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What Leads To High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure: The Drink That Has Significant Lowering Effects On Hypertension

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One inevitable cause of high blood pressure is ageing, which leads to the stiffening of arteries.

Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, told The Times:Generally, if you dont have raised blood pressure now, you will have in your 70s or 80s.

As a rule, in 20-year-olds, the prevalence is 20 percent, in 40-year-olds, its 40 percent and in 80-year-olds, its 80 percent.

The NHS says that high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.

The top number refers to systolic pressure, which denotes the force at which the heart pumps blood around the body.

How Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Affect Blood Pressure

There are a number of treatment options for OSA. Treatment not only improves sleep quality but could also help manage hypertension. The most common and effective treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure .

CPAP treatment involves wearing a facemask attached to a machine that pumps air into the lungs at night. It works by preventing the airway from collapsing, which improves sleep quality in people affected by OSA. Studies investigating the effects of CPAP in patients with hypertension and OSA have shown that treatment with CPAP lowers blood pressure during the day and at night, especially in patients with severe OSA. CPAP also reduces catecholamine levels.

Some patients have a hard time adjusting to the CPAP facemask at night. Consistent, proper use of CPAP is important in order to effectively manage OSA and hypertension. Mouthpieces are one alternative to CPAP and are designed to help maintain an open airway during sleep. Research is needed to determine if mouthpieces also lower blood pressure in people who experience high blood pressure and OSA. Certain surgical procedures are also done to treat OSA in selected patients.

Losing weight either through diet and lifestyle changes or through weight-loss surgery is another approach to managing OSA that may also lower blood pressure.

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For Older Adults

Recent updates to guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed the definition of high blood pressure or hypertension for most people. High blood pressure is now generally defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number . However, there are important considerations for older adults in deciding whether to start treatment for high blood pressure, including other health conditions and overall fitness. If your blood pressure is above 130/80, your doctor will evaluate your health to determine what treatment is needed to balance risks and benefits in your particular situation.

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Decrease Your Salt Intake

Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.

While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, french fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.

What Medications Are Used To Treat High Blood Pressure

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Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered first line when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line drug pressure lowering medications are:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the production the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels dont narrow. Examples: lisinopril , enalapril , captopril .
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing. Examples: metoprolol , valsartan , losartan .
  • Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine , nifedipine , diltiazem .
  • Diuretics flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill. Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorothiazide.

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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.

Causes And Risk Factors

You may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure if you smoke, areoverweight, eat a diet thats low on produce and fiber and/or high in fatand salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or dont getmuch physical activity. Some causes of hypertension cannot becontrolledincluding your genes and your race . Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertensionby age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90percent.

But doctors no longer consider hypertension inevitable or untreatable withage, saysSamuel Durso, M.D.,director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at JohnsHopkins.

In one Johns Hopkins study of 975 older women and men with hypertension,healthy lifestyle steps helped 40 percent stop taking blood pressuremedications. Other research has shown that lifestyle changes can lower therisk for hypertension in African-Americans and others at an increasedgenetic risk.

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How Can I Tell If I Have High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. In fact, many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Thats why its called the silent killer. In 90-95 percent of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown.

A single elevated blood pressure reading doesnt mean you have high blood pressure, but its a sign that further observation is required. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.

The Top 10 Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure Include:

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Being overweight or obese

The more you weigh the more blood flow you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure inside your arteries.

Too much salt in your diet

Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, and also causes the arteries in your body to constrict. Both factors increase blood pressure.

Too little potassium in your diet

Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells. Potassium causes the smooth muscle cells in your arteries to relax, which lowers blood pressure.

Not being physically active

Exercise increases blood flow through all arteries of the body, which leads to release of natural hormones and cytokines that relax blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.

Drinking too much alcohol

Having more than two drinks per day can cause hypertension, probably by activating your adrenergic nervous system, causing constriction of blood vessels and simultaneous increase in blood flow and heart rate.

Stress

High levels of stress can lead to a temporary, but dramatic, increase in blood pressure. If you try to relax by eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol, you may only exacerbate problems with high blood pressure.Relaxation and meditation techniques effectively lower blood pressure.

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What Are The Types Of High Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure with no known single cause, this is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension. Most people have this type of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure which is caused by another health problem, this is known as secondary hypertension, and treating the cause should bring your blood pressure back down to normal.

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Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important

Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.

Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.

For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.

Low Sodium Intake And Cardiovascular Risk

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Over the years, the evidence of a close relationship between high sodium intake and hypertension, and high sodium intake and increased cardiovascular risk and mortality, has become increasingly consolidated. For this reason, we are used to consider that the lower the sodium intake is, the better the patient prognosis is. However, the studies that are beginning to shake the foundations of this historic fortress are growing in number. Actually, in the analysis of this topic, several cohort studies and meta-analyses have shown that the relationship between sodium intake and poor patient prognosis have not a linear trend, but rather describe a J-shape curve. In these studies, an increased risk not only in high sodium intake, but also in significantly low sodium intake levels is underlined. To reach this declaration, large patient populations have been studied, including various types of healthy patients or those with different co-morbidities , with wide numbers in all subgroups.

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Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks

One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.

When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.

“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.

Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”

It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.

And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.

Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

The higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems, and lowering it is one of the best things you can do for your health. Even a small change can make a big difference lowering the top number by 10mmHg lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 20%.

Some people have blood pressure below the healthy range. This is known as low blood pressure, but is normally nothing to worry about. The video below shows how to keep a healthy blood pressure.

You can start taking steps today to lower your blood pressure and keep it in check. Read more about the changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle, and the medications that are available if you need them.

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How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure

You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle. This means

If you already have high blood pressure, it is important to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should get regular medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

High Blood Pressure Facts

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High blood pressure is serious because it can lead to major health problems. Make a point of learning what blood pressure should be. And, remember:

If your doctor asks you to take your blood pressure at home, keep in mind:

  • There are many home blood pressure monitors for sale. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist which monitor you need and how to use it. Have your monitor checked at the doctor’s office to make sure it works correctly.
  • Avoid smoking, exercise, and caffeine 30 minutes before checking your blood pressure.
  • Make sure you are sitting with your feet uncrossed and on the floor, and that your back is resting against something.
  • Relax quietly for five minutes before checking your blood pressure.
  • Keep a list of your blood pressure numbers, what time you measured your blood pressure, and when you took your blood pressure medication . Share this information with your doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse.

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Secondary Hypertension Treatment Options

If your doctor discovers an underlying issue causing your hypertension, treatment will focus on that other condition. For example, if a medicine youve started taking is causing increased blood pressure, your doctor will try other medicines that dont have this side effect.

Sometimes, hypertension is persistent despite treatment for the underlying cause. In this case, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help reduce your blood pressure.

Treatment plans for hypertension often evolve. What worked at first may become less useful over time. Your doctor will continue to work with you to refine your treatment.

Many people go through a trial-and-error phase with blood pressure medications. You may need to try different medicines until you find one or a combination of medications that work for you.

Some of the medications used to treat hypertension include:

Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the most common home remedies.

Adopting A Cleaner Lifestyle

If youre a smoker, try to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the bodys tissues and harden blood vessel walls.

If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.

One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.

Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.

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You Shouldn’t Ignore White Coat Hypertension

Some people experience white coat hypertension, when blood pressure is elevated in the doctor’s office but not in other settings. These patients need to monitor their blood pressure at home or wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that takes your blood pressure every 30 minutes for 24 hours.

While white coat hypertension was formerly considered simple nervousness, recent research suggests otherwise.

A study published in the journal Hypertension found that people with white coat hypertension are at a significantly greater risk for developing sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure. One possible explanation is that people with white coat hypertension have a harder time managing stress and anxiety.

Causes Of Secondary Hypertension

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When high blood pressure arises suddenly due to an identifiable condition, its called secondary hypertension.

Some conditions and drugs can lead to secondary hypertension, including the following:

  • Kidney problems

Examples include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine .

HormonesBirth control pills can also affect blood pressure. Women who take birth control pills usually experience a small rise in systolic and diastolic blood pressure .

Hormone therapy used to relieve symptoms of menopause can also cause a small rise in systolic blood pressure.

If you know you have high blood pressure, but are considering hormone therapy, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of undergoing hormone therapy, as well as the best ways to control your blood pressure.

Additionally, some recreational and illegal drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy , and amphetamines, are also known to increase blood pressure.

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