How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
High blood pressure is diagnosed with a blood pressure monitor. This is a common test for all doctor visits. A nurse will place a band around your arm. The band is attached to a small pump and a meter. He or she will squeeze the pump. It will feel tight around your arm. Then he or she will stop and watch the meter. This provides the nurse with 2 numbers that make up your blood pressure. The top number is your systolic reading . The bottom number is your diastolic reading . You may also hear the doctor or nurse say a blood pressure is 120 over 80.
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120 on top and less than 80 on the bottom.
- Prehypertension levels are 120-139 on top and 80-89 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 1 is 140-159 on top and 90-99 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 2 is 160 or higher on top and 100 and over on the bottom.
The higher your blood pressure is, the more often you need to have it checked. After age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. Do it more often if you have had high blood pressure in the past.
What Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
There are two numbers involved in a blood pressure reading: systolic and diastolic. Systolic, the top number, refers to the amount of pressure in the arteries with every heartbeat. Diastolic, the bottom number, measures the pressure in arteries between heartbeats.
Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mmHg, prehypertension is 120-139/80-90 mmHg, stage one hypertension is 140-159/90-99 mmHg, stage two hypertension is 160+/100+, and hypertensive crisisis a reading of over 180/110.
When Is The Best Time To Check Your Blood Pressure At Home
Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onJune 10, 2017
It seems were all concerned about our blood pressure, whether its too high or too low. If your doctor has raised concerns about blood pressure, you may have gone out and purchased an at-home device to monitor it. By now, you probably know that you shouldnt check your blood pressure after a meal, after physical activity, or while standing up if you want it to be accurate.
Its important to note that there isnt a single best time to check your blood pressure. In fact, your doctor will never make a diagnosis of high blood pressure from a single visit. Instead, consistent high blood pressure readings are required for an accurate diagnosis.
Blood pressure is typically lowest right when you wake up and varies up to 30 percent throughout the day. This is the result of hormone changes, activity levels, and eating.
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Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.
After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .
It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.
Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .
Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.
Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.
You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.
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Have Your Blood Pressure Measured Regularly
Have your blood pressure measured regularly and know what your blood pressure is. Remember that both numbers are important. If either the systolic or diastolic number is high , then your doctor will need to further check your blood pressure. A blood pressure measurement of less than 120/80 mmHg is very good unless it causes dizziness.
Why Is My Tension High In The Morning Sometimes
Blood pressure tends to be relatively low after waking up, but for some people, it can be abnormally high in the mornings. Doctors refer to this as morning hypertension.
People who have morning hypertension may be at risk of cardiovascular problems. A 2010 review notes that stroke and other serious cardiac events are most likely to happen in the first 46 hours after waking. However, this could also be caused by other factors such as medication and sleep apnea. You should always consult your physician if you are concerned about morning hypertension.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, heart, lungs and kidneys. Keeping your blood pressure within the normal range is important. But whats normal? That depends on your age and other factors.
Blood Pressure Readings
Blood pressure is expressed in terms of two numbers. The top number is systolic blood pressure. This is the highest pressure and occurs when your heart actually beats. The second number is the diastolic. This reading shows blood pressure when your heart relaxes. Your blood pressure varies throughout the day. It is lower at night and rises shortly before you wake up. It peaks in the middle of the afternoon and then drops in the evening.
High and Low Blood Pressure
The generally accepted standard for normal blood pressure is 90/60 to less than120/80. If your blood pressure is consistently lower than 90/60, you have low blood pressure. Blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 is still considered normal. However, most doctors will recommend lifestyle changes if you are in that range. Above 140/90 is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. Medications may be recommended for blood pressures in this range or above.
Aging, Sex and Blood Pressure
Factors That Affect Blood Pressure
Many things affect your blood pressure. These tend to cause increased readings:
The three S rule stress, smoking and sleep apnea increase blood pressure.
Genetics and family history high blood pressure and heart disease often run in families.
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.
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When Is Blood Pressure Highest
Blood pressure rises and falls in a fairly predictable pattern. When you wake up in the morning, it surges. It then increases throughout the day. At night, during sleep, it tends to drop again.
However, this isn’t always the case for people with high blood pressure. In fact, there are four distinct patterns of nighttime blood pressure shifts. They are:
- A normal drop in blood pressure of 10% to 20%
- Extreme dipping, which is a drop of more than 20%
- Nondipping, which is a drop of less than 10%
- Reverse dipping, in which blood pressure is higher during sleep than during waking hours
All three types of abnormal dips in blood pressure are associated with various health risks. They can affect the arteries and heart, kidneys, blood sugar levels, and more.
The only way to know how your blood pressure changes is to measure it regularly at different times across the day and night. One way to do this is with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring .
This technique involves wearing a blood pressure cuff like the one your healthcare provider uses in their office. You use it for a specified period of time, usually 24 or 48 hours. The cuff is linked to a small monitor that can be attached to a belt or an item of clothing. The device automatically takes your blood pressure every 15 or 30 minutes.
ABPM measures blood pressure during sleep as well as during waking hours. For this reason, it can be a useful way to find out what kind of dip, if any, someone tends to have at night.
Daily Blood Pressure Pattern
Blood pressure follows a daily pattern. It is normally lower at night while you are sleeping and starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. This rise in BP continues during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon. By late afternoon or evening, your BP would begin to drop again.
Some people experience abnormality in their BP pattern. One of it is a morning surge in BP , which results in increased risk of damage to the brain, heart and kidneys. Morning hypertension could also happen in those with well-controlled BP.
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What Time Of Day Is Blood Pressure Lowest
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Correspondingly, which is the proper arm to check blood pressure?
How long after you wake up should you take your blood pressure?
Is it better to take blood pressure in the morning or at night?
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What if my blood pressure is 160 90?
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Many Factors Can Cause Blood Pressure Fluctuations
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My blood pressure readings vary throughout the day. Sometimes theyre high and sometimes theyre low. So Im not sure if I have high blood pressure or not.
Blood pressure varies throughout the day and is influenced by a number of factors, says Dr. Joshua Penn, a cardiologist with Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and in private practice in Beverly Hills.
For starters, all humans have a natural daily rise and fall in blood pressure that corresponds with their circadian rhythm.
For most people, blood pressure will be at its lowest in the early morning hours and then rise through the late morning and peak in midafternoon.
Typically, this range will be about 10 to 15 millimeters of mercury on the upper, or systolic, value, which represents the peak pressure in the arteries and five to 10 millimeters of mercury on the lower, or diastolic, value, which represents the lowest pressure at the resting phase of the cardiac cycle.
Thus, a person with a resting blood pressure of 125/70 at 3 a.m., might have a reading of 140/80 by late afternoon.
Other factors contribute to fluctuations in blood pressure, but the most common one is hypertension, a condition characterized by chronic high blood pressure.
One of the manifestations of poorly controlled blood pressure is a high degree of variability, he says. A person with a lot of variation could easily have a blood pressure of 140/90 in the morning and a reading of 200/100 later in the day.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for having high blood pressure, and your risk increases further if you are obese.
There are two ways to check if you are overweight:
- Body Mass Index – This is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared. In the UK, people with a BMI of between 25 to 30 are overweight, and those with an index above 30 are classed as obese. People with a BMI of 40 or more are morbidly obese.
- Waist size – Using a measuring tape place the tape round your waist between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hip bone. The table below indicates how much your health might be at risk, your ethnicity should also be taken into account.
|Over 80 cm|
The best way to tackle obesity is by reducing the amount of calories that you eat, and taking regular exercise. Your GP can provide you with further information and advice on how you can do this.
More about having a healthy weight
At Home With A Monitor
Home monitoring can be a great way to keep track of your blood pressure on a daily basis.
With home monitoring, you can check your blood pressure throughout the day and at times that are convenient for you. It can help you see how your blood pressure changes throughout the day and help you get a sense of your average blood pressure range.
However, youll need to purchase a blood pressure monitor to do this. Youll also need to learn how to use it and how to record accurate readings.
Its not complicated to learn the basics of many home monitors, but it can still be easy to make a mistake.
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What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood over the inner walls of the arteries. Although the average blood pressure for a person remains constant, it shows minor fluctuations throughout the daydeclining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in the resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
Blood pressure is written as systolic and diastolic values. Hence, BP 120/80 mm Hg means 120 is the systolic number, and 80 is the diastolic number.
Get Regular Blood Pressure Checks
If your blood pressure is in the healthy range and you have no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and no personal or family history of high blood pressure, it is still important to have a check at least every two years. Your doctor can also check your blood pressure during routine visits.
If your blood pressure is highnormal , or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, it is best to have it checked more frequently such as every 6 to 12 months or as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor for advice.
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How Does My Circadian Rhythm Affect My Blood Pressure Medication
Michael Smolensky, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas, Ausin, reports, â”The body doesn’t respond to medications in the same way at different times of the day. Some drugs are not as effective or as well tolerated if they’re taken at the wrong biological time. It’s not that they’re not effective at all, but they’re certainly much less effective.”Studies on chronotherapy have found that taking high blood pressure medications before bedtime help with the non-dipping issue. This reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke by normalizing your daily blood pressure rhythm. Specifically, it has been reported that drugs called ACE inhibitors and ARBs are the most effective when taken at bedtime.
What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100
If your blood pressure is higher than 160/100 mmHg, then three visits are enough. If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg, then five visits are needed before a diagnosis can be made. If either your systolic or diastolic blood pressure stays high, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made.
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Learning To Cope With Stress Can Help
Stress and hypertension have often been linked, but researchers are still looking into a direct relationship between the two. Still, the best advice to hypertensive patients: Try to relax.
When you are stressed, your body sends stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones create a temporary spike in blood pressure, causing your heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow. When the stressful situation is over, blood pressure goes back to its normal level.
Chronic stress, however, may cause your body to stay in this highly-charged state longer than natural.
While stress itself may or may not affect blood pressure, how you cope with stress does. For instance, overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol in response to stressful situations are direct causes of sustained high blood pressure. On the flip side, healthier coping mechanisms like exercising, practicing yoga and meditating can all help lower blood pressure.
When To Monitor Your Blood Pressure At Home
After knowing “what time of day is blood pressure highest?” you may want to closely observe your blood pressure during the day so as to detect any abnormal fluctuations. The best way is to monitor your blood pressure at home. To track your blood pressure, you should measure it at different times during the day, about 5 to 6 times per day. Once you understand how your blood pressure works and you get to know your numbers, you can start monitoring your blood pressure once or twice a day. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, monitor it at the same times every day, in case that it is affected by other factors. Often, it is recommended to measure the blood pressure in the morning, before you have your morning coffee and breakfast, and once again before bed.
When Should You Check Blood Pressure If You Are Taking Medications?
Normally medications do interfere with the levels of your blood pressure. The best time to monitor your blood pressure is just before you take your regular medicines. At that time you will get real results of your blood pressure. You can also see how well your medicines are working.
Should You Check the Blood Pressure When You Have the Symptoms?
You may also wonder this question after “what time of day is blood pressure highest?” In fact, it is a good time to monitor your blood pressure to see how high it is. Remember to seek immediate assistance when the symptoms are too severe.
Common symptoms of high blood pressure include:
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