High Blood Pressure Chart
The chart below shows measures for normal and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .
Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .
Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the top number on a blood pressure reading. Diastolic, which is the lower number, represents the blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats.
- congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma
Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.
Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.
Treatment will depend on several factors, including:
- how high the blood pressure is
- the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke
The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.
If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.
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.
Worst Foods For High Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, know youâre not alone. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults actually have high blood pressure but donât know it, as most of the time, there arenât many obvious symptoms. If you do have high blood pressure and itâs left untreated, your circulatory system can be severely damaged and it can lead to other serious issues such as heart attack and stroke.
There are things you can do to help control your blood pressure, and that starts with the foods youâre eating. Your best bet? To avoid the worst foods that make your blood pressure worse. So we went ahead and rounded up a list of the 13 worst foods for high blood pressure so you can eliminate these culprits from your diet once and for all. Instead, stock up on the healthy foods that help lower your blood pressure! And while youâre working toward making healthier life changes, check out What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.
There is tons of evidence out there that high sodium intake is associated with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Potato chips are the ultimate salty snack, and if you find yourself eating potato chips regularly, youâre going to end up setting yourself up for disaster. One study found a connection between eating potato chips and an increase in heart disease.
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What You Need To Know
- Twenty percent of patients with hypertension are resistant.
- Resistant hypertension may have no symptoms at all for months or years, but then can cause heart attack, stroke, and vision and kidney damage.
- Some people have pseudoresistant hypertension, which is caused by other factors, such as conflicting medications or white coat hypertension .
- Pseudoresistant hypertension is important to diagnose and treat.
- Assessment and treatment of resistant hypertension includes addressing any identifiable conditions or causes and adjusting medications in a personalized way.
During Pregnancy High Blood Pressure Can Be An Emergency
As revealed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, blood pressure can rise too high in some pregnant women, stressing the heart and kidneys. This high blood pressure might reduce blood flow to the placenta and increases the risks of preterm birth and cesarean birth, among other things.
Preeclampsia sometimes occurs in pregnant women with very high blood pressure, usually developing after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia can lead to a condition that causes seizures and strokes, known as HELLP syndrome, which stands for hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. HELLP syndrome results in damaged or destroyed red blood cells, which causes a decreased ability for the body to clot blood. Other repercussions include stomach pain, chest pain, and bleeding from the liver. Sadly, HELLP syndrome can be fatal.
The gets across the seriousness of high blood pressure among expectant mothers, citing gestational diabetes, heart attacks, kidney failure, pulmonary edema , separation of the placenta from the uterus wall known as placental abruption, postpartum hemorrhage , and strokes as possible risks incurred by women with hypertension while pregnant.
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How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
- Be still. Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before measurements.
- Sit correctly.Sit with your back straight and supported . Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
- Measure at the same time every day. Its important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
- Take multiple readings and record the results. Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
- Don’t take the measurement over clothes.
|and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.
Doctors also might 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 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.
- 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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer. It is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Some people experience headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath with high blood pressure. However, those symptoms can mimic many other things . Usually, these symptoms occur once blood pressure has reached a dangerously high level over a period of time.
Treating High Blood Pressure With Medicines
If lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure to your goal, you may need to take daily medicines as well.
Medicines controlbut usually don’t curehigh blood pressure. So you will probably need to take them for the rest of your life. Most people need to take two or more medicines.
- High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?
Some people find it hard to take their medicines properly. They may feel it’s too much troubleespecially when they don’t feel sick. Or they’re worried about side effects. Some people find it hard to keep track of when and how to take their medicines.
If you have trouble taking high blood pressure medicines for any reason, talk to your doctor.
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Being Diagnosed Can Be A Wake
Being diagnosed with high blood pressure can serve as a wake-up call to change the habits and lifestyle issues that are not only raising your risk of heart disease but that could hurt your health in a myriad of other ways. Research has shown that patients who understand the importance of blood pressure control and who are involved in the monitoring and treatment of their hypertension have much better results. Now is the perfect time to work on strategies to improve your health.
Go for a walk every morning and evening, challenge yourself to avoid fatty foods, and, if you currently smoke, talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy . And dont discount the power of mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as the “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what were doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by whats going on around us .”
The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine reported on a study completed at Kent State University, which showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction practiced during 2.5-hour sessions for eight weeks combined with 45 minutes of practice every day at home significantly reduced the blood pressure of individuals diagnosed with prehypertension. This study reminds us that the first step to improving blood pressure is often simple be still and just breathe for a minute.
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.
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Foods To Eat To Lower Blood Pressure
Its estimated that 2 of 3 people with diabetes have high blood pressure. When blood pressure is elevated, your heart works harder to pump blood throughout your body. High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and eye problems.
You have already heard about how added salt can increase blood pressure, but did you know that certain foods can help to lower blood pressure? Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help to regulate blood pressure. Taking these minerals as supplements doesnt have the same effect as eating foods that contain these. Try eating some of the following foods to boost your intake of nutrients that can lower blood pressure naturally.
Nuts are a good source of plant protein and contain the amino acid L-arginine which makes nitric oxide and helps blood vessels relax. While all nuts are a healthy choice, both almonds and pistachios contain the trifecta of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Nuts are low in carbohydrates and eating nuts has been linked to improved glucose levels.
Beets contain nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide which helps to control blood pressure. Beetroot juice contains higher amounts of nitrates than cooked beetroot. Beetroots contain potassium. For added calcium and magnesium, eat the beet greens as well.
Why Is My Bottom Blood Pressure Number High
The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure. Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health. Numbers greater than the ideal range indicate that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
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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.
What To Think About
- The medicine your doctor chooses may be based on other health problems you have. For example, doctors often prescribe ACE inhibitors for people who have diabetes or heart failure.
- Some people who get a cough while taking ACE inhibitors do well with ARBs, which usually don’t cause a cough.
- You may need to avoid some over-the-counter medicines. For example, check with your doctor before you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofenwith high blood pressure medicines. NSAIDs may raise blood pressure and keep your blood pressure medicines from working well. NSAIDs may also interact with your blood pressure medicine and cause kidney problems.
- Don’t take any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or other natural health products unless you talk to your doctor first. Medicines can interact with each other and keep blood pressure medicines from working right or cause a bad reaction.
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How Is Resistant Hypertension Treated
Treatment options for resistant hypertension or pseudo-resistant hypertension depend on your underlying conditions and how well you tolerate various medications. Treatments include:
- Addressing any conditions that may have caused the hypertension.
- Making lifestyle changes
- Adjusting medications to find your optimal type and dosage
What Can You Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure
Making lifestyle changes can help you to prevent high blood pressure. You can:
- Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra weight.
- Eat heart-healthy foods.
- Eat less salt and salty foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.
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Unhealthy Behaviors Can Impact Blood Pressure
GoodRx makes the valid point that stress contributes to high blood pressure in another way by increasing the likelihood that someone will develop unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, including smoking or vaping, making unhealthy eating choices, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, not exercising enough, not taking medication as prescribed, and not getting enough sleep.
Both smoking and secondhand smoke increase the risk for plaque buildup inside the arteries and that this process is accelerated by high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Every time that you light up, blood pressure increases. Heavy drinking seems to raise blood pressure by 5 to 10 mmHg and increases systolic pressure more than diastolic .
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some, but not all, people are sensitive to caffeine as it relates to their blood pressure. The best method to see if its a problem for you is to take your pressure before and after drinking a cup. If your pressure increased by 5 to 10 mm Hg within 30 minutes of your cup, thats a sign to start cutting back. Remember that caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, soda, energy drinks, dietary supplements, and some medications, including Excedrin. Additionally, when we sleep, our blood pressure drops, so if we dont sleep enough, itll stay higher for a longer period .
Stress Is The Enemy Of A Healthy Heart
When we are stressed, our bodies release hormones, including adrenaline, triggering the fight-or-flight response that we all remember from health class. This response causes our heart to beat faster and harder and our blood vessels to narrow . Eventually, if this continues to happen to us, we will end up with high blood pressure.
In a 2021 app-based, three-week study using more than 300,000 responses per day from over 20,000 people, researchers confirmed that the more pressure people felt to accomplish things and the less help and assistance they perceived themselves as receiving , the more blood pressure reactivity occurred. Furthermore, older adults demonstrated a stronger relationship between self-reported stress and blood pressure increases than did younger adults. Not surprisingly, blood pressure increased with negative emotions, such as anger, and decreased with low-arousal positive emotions, such as contentment.
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