Invest In A Home Blood Pressure Kit
The AHA recommends using a home blood pressure monitor if you have high blood pressure. Itll help your doctor determine whether treatments are working. The blood pressure in the office may not represent your blood pressure at all times, explains Dr. Krumholz. The blood pressure thats measured outside the office can be very important in determining your risk of the consequences of high blood pressure.
Ask your health-care provider for a brand recommendation. There are many inexpensive ones on the market, says Dr. Krumholz. Heres how to know when high blood pressure is an emergency.
What The Numbers Mean
For most adults, a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg.Your blood pressure is considered high when you have consistent systolic readings of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg or higher.
For children younger than 13, blood pressure readings are compared with readings common for children of the same, age, sex, and height. Read more about blood pressure readings for children.
Talk to your doctor if your blood pressure readings are consistently higher than 120/80 mm Hg. NHLBI-supported research indicates that systolic blood pressure greater than 120 mm Hg can be increasingly harmful to health. Note that readings above 180/120 mm Hg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways in which we continue to translate current research and science into improved health for people who have high blood pressure. Research on this topic is part of our broader commitment to advancing scientific discovery in heart and vascular disease and health disparities and inequities research.
Learn about some of the pioneering research contributions we have made over the years that have improved clinical care.
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How To Prepare For A Blood Pressure Test
Your doctor will use a blood pressure test to see if you have higher-than-normal blood pressure readings. The reading is made up of two numbers, with the systolic number above the diastolic number. These numbers are measures of pressure in mm Hg. To learn more about systolic and diastolic pressure, visit How the Heart Works.
A blood pressure test is easy and painless and can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic. A healthcare provider will use a gauge, stethoscope, or electronic sensor and a blood pressure cuff to measure your blood pressure. To prepare, take the following steps:
- Do not exercise, drink coffee, or smoke cigarettes for 30 minutes before the test.
- Go to the bathroom before the test.
- For at least 5 minutes before the test, sit in a chair and relax.
- Make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
- Do not talk while you are relaxing or during the test.
- Uncover your arm for the cuff.
- Rest your arm on a table so it is supported and at the level of your heart.
If it is the first time your provider has measured your blood pressure, you may have readings taken on both arms.
You can also take your blood pressure at home or at a pharmacy. Visit Measure Your Blood Pressure for more information.
Nix Your Nicotine Addiction
Each cigarette you smoke temporarily raises blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. If youre a heavy smoker, your blood pressure can stay elevated for extended periods of time.
Even secondhand smoke can put you at increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
Drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner is perfectly fine. It might even offer heart-health benefits when done in moderation.
But drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to lots of health issues, including high blood pressure.
Excessive drinking can also reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications.
What does drinking in moderation mean? The AHA recommends that men limit their consumption to two alcoholic drinks per day. Women should limit their intake to one alcoholic drink per day.
One drink equals:
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What Is High Blood Pressure What Is Normal Blood Pressure
- High blood pressure is defined as high pressure in the arteries, which are the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
- Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers:
- The systolic blood pressure equals the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts.
- The diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes.
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.
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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.
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment depends on how high your blood pressure is. For people whose systolic reading falls in the range 120 to 129 and the diastolic reading is equal to or less than 80, lifestyle changes are usually recommended over medications. These may include:
- Losing weight if you are overweight
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Eating less salt
- More physical activity
- Limiting alcohol.
If treatment is considered necessary, sometimes more than one medication is prescribed. Medications for high blood pressure include:
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How Does Your Diet Affect Your Blood Pressure Levels
If you want to know how your diet affects your blood pressure levels, this blog post is for you. Well go over some of the most common factors that play a role in high blood pressure and what foods/lifestyle choices can make it better or worse. Here we go!
-Its important to watch out for foods high in sodium as they can raise blood pressure levels.
-If youre trying to eat healthier, be mindful of how much-added sugar is hiding in your favorite juices or condiments too much can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of developing high blood pressure over time.
-Caffeine might make you feel more energetic, but it can also raise your heart rate and cause you to lose water weight, which often leads to a drop in blood pressure.
-People who eat lots of processed foods high in saturated fat and trans fats tend to have higher than normal levels of low-density lipoprotein , or bad cholesterol, which can increase the risk for high blood pressure.
-If you have a family history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, its important to be mindful about how much added sugar is in your diet, as this can raise your blood pressure levels over time.
Types Of High Blood Pressure Disorders During And After Pregnancy
If you have high blood pressure before pregnancy, it will need to continue to be managed during and after pregnancy.
Some women who have a healthy blood pressure develop high blood pressure during or after pregnancy.
- Gestational hypertension is blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 that develops during pregnancy. Its typically diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy or close to delivery.
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia. Preeclampsia is a combination of high blood pressure during pregnancy and signs that your organs are not working well, such as high protein levels in your urine. This can lead to life-threatening seizures or coma, a condition known as eclampsia. Women who have had preeclampsia have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease later in life.
- HELLP syndromeis a more severe type of preeclampsia or eclampsia.
- High blood pressure disorders after the baby is born. Some women may continue to have high blood pressure problems, including preeclampsia, eclampsia, or HELLP syndrome, after the birth of their child, or their high blood pressure may get worse.
- A sudden spike in blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy or after the baby is born. This is a medical emergency.
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What Do Blood Pressure Readings Mean
The American Heart Association defines normal blood pressure as less than 120/80. Elevated blood pressure ranges between 120/80 and 129/80, and high blood pressure is 130/80 and higher. In pregnancy, normal blood pressure should be below 120/80.
If your blood pressure reaches the high range, you should see your doctor about lifestyle changes, and possibly medication especially if you have other risk factors, such as diabetes or heart disease.
High blood pressure may indicate an emergency situation. If this high blood pressure is associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, or back or abdominal pain, seek medical care immediately. If you are experiencing no associated symptoms with a high blood pressure reading such as this, re-check it again within a few minutes and contact your doctor or go to an emergency room if it is still high.
If your blood pressure is lower than about 100/60 you may have low blood pressure, depending on the associated symptoms. If you are unsure, check with your doctor.
Starting Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure persistently higher than 134/80 mm Hg usually is treated with lifestyle modifications and medication. These circumstances include borderline diastolic pressures in association with end-organ damage, systolic hypertension, or factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as age over 65 years, African American descent, smoking, hyperlipemia , or diabetes.
Any one of several classes of medications may be started, except the alpha blocker medications, which are used only in combination with another antihypertensive medication in specific medical situations.
In some situations, certain classes of antihypertensive drugs are preferable to others as the first-line drugs. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blocking drugs are the drugs of choice in patients with heart failure, chronic kidney failure , or heart attack that weakens the heart muscle . Also, beta blockers are sometimes the preferred treatment in hypertensive patients with a resting tachycardia or an acute heart attack.
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Assess Your Sleeping Habits
Obstructive sleep apnea is a recognized cause of high blood pressure. In fact, about half of the people who have sleep apnea also have high blood pressure, according to a review of research published in the journal Hypertension. The sleep disorder, in which breathing stops and starts dozens or hundreds of times a night, can be recognized by loud snoring or excessive tiredness during the day. Talk to a doctor if you have any of these nine signs of sleep apnea.
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.
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What Is The Medical Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Goals of treatment
High blood pressure usually is present for years before its complications develop. Ideally, hypertension is treated early before it damages critical organs in the body. Increased public awareness and screening programs to detect early, uncomplicated hypertension are keys to successful treatment. Successful early treatment of high blood pressure can significantly decrease the risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
The goal for patients with combined systolic and diastolic hypertension is to attain a blood pressure of 134/80 mm Hg. Although lifestyle changes in prehypertensive patients are appropriate, it is not well established that treatment with medication of patients with prehypertension is beneficial.
Can Exercise Help Lower High Blood Pressure
Exercise and physical activity help lower blood pressure by helping you lose weight and keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
Weight loss achieved through diet and exercise helps control factors such as blood sugar, and other complications of obesity. Avoiding these complications helps lower blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
It is not uncommon for your blood pressure to go high occasionally however, it is persistently high blood pressure that is a concern. For this reason, if a doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure and it is high but you dont have any risk factors or symptoms, then at least two other separate measurements should be taken before you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Before getting your blood pressure taken you should avoid the following for at least an hour before the measurement:
- Strenuous exercise
- Stressful situations.
Sit down for at least five minutes before the reading is taken and dont talk while it is being measured.
Other tests may be ordered if your doctor concludes you have high blood pressure. These may include blood tests, an electrocardiogram, and sometimes a chest x-ray.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Another tip on how to treat high blood pressure naturally at home that I really want to show you and my other dear readers reading this article is to make use of extra virgin olive oil to deal with and eliminate the signs and symptoms causing by the high blood pressure issue.
Extra-virgin olive oil has antioxidants known as polyphenols, which can help to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation and reduce high blood pressure. Moreover, olive oil has monounsaturated fatty acids that can aid in improving heart health.
According to a research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2000, the use of extra-virgin olive oil can help in lowering the daily antihypertensive drug dosage demand.
Consume 2 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on a daily basis to enjoy its wonderful effects. Use it in healthy dips or salad dressings. You can use it for baking or cooking as well.
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How To Treat High Blood Pressure At Home
It is important to know how to treat high blood pressure at home. High blood pressure can lead to more serious health problems and should be addressed as soon as possible.
There are some simple things that you can do on your own or with a doctors guidance, such as:
- Losing weight if overweight
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and foods rich in omega-three fatty acids
- Limiting salt intake by choosing food lower in sodium content and
- lastly: stopping smoking cigarettes.
Advancing Research For Improved Health
In support of our mission, we are committed to advancing high blood pressure research in part through the following ways.
- We perform research. The NHLBI Division of Intramural Research and its Cardiovascular Branch conducts research on diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure. Other DIR groups, such as the Center for Molecular Medicine and Systems Biology Center, perform research on heart and vascular diseases.
- We fund research. The research we fund today will help improve our future health. Our Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and its Vascular Biology and Hypertension Branch oversee much of the research we fund on the regulation of blood pressure, pathways involved in high blood pressure, and the complications from uncontrolled high blood pressure. The Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science supports research to translate these discoveries into clinical practice. Search the NIH RePORTer to learn about research NHLBI is funding on high blood pressure.
- We stimulate high-impact research. Our Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program includes participants who have high blood pressure, which may help us understand how genes contribute to differences in disease severity and how patients respond to treatment. The NHLBI Strategic Vision highlights ways we may support research over the next decade, including new efforts for studying high blood pressure.
Learn about exciting high blood pressure research we are exploring.
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