Hypertension: What You Need To Know As You Age
You cant see high blood pressure, also called hypertension. And most ofthe time, you cant feel it. But if youre among the 78 million Americanswith hypertension or are one of the 70 million with prehypertension, its important to understandits effects on your healthand to take action today to bring your numbersdown to healthier levels.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inner walls of yourarteries. It has normal fluctuations throughout the dayfalling when yourerelaxed or asleep, rising naturally in the morning, and increasingtemporarily when youre under stress, excited or exercising. But when yourresting blood pressure level rises too high, it can scar, stiffen and/orweaken blood vessels. This effect can double your risk for aheart attack quadruple your odds for astroke raise your risk forheart failure, vision loss, kidney problems,dementiaand circulation problems such asperipheral artery disease weaken your bones and contribute toerectile dysfunctionin men.
How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
You can often lower your blood pressure by changing your day-to-day habits and by taking medication if needed. Treatment, especially if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes, requires ongoing evaluation and discussions with your doctor.
Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure to a safe level. Isolated systolic hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure in older adults, is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. You may try several kinds or combinations of medications before finding a plan that works best for you. Medication can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. If your doctor starts you on medication for high blood pressure, you may need to take it long-term.
Why Is It Dangerous To Lower My Blood Pressure Too Quickly
Before we talk about specific examples, lets learn why its dangerous to lower your blood pressure too quickly. Your heart and blood vessels carry blood to all your body parts, including large, important organs that keep you alive, like your lungs and especially your brain. Large drops in blood pressure can suddenly stop your brain from getting the continuous blood flow and oxygen it needs. This can lead to a stroke and permanent brain damage.
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What Is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
If a doctor recommends ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, you will need to wear a blood pressure cuff for 24 hours. It’s connected to a small, portable measuring device that automatically measures your blood pressure at set times and records the readings.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is used, for example, to see whether blood pressure levels vary greatly over the course of the day and night or whether they are constantly elevated. During those 24 hours, you can do all of the usual things you would otherwise do over the course of the day. If you are especially active at certain times, you can make a note in a diary. Then the doctor has a better idea of how to interpret the recorded values when evaluating them.
Drink Alcohol In Moderation
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will increase your blood pressure and raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.
Sticking to the recommended amounts of alcohol consumption is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
The recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption are:
- 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men
- 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women.
A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure or spirits.
More about drinking alcohol reponsibly
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes
The following can help normalize blood pressure:
- Stopping smoking: Smoking harms the arteries and can cause high blood pressure.
- Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein: Reduce or eliminate added sugars and processed foods.
- Getting regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends moderate-intensity exertion, such as walking at a quick pace. A person should do this for 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week.
- Limiting alcohol consumption: Women should drink no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. Drinking more than this can raise blood pressure.
- Finding healthy ways to lower stress: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other techniques to manage stress can help to avoid spikes in blood pressure.
- Consuming less sodium: Excessively salty foods can cause sharp increases in blood pressure.
- Reducing the intake of caffeine: Caffeinated drinks can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, and may make anxiety worse.
Consult a doctor for personalized guidance.
High Blood Pressure Chart
- 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.
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You Rarely Go Outside
Binging a new show on Netflix for days on end while quarantining inside your home should protect you from COVID-19, but it could increase your blood pressure or worsen existing hypertension, suggests a study in the Journal of American Heart Association. And why is this? It’s the lack of sunlight that’s boosting your blood pressure.
In the observational study, researchers analyzed 46 million blood pressure readings from 342,000 patients in 2,200 dialysis clinics and found that exposure to UV sunlight was associated with lower systolic blood pressure. For decades, scientists have known of seasonal variation in blood pressure, but had linked it to factors such as air temperature and vitamin D, which is produced when sunlight hits the skin. This new study found that temperature played a role, but “half the seasonal variation in blood pressure is independent of temperature. It’s due to the UV alone,” said lead author Dr. Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
What Is The Fastest Way To Bring Down High Blood Pressure
How can I naturally reduce my blood pressure over a period of time?
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What Can I Do If My Blood Pressure Goes Up Right Before Doctors Visits
Have you ever heard of white coat syndrome? Its what happens when you typically have normal-ranged blood pressure but significantly higher blood pressure in medical settings like hospitals or doctors offices. This is often caused by feeling nervousness or anxiety around medical settings. Unfortunately, this means your health provider might think your blood pressure is higher than it really is.
White coat syndrome isnt uncommon. In fact, one study suggests that 15% to 30% of people who have high blood pressure readings might suffer from white coat syndrome. In cases like these, some patients wonder whether its possible to quickly lower their blood pressure before a reading. If youre in this situation, the safest and most effective thing you can do is try your best to relax.
Here are a few relaxation methods you can try:
If you or your doctor suspect white coat syndrome, your doctor may send you home with a blood pressure monitor that will check your blood pressure periodically throughout a normal day. This gives a more accurate reading of what your blood pressure really is and helps the doctor figure out whether the stress of a physical trip to a medical facility is affecting you.
You Don’t Know What Those Numbers Mean
OK, so you checked your blood pressure on the machine at your local CVS, but what does 130/90 mean?
Well, it means you may have elevated blood pressure and now have a reason to see your doctor. The top number stands for systolic pressure, the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats or pumps. The bottom or diastolic number represents the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood. The official guidelines say that normal blood pressure is under 120/80.
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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 for kids with hypertension, such as:
Eating a healthy diet:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
- Limit salt.
- Avoid alcohol.
Getting regular exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. Kids 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.
What Are The Causes Of Sudden High Blood Pressure
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Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes
Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:
- Certain medications or combinations of medications
- Chronic kidney disease
Poor Nutrition And Anemia
Poor nutrition can cause anemia, which in turn can cause a rapid heart rate and low blood pressure. When you do not take in enough iron, your body lacks what it needs to form adequate red blood cells. Lack of folate and vitamin B12 also can lead to low blood pressure due to anemia. Anemia also is characterized by fatigue.
When you are anemic and not producing enough red blood cells, your body’s ability to carry oxygen to tissues like muscle throughout your body is diminished. Other symptoms may include fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath during exercise, concentration problems, headaches, chest pain, tingling and constipation, according to the American Society of Hematology. Consult a doctor if you have signs of anemia.
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Foods That Raise Blood Pressure Level
Written byEmily LunardoPublished onMay 6, 2017
Living with high blood pressure can be a hassle to deal with. A major contributor to our blood pressure is diet. Once we become accustomed to a certain diet, we find it hard to adjust. However, we eventually need to swap out the food that increases blood pressure, as over time, high blood pressure causes blood vessels to become stiff and inflexible. This leads to other potential problems down the linesuch as cardiovascular disease and strokewhich may have fatal consequences.
There are certain foods you should avoid if you have high blood pressure that will be detailed in this article. Along with exercise, prescribed medication, and your doctors assistance, managing high blood pressure can be effortless.
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.
The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.
A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.
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What Health Problems Can High Blood Pressure Cause
#bpraisers: Things That Raise Your Blood Pressure
Keeping blood pressure under control can mean adding things to your life, like exercise, that help lower it. It can also mean avoiding things that raise it. Here is a list of BP raisers, and information on how to keep your pressure from getting too high.
Just a few minutes of light activity for people who sit most of the day can lower blood pressure in those with Type 2 diabetes.
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Fluctuating Blood Pressure And Inconsistent Bp Readings
Many people will experience fluctuating blood pressure throughout each day. Fluctuations within normal ranges are perfectly okay and expected to happen. If your blood pressure was not changing during the day, there would be something wrong.
There are many reasons why your blood pressure will go up and down. Some of them are happening no matter what, and others can be avoided. Larger, more than normal fluctuations, can happen too. If they do, it means you may have a medical issue that needs attention from a physician.
This post will inform you of all the fluctuating blood pressure causes, good and bad, and how you can correct some of them. Ill also tell you complications which can occur from large, consistent fluctuations and treatments to avoid them in the future.
BP Tip: You can lower BP naturally by changing how you breathe. Theres a device approved by the FDA and The American Heart Association. It guides your breathing a few minutes a day which has been proven to lower BP. You can check it out in the manufacturers website by .
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Finding And Treating Underlying Causes And Making Lifestyle Changes Will Help
Many people have high blood pressure in older age, and sometimes its hard to control. That problem is called resistant hypertension blood pressure that stays above a set goal, such as 140/90 millimeters of mercury , despite taking three classes of blood pressure drugs at the highest tolerable doses. The condition is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease, dementia, and more. What can you do to tame it?
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How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is measured using a machine called a blood pressure monitor.
A cuff is put over your arm. This cuff is attached to a machine which measures the pressure inside your arteries. When the machine is switched on the cuff tightens and then slowly loosens again. It is quick and painless. At the end, the machine will give a blood pressure reading.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury .
A blood pressure reading contains two numbers and will be written as a figure like 120/75
The first number is the pressure when your heart beats . The second number is when your heart relaxes .
During a blood pressure test, a blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your arm so a blood pressure monitor can measure your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Whos At Risk For Labile Hypertension
Labile hypertension tends to be situational. This means the spikes occur in response to stressful events a fender bender, intensive physical exertion or thinking about financial woes, for example. This helps distinguish labile hypertension from true hypertension, in which blood pressure is high all the time.
Although hypertension can develop at any time, it raises a red flag when it occurs in young people or after age 60.
People who develop hypertension in their 40s particularly if they have a family history of hypertension are more likely to have essential hypertension than labile hypertension. They tend to be overweight or have underlying dietary issues, such as excessive sodium intake or heavy alcohol consumption.
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How Is Fluctuating Blood Pressure Treated
First, a doctor will determine the underlying cause. They will ask about a persons history and discuss their lifestyle and current medications. The doctor may also order or conduct tests.
Medications can lower blood pressure and prevent dangerous fluctuations. A person may also be able to achieve this goal by making changes to their lifestyle.
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
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