressure outside of your routine checkups.
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How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.
What Is High Blood Pressure In Children
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure:
Systolic pressure. This is the higher number. It refers to the highest pressure inside the artery. It occurs when the heart contracts and pumps blood to the body.
Diastolic pressure. This is the lower number. It refers to the lowest pressure inside the artery. It occurs when the heart relaxes and fills with blood.
For example, if a child’s blood pressure is 110/70 mmHg, 110 is the systolic blood pressure and 70 is the diastolic blood pressure.
High blood pressure means that the pressure inside the arteries is too high. This higher pressure may harm the arteries and cause the heart to work harder.
If the pressure is high when the heart contracts, then the systolic pressure will be high.
If the pressure is high when the heart relaxes then the diastolic pressure will be high.
The systolic or diastolic pressure, or both, may be high.
Many things affect blood pressure. These include:
One high blood pressure reading does not mean that your child has high blood pressure. Your child’s healthcare provider will want to check your child’s blood pressure over a period of days or weeks. When blood pressure stays high, it may be a problem.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Since high blood pressure doesnt have symptoms, your healthcare provider will need to check your blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. Providers usually check your blood pressure at every annual checkup or appointment. If you have high blood pressure readings at two appointments or more, your provider may tell you that you have high blood pressure.
What Can I Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure In My Child
Not all high blood pressure can be prevented. But making heart-healthy lifestyle choices may lower the chance of developing high blood pressure. Help your child:
Keep a healthy weight
Be active every day
Stay away from smoking
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children older than 3 years old have blood pressure screenings at their yearly well-child visit. It should be checked in at every healthcare encounter if they are obese, are taking medicine known to increase blood pressure, have kidney disease, diabetes, or a history of aortic arch obstruction or coarctation. Normal blood pressure in kids depends on their gender, age, and height.
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Diastolic Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low
Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Systolic pressure, the force exerted on blood vessels when the heart beats, is the upper number. Diastolic pressure, the force exerted when the heart is at rest, is on the bottom in more ways than one. Systolic pressure attracts the lions share of attention from physicians and patients, says UAB cardiologist Jason Guichard, M.D., Ph.D.
Physicians are busy people, and like it or not they often focus on a single number, Guichard said. Systolic blood pressure is the focus, and diastolic pressure is almost completely ignored. That is a mistake, he argues. The majority of your arteries feed your organs during systole. But your coronary arteries are different they are surrounding the aortic valve, so they get blood only when the aortic valve closes and that happens in diastole.
Diastolic pressure has been getting more attention lately, however, thanks in part to an influential paper in Hypertension, written in 2011 by Guichard and Ali Ahmed, M.D., then a professor of medicine in UABs Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and now the associate chief of staff for Health and Aging at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Most people are trying to lower their blood pressure. What would you define as too low, and why is that a problem?
High Blood Pressure And Daily Activity
Check with your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your level or intensity. Be active safely. Build up your levels of activity gradually.
Try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, if that is more convenient.
Physical activity is any form of bodily movement performed by our large muscle groups. Moderate-intensity physical activity , such as brisk walking or cycling, is enough to provide health benefits.
Walking is a great activity for all ages. You may like to join one of the Heart Foundations community walking groups.
Some types of exercises, such as body presses and lifting heavy weights, can raise your blood pressure. Avoid these if you have high blood pressure.
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When To See A Doctor
The symptoms of high blood pressure are typically silent. Many people may not find out they have high blood pressure until they visit their doctor for a routine physical. If you dont already have a primary care doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
You can also use a home blood pressure monitor to measure your blood pressure at home. You may want to consider monitoring your blood pressure if you:
- have overweight or obesity
How Does The Blood Pressure Calculator Work
This blood pressure calculator is sourced from the National Health Service and can instantly help you understand your reading. Enter the two numbers from your reading into the blood pressure checker and click Submit. The blood pressure checker will calculate your reading and summarise what your reading means.
The blood pressure tool will explain your reading and give advice from the National Health Service on improving or maintaining healthy blood pressure.
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How Do The New Guidelines Affect Me
The new guidelines might affect you if you were on the border of having high blood pressure before 2017. However, it wonât affect you if you already had high blood pressure. For example, around 75% of men over 55 now have high blood pressure with the new guidelines. Some of them did not have high blood pressure before this change.
To be exact, the old guidelines stated that high blood pressure was anything above 140/90. With the new guidelines, high blood pressure is defined as anything above 130/80.
The new guidelines also recommend that you get a system to test yourself at home. Usually, you can find a good system for under a hundred dollars, and some insurance providers will help you pay for them. The guidelines recommend that you measure your blood pressure a couple of times weekly and see your doctor if you notice any dramatic changes.
When you buy a blood pressure monitor, make sure to that it:
- Fits around your upper arm
- Has an automated monitor, and that the cuff inflates itself
- Contains a screen big enough for you to read your results
You can also try to find a monitor that automatically transfers your data over to your smartphone. This, however, is optional.
Medications For High Blood Pressure
There is a large variety of medicines available to lower and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may call them antihypertensives, .
These medications do not cure high blood pressure, but they do help manage it. Once you start to take medicines to manage your blood pressure, you may need to take them for the rest of your life. However, the dose of these medicines may change over time.
If you need to take medication, your doctor will advise you on the correct type and dose. Two or more different medications are often needed to manage blood pressure.
Make sure you take your medicines regularly. Some things that may help you remember to take them include:
- Building them into your daily routine by taking them at the same time each day.
- Keeping them somewhere that will remind you such as next to your alarm, or with your coffee or tea.
- Using a weekly pill box.
- Asking a family member or friend to remind you.
- Always carrying a list of your medicines and their doses with you.
- Entering a daily alarm in your mobile phone or download an app to remind you.
Take any blood pressure medicine exactly as prescribed. Dont stop or change your medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.
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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.
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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What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure
If your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, they will talk with you about your recommended blood pressure target or goal. They may suggest that you:
- Check your blood pressure regularly with a home blood pressure monitor. These are automated electronic monitors and are available at most pharmacies or online.
- Quit smoking and/or using tobacco products.
- Work on controlling anger and managing stress.
Blood Pressure Is Typically Recorded As Two Numbers And A Written As A Ratio
- Systolic: The top number in the ratio, which is also the higher of the two, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.
- Diastolic: The bottom number in the ratio, which is also the lower of the two, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats. While it can change from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or sleep, it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg for women or men aged 20 or over.
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How Common Is This Condition
Because low blood pressure is common without any symptoms, its impossible to know how many people it really affects overall. However, orthostatic hypertension seems to be more and more common as you get older. An estimated 5% of people have it at age 50, while that figure climbs to more than 30% in people over 70.
What Time Of Day Should I Check My Blood Pressure
Many experts suggest recording blood pressures that are taken over an extended time before diagnosing high blood pressure.
You should also know that your blood pressure will be different throughout the day. It tends to be highest in the morning and lower at night.
Your provider may want you to take your use a blood pressure monitor multiple days a dayusually once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening. Try to avoid taking it early in the morning right when you wake up or right after dinner.
Instead, try to take your morning reading before your breakfast and your evening reading when you’re getting ready for bed .
Once you decide what time you’ll check your blood pressure, it’s important that you’re consistent. You’ll get the most accurate results and comparisons if you take your blood pressure at about the same time every day.
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Measuring Blood Pressure With A Sphygmomanometer
A sphygmomanometer has three parts:
- a cuff that can be inflated with air,
- a pressure meter for measuring air pressure in the cuff, and
- a stethoscope for listening to the sound the blood makes as it flows through the brachial artery .
The scale of the pressure meter ranges from 0 to 300 mmHg. The pressure meter has a rubber pump on it for inflating the cuff and a button for letting the air out.
To measure blood pressure, the cuff is placed around the bare and stretched out upper arm, and inflated until no blood can flow through the brachial artery. Then the air is slowly let out of the cuff.
As soon as the air pressure in the cuff falls below the systolic blood pressure in the brachial artery, blood will start to flow through the arm once again. This creates a pounding sound when the arteries close again and the walls of the vessels hit each other after a heart beat. The sound can be heard by placing the stethoscope close to the elbow. Right when you start to hear this pounding for the first time you can read your systolic blood pressure off the pressure meter.
The pounding sound stops when the air pressure in the cuff falls below the diastolic blood pressure in the brachial artery. Then the blood vessels remain open. Right when the pounding stops, you can read the diastolic blood pressure off the pressure meter.
Causes Of Hypertension In Children
1. Primary hypertension
Primary hypertension means that the hypertension does not seem to be caused by some other underlyng medical condition. Many doctors think that the incidence of childhood or adolescent hypertension has been rising along with the obesity epidemic. The majority of teens and children over age 6 with hypertension have a family history of hypertension and/or are overweight.
2. Secondary hypertension
Secondary hypertension is caused by a known underlying medical condition. Of these, about
- 80 percent of children have some kind of kidney disease or blood vessel abnormalities
- 5 percent have an endocrinological disorder
- 2 to 5 percent have heart disease
Hypertension in infants with hypertension almost always has a secondary cause. In addition, premature infants have a higher incidence of hypertension.
Among kids with hypertension, especially those who are very young, secondary hypertension is more common than primary hypertension. But among children who are older than 6 to 8 years old, the ratio of primary to secondary hypertension is approaching 50/50.
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