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What To Do If You Have High Blood Pressure

Common Reasons For High Blood Pressure In Young Adults

How do you know if you have High Blood Pressure?

There are two common presentations of young adults who tend to see us about their blood pressure. Either theyre experiencing common symptoms , or they went to a health fair, a job physical, or their primary care doctor, and someone noticed that they had elevated blood pressure.

Normal, healthy blood pressure is less than 120 millimeters of mercury of systolic pressure and less than 80 mmHg of diastolic pressure. A blood pressure measurement is commonly read as 120 over 80. The first number, systolic pressure, is a measure of blood flow when the heart is actively beating. The second number, diastolic pressure, measures blood flow when the heart is between beats. If we get numbers that are above that 120 over 80 range, its time to start looking at what could be causing that patients blood pressure to be too high.

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People in their 20s and 30s generally are pretty healthy, so we have to make sure they dont have a significant underlying condition that is raising their blood pressure. A general workup for a young person with high blood pressure includes:

Many times, if we can successfully treat these issues, we cure the patients high blood pressure in the process. However, in some cases, the real culprit is found elsewhere. For example, consuming excess salt, stimulants, or supplements.; Obesity and inactivity are additional common factors that can lead to an increase in blood pressure in some individuals.

Reduce Stress Through Meditation And Rest

Chronic stress can lead to chronic elevations in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, says Dr. Desai. These hormones constrict the arteries and cause weight gain, which further increases blood pressure.

He recommends reducing stress by using breathing exercises, practicing meditation, completing physical exercise, practicing yoga, logging quality sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, spending time in nature, listening to music and eating a balanced diet.

Some High Blood Pressure Risks You Can’t Change

Anyone can get high blood pressure. But, some people have a greater chance of having it because of things they can’t change. These are:

  • Age. The chance of having high blood pressure increases as you get older.
  • Gender. Before age 55, men have a greater chance of having high blood pressure. Women are more likely to have high blood pressure after menopause.
  • Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in some families.
  • Race. African Americans are at increased risk for high blood pressure.

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What Is Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood to the inner walls of the arteries. 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.

British Columbia Specific Information

High Blood Pressure: What It Is and What You Can Do About ...

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. This damage can cause a heart attack, stroke or other health problems. Your blood pressure reading is based on two measurements called systolic and diastolic. The systolic and diastolic are written as a ratio, for example . A reading of more than 140/90 mmHg taken at your healthcare providers office may indicate high blood pressure. This figure is different for people with diabetes whose blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. People suffering from other illnesses will have different target normal values. For more information on hypertension, visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Hypertension Canada.

Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health. For information on healthy eating for lowering your blood pressure, see:

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Change In Mental Status

This can be a difficult symptom to deal with because when we become confused we may not be able to respond with appropriate judgment. Its important that people who are usually around you are able to recognize the signs of changes in mental status: muddled thinking, changes in speech, unusual behavior and even simply reduced activity. There are many other possible causes for this symptom besides hypertension, including stroke or possibly an unreported head injury, so always seek medical attention if you experience changes in consciousness. Make sure that family members and caregivers know what to watch for, and know that any sign of quickly changing mental status is an emergency that requires immediate medical response.

Blood Pressure Rising At Night Our Findings

Having blood pressure rising at night is a common concern that affects a considerable number of people. The real issue seems to be that not everyone actually knows why this happens and what to do about it. Many individuals have reported having their blood pressure starting to rise and heart rate increasing anytime between 4pm and 6pm. Some individuals are perplexed the more because this rise happens even at a time of supposed relaxation after work in front of the TV. Reports of readings such as 115/70 at a low rising to 177/113 at a high at night have been put up in hypertension forums. These changes typically resemble blood pressure rising from ideal levels to high blood pressure ranges within hours.

The concern with blood pressure rising at night is valid and must be seriously considered. Here is why. Blood pressure has a daily pattern which is that it dips at night and starts to increase before waking in the morning. The normal routine is for blood pressure to be lower at night and this is refereed to as nocturnal dipping.; Individuals who have their blood pressure failing to dip at night are refereed to as nondippers.

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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.

Increase Activity And Exercise More

What to Do If You Have High Blood Pressure

In a 2013 study, sedentary older adults who participated in aerobic exercise training lowered their blood pressure by an average of 3.9 percent systolic and 4.5 percent diastolic . These results are as good as some blood pressure medications.

As you regularly increase your heart and breathing rates, over time your heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. This puts less pressure on your arteries and lowers your blood pressure.

How much activity should you strive for? A 2013 report by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advises moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for 40-minute sessions, three to four times per week .

If finding 40 minutes at a time is a challenge, there may still be benefits when the time is divided into three or four 10- to 15-minute segments throughout the day .

The American College of Sports Medicine makes similar recommendations .

But you dont have to run marathons. Increasing your activity level can be as simple as:

  • using the stairs
  • going for a bike ride
  • playing a team sport

Just do it regularly and work up to at least half an hour per day of moderate activity.

One example of moderate activity that can have big results is tai chi. A 2017 review on the effects of tai chi and high blood pressure shows an overall average of a 15.6 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 10.7 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure, compared to people who didnt exercise at all .

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Blood Pressure: How High Is Too High And What Can You Do

Alan Segal, MD, is a nephrologist at The University of Vermont Medical Center where he is also Director of the Nephrology Fellowship Program. He is also an associate professor at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM.

High blood pressure, clinically known as hypertension, affects nearly 75 million adults in the United States and 1 billion people globally. Although one-third of adults in the United States are affected, only half of them have their blood pressure controlled.

That has significant costs, both in terms of health and economics. The estimated economic burden for hypertension in 2014 was nearly $75 billion worldwide. It is the single largest contributor to death and disability worldwide, in large part because it dramatically increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. For example, starting at a blood pressure of 115/75, the risk of death doubles for every 20 mmHg increase in systolic pressure , and for every 10 mmHg increase in diastolic pressure .

Hypertension is the most common reason for office visits in adults and more prescriptions are written for blood pressure lowering drugs than for any other drug class.

Lets review the most frequently asked questions about hypertension and how to treat it.

What is blood pressure and what is hypertension?

According to the Joint National Committee :

Try Meditation Or Yoga

Mindfulness and meditation, including transcendental meditation, have long been used and studied as methods to reduce stress. A 2012 study notes that one university program in Massachusetts has had more than 19,000 people participate in a meditation and mindfulness program to reduce stress .

Yoga, which commonly involves breathing control, posture, and meditation techniques, can also be effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.

A 2013 review on yoga and blood pressure found an average blood pressure decrease of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic when compared to those who didnt exercise. Studies of yoga practices that included breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as effective as yoga practices that didnt include all three of these elements .

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Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure

Reducing the amount of salt you eat;can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:;

  • Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
  • Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
  • Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.

Risks Of High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure: What It Is and What You Can Do About ...

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:

  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • live in a deprived area

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure;if it’s already high.

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Consider Cutting Back On Caffeine

Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary. It lasts 45 to 60 minutes and the reaction varies from individual to individual .

Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If youre caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption, or try .

Research on caffeine, including its health benefits, is in the news a lot. The choice of whether to cut back depends on many individual factors.

One older study indicated that caffeines effect on raising blood pressure is greater if your blood pressure is already high. This same study, however, called for more research on the subject .

Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Blood Pressure Numbers

If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, you might be wondering what to do. The guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury , meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension.

While you shouldn’t shrug off the change, there’s also no need to panic. “Obviously, nothing happened overnight inside a woman’s body or to her health with the release of the guidelines,” says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The change, however, should spur you to take your blood pressure seriously. “These guidelines have been long anticipated and are very welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem drastic, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help thousands of people,” says Dr. Fisher.

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What Changes Do You Need To Make

Make these lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure:

  • Lose extra weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 4.5 kg may lower your blood pressure. It may also allow you to take less blood pressure medicine. Losing weight may also lower your cholesterol.

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For Older Adults

How Do You Feel When You Have High Blood Pressure?

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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How Is Blood Pressure Measured

Health care providers measure blood pressure with a cuff that wraps around the upper arm. When the cuff inflates, it squeezes a large artery, stopping the blood flow for a moment. Blood pressure is measured as air is slowly let out of the cuff, which lets blood flow through the artery again.

Blood pressure is measured in two numbers:

  • The pressure when the heart pumps.
  • The pressure when the heart rests between beats.
  • You hear blood pressure reported as the first number “over” the second number, like 120 over 80 or 120/80.

    Cut Added Sugar And Refined Carbs

    Theres a growing body of research showing a link between added sugar and high blood pressure 00649-8/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”>30, 31).

    In the Framingham Womens Health Study, women who drank even one soda per day had higher levels than those who drank less than one soda per day .

    Another study found that having one less sugar-sweetened beverage per day was linked to lower blood pressure .

    And its not just sugar all refined carbs, such as the kind found in white flour convert rapidly to sugar in your bloodstream and may cause problems.

    Some studies have shown that low carb diets may also help reduce blood pressure.

    One study on people undergoing statin therapy found that those who went on a 6-week, carb-restricted diet saw a greater improvement in blood pressure and other heart disease markers than people who did not restrict carbs .

    Bottom line: Refined carbs, especially sugar, may raise blood pressure. Some studies have shown that low carb diets may help reduce your levels.

    Berries are full of more than just juicy flavor.

    Theyre also packed with polyphenols, natural plant compounds that are good for your heart.

    Polyphenols can reduce the risk of stroke, heart conditions, and diabetes, as well as improving blood pressure, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation .

    One study assigned people with high blood pressure to a low-polyphenol diet or a high-polyphenol diet containing berries, chocolate, fruits, and vegetables .

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    When Treatment Is Recommended

    Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make healthy lifestyle changes.

    Whether medicine is also recommended depends on your blood pressure reading and your risk of developing problems such as heart attacks;or strokes.

    Your doctor;will carry out some blood and urine tests, and ask questions about your health to;determine your risk of;other problems:

    • if;your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg , but your risk of other problems is low you’ll be advised to make some changes to your lifestyle
    • if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg and;your risk of other problems is high you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
    • if your blood pressure is;consistently above 160/100mmHg you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure,;in addition to lifestyle changes

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