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.
Get enough sleep. For most adults, thatâs 7-8 hours of sleep per night, on a regular basis.
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.
Which Number Is More Important
Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term buildup of plaque and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.
However, either an elevated systolic or an elevated diastolic blood pressure reading may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. According to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.
What Does It Mean When There Is A Big Difference Between Systolic And Diastolic Blood Pressure
A low pulse pressure is a small difference between your systolic and diastolic pressure. In some cases, a low pulse pressure can also be a sign of a poorly functioning heart. Most people have a pulse pressure between 40 and 60 mm Hg. Generally, anything above this is considered a wide pulse pressure.
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Heart Attack And Heart Disease
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.
How Do You Raise A Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
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How To Check Blood Pressure At Home
Checking blood pressure frequently at home using a blood pressure monitor is essential for many different people, especially if you have hypertension or hypotension. Tracking at home helps you to know while your treatment is working or not.
Consult your specialists to get an easy to use blood pressure monitor. While using the blood pressure monitor, adjust the cuff properly to get the proper readings. Consult the specialists to get an idea of how to use the blood pressure monitor accurately.
You additionally can practice a wrist blood pressure monitor, although they often arent as precise. Understand the regulations method that comes with the device to get assured you are utilising it accurately.
No matter which type of blood pressure monitor you have, its a reliable approach to get it to your doctors appointment. You can examine its reading to the figures your doctor understands. Avoid coffee, smoking, and exercise for at least 20 minutes before the test.
Diastole and systole blood pressure can vary from person to person. Consult the doctor to get an appointment and daily recommendation. Also, maintain your daily life with a healthy diet and physical activity.
Normal Vs Abnormal Blood Pressure
According to the AHA, a normal blood pressure reading for adults is a top number below 120 combined with a bottom number under 80 noted as 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
However, physicians start to get concerned when the top number heads north. âBlood pressure is considered âmildly elevatedâ if itâs between 120 and 129 over less than 80,â says Willie E. Lawrence, Jr., MD, chief of cardiology with Midwest Heart & Vascular Specialists, in Kansas City, Missouri. âWe define blood pressure greater than 130 over 80 or more as high blood pressure, or hypertension,â he says. âOnce itâs above 130, thatâs certainly considered high.â
Specifically, the AHA characterizes a blood pressure of 130 to 139 over 80 to 89 as âStage 1â high blood pressure. Even more risky is âStage 2,â which is when a reading is between 140 and 180 over 90 to 120.
âNow, where we get particularly concerned is when the top number is found to be greater than 180,â Dr. Lawrence says. âIn truth, there are plenty of people who run around living their life with 180 and feel nothing. They may be asymptomatic. They may have no idea that anything is wrong. But unfortunately for them, in many cases, their first indication that something is very wrong ends up being a heart attack, a stroke or congestive heart failure.â
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Treating Systolic Blood Pressure
Lifestyle changes are recommended as the first step in treating any stage of systolic or high blood pressure. These changes may include:
- eliminating unhealthy diets, such as excess sugars and saturated fats
- eating more heart-healthy meals such as lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains
- hitting back on sodium in your food
- drinking more extra water
- clammy skin
High Or Low Blood Pressure Complications
High blood pressure doesnt cause symptoms unless youre in hypertensive crisis. Its actually known as a silent killer because it quietly damages your blood vessels and organs, and you may not realize you have it until the damage is done. Unmanaged high blood pressure can lead to:
The good news is that there are things you can do to help prevent blood pressure problems.
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Elevated Systolic Blood Pressure
An elevated blood pressure reading is when systolic blood pressure is between 120-129 mmHg and diastolic is less than 80 mmHg.
If systolic blood pressure is elevated, the risk of developing high blood pressure is greater. For consistent readings in this range a doctor will typically recommend the following:
- Recommend lifestyle changes.
- Attend scheduled physician visits.
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:
- heart problems
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Risk Factors For Low Blood Pressure
If youre older than 65, you may be at risk of orthostatic hypotension, a condition in which your blood pressure drops when you move from sitting to standing. Endocrine problems, neurological diseases, heart problems, heart failure, and anemia may also cause the condition.
You may also be at risk for low blood pressure if you become dehydrated or take certain prescription drugs such as:
A range of treatments are available for high or low blood pressure.
Is The Future Systolic
Should there be a greater emphasis on SBP in the light of current evidence? JNC-VI states that optimal SBP is below 120 mmHg and that there is a strictly linear correlation between increasing SBP and risk . Such aggressive approach to treatment has raised some concerns, not least amongst the health economists! It is estimated that at least 50% of the population would have SBPs between 120 and 140 mmHg.
However, the correlation between risk of death and coronary heart disease with SBP may be non-linear. Certainly, a single cut-off point of 140 mmHg did not take into account that there is an age and sex-dependent threshold for hypertension and that the current recommendations which rely on a direct linear relation between SBP and risk over-estimates risk in those with mid-range blood pressures . Gender-related differences must also be taken into account. For example, in a recent study in middle-aged and elderly French men and women, elevated DBP was associated with higher mortality even after adjusting for age and SBP, in contrast to men in whom SBP determined prognosis.
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What If Just The First Blood Pressure Number Is High
For older people, often the first number is 130 or higher, but the second number is less than 80. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension, which is due to age-related stiffening of the major arteries. It is the most common form of high blood pressure in older people and can lead to serious health problems in addition to shortness of breath during light physical activity, lightheadedness upon standing too fast, and falls. Isolated systolic hypertension is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. If your doctor determines that your systolic pressure is above a normal level for your age, ask how you can lower it.
Systolic Blood Pressure Facts
- Both blood pressure numbers are important and either number, including systolic, can be used as a diagnosis for high blood pressure.
- For people aged 50 or older, doctors tend to monitor systolic blood pressure more closely.
- High systolic blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common form of high blood pressure 1.
- Its more typical for the elderly to have high systolic blood pressure but younger people can get it too.
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Isolated Systolic Hypertension In The Elderly
Systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age. This is due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term plaque buildup and an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.
According to a recent study, persons who reached age 65, if they lived another 20 years, had a 90% lifetime risk of developing isolated systolic hypertension or high blood pressure 5.
Isolated Systolic Hypertension In Younger Adults
The elderly are not the only ones who can get isolated systolic hypertension. Younger people get it also but many times they slip through the cracks and dont receive the proper diagnosis 6. This can happen for several reasons including:
- High systolic blood pressure in the young is often considered an anomaly that will go away.
- Younger people often have worse diets consisting of fast foods and high sodium.
- Athletes in school often take steroids to increase their athletic performance and build up strength and muscle.
- Some risk factors affect all ages including young adults.
- Younger people often skip regular physicals.
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Where Can I Learn How To Take My Blood Pressure Myself
In Germany and other countries, people with high blood pressure can attend patient education courses that teach a number of things, including how to measure your blood pressure. As part of specialized disease management programs for people who have narrow coronary arteries , statutory health insurers offer additional healthcare services. These include patient education about high blood pressure. Some doctors practices don’t offer these courses, though.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.
You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
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Regulation Of Blood Pressure
The endogenous, homeostatic regulation of arterial pressure is not completely understood, but the following mechanisms of regulating arterial pressure have been well-characterized:
These different mechanisms are not necessarily independent of each other, as indicated by the link between the RAS and aldosterone release. When blood pressure falls many physiological cascades commence in order to return the blood pressure to a more appropriate level.
What Is Blood Pressure And How Is It Measured
The heart supplies the organs and tissues of the body with blood. With every beat, it pumps blood into the large blood vessels of the circulatory system. As the blood moves around the body, it puts pressure on the walls of the vessels. Blood pressure readings are made up of two values:
- Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats while the heart muscle is contracting and pumping oxygen-rich blood into the blood vessels.
- Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure on the blood vessels when the heart muscle relaxes. The diastolic pressure is always lower than the systolic pressure.
Blood pressure is measured in units of millimeters of mercury . The readings are always given in pairs, with the upper value first, followed by the lower value.
So someone who has a reading of 132/88 mmHg has a
- systolic blood pressure of 132 mmHg, and a
- diastolic blood pressure of 88 mmHg.
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Preventing Low Blood Pressure
To help prevent low blood pressure, drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to prevent dehydration. Stand up slowly from a sitting position to help prevent orthostatic hypotension.
Also, notify your doctor right away if you feel a medication is causing your blood pressure to drop. There may be another medication option that will have less impact on your blood pressure numbers.
In addition, if youve been diagnosed with any medical conditions known to be linked with low blood pressure, talk to your doctor. Discuss which symptoms you should look out for and how to best monitor your condition.
Normal Ranges For Diastolic And Systolic Pressure
In children, the diastolic measurement is about 65 mmHg. In adults it ranges from 60 80 mmHg. Systolic measurement in children ranges from 95 to 100 and in adults it ranges from 90 120 mmHg.
An adult is considered suffering from
- hypotension if the diastolic reading is < 60 mmHg and systolic reading is < 90 mmHg
- Prehypertension if the diastolic reading is 81 89 mmHg and systolic reading is 121 139 mmHg
- Stage 1 Hypertension if the diastolic reading is 90 99 mmHg and systolic reading is140 159 mmHg
- Stage 2 Hypertension if the diastolic reading is 100 mmHg and systolic reading is 160 mmHg
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How Is Blood Pressure Measured
It’s important to measure blood pressure more than once because it fluctuates over the course of the day. It can also change due to things like physical exertion, stress, pain, or extreme heat or cold. But this kind of increase in blood pressure is only temporary and it soon returns to normal.
So, if blood pressure is measured just once and found to be high, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always too high. A blood pressure reading taken at the doctors office can also be misleading: Going to the doctor makes some people so nervous that their blood pressure goes up.
So to get reliable readings, blood pressure is measured on several different days and while you are resting. This means sitting down and relaxing on a chair, and waiting about three minutes before taking a measurement so that your circulatory system comes to rest. The upper arm that is being used for the measurement should rest on a table, at about the same height as the heart, while the reading is being done.
You can measure your blood pressure on your own using a digital blood pressure monitor for automated readings or an instrument called a sphygmomanometer for manual readings.
Evolution Of Importance Of Sbp
For a long time, guidelines, clinical trials and clinical practice have based greater importance on DBP levels. The first JNC report in 1977 defined DBP as the basis for detection and treatment. For example, an individual with blood pressure of 180/85 mmHg was not eligible for treatment under the old guidelines. In fact, it was felt that systolic hypertension, due to hardening and loss of elasticity of the major arteries was an unavoidable consequence of aging and augmented by hypertension, in contrast to DBP which was thought to be a function of peripheral resistance. Therefore SBP continues to rise with advancing age while DBP stabilizes or declines, giving rise to isolated systolic hypertension . For example, Silagy et al found that the prevalence of ISH increased from 0.8% in 50-year-old subjects, 5% in 60 year olds, 12.6% in 70 year olds, and up to 23.6% in 80 year olds. Certainly one of us remembers a story of an eminent geriatrician lecturing that SBP should not be reduced in the elderly, as these patients would fall over from reduced cerebral perfusion and sustain strokes!
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