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What Triggers High Blood Pressure

Congenital Blood Vessel Defects

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An individual who has congenital blood vessel defects commonly experiences hypertension as a result of their disease. Most blood vessel defects an individual is born with involve problems with the main blood vessels that stem out of the patient’s heart. Coarctation of the aorta is a defect that causes the major artery that moves blood from the heart to the rest of the body or the aorta to become too narrow and causes an increase the patient’s blood pressure. Patent ductus arteriosus is a defect where the individual’s ductus arteriosus never closes up. This malfunction causes some of their blood to skip the route to the lungs for oxygen.

Patent ductus arteriosus can result in pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries that take blood to the lungs. Truncus arteriosus is a defect of the pulmonary arteries and aorta that also causes an excess of blood flow into the patient’s lungs. The excess blood flow results in high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries can be life-threatening. It is easy for congenital blood vessel defects to disrupt the healthy blood volume balance in the body, which results in blood pressure issues.

What Is A High Blood Pressure Reading

You will probably be diagnosed with high blood pressure if your readings are consistently 140/90mmHg or higher over a number of weeks. This is the cut-off point many GPs use for diagnosing high blood pressure.

You might also have high blood pressure if just one of the numbers is higher than it should be so if the top number is over 140mmHg or the bottom number is over 90mmHg.

A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day and it could just be a one-off. If you have a high reading, your doctor or nurse will want to see if it stays high over time before diagnosing high blood pressure.

What Are Common Symptoms Of Hypertension

Hypertension is called a “silent killer”. Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is essential that blood pressure is measured regularly.

When symptoms do occur, they can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.

The only way to detect hypertension is to have a health professional measure blood pressure. Having blood pressure measured is quick and painless. Although individuals can measure their own blood pressure using automated devices, an evaluation by a health professional is important for assessment of risk and associated conditions.

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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.

What Are Clinical Trials For High Blood Pressure And Kidney Disease

Infographic about causes of high blood pressure

Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.

Researchers are studying many aspects of high blood pressure and kidney disease, such as

  • managing high blood pressure through diet, education, and counseling in patients with kidney disease
  • testing new medications to treat high blood pressure and kidney disease

Find out if clinical studies are right for you.

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A Note About Sex And Gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .

If blood pressure is too high for too long, it can cause serious damage to the blood vessels.

This can lead to various complications, some of which can be life threatening. They include:

There are ways of managing high blood pressure, or hypertension. The condition does not often cause symptoms, but regular screening can help a person know if preventive measures are necessary.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force estimates that high blood pressure affects around 45% of adults in the U.S.

In this article, we look at the causes of high blood pressure and how to treat it. We also explain the blood pressure measurements that health authorities consider to be typical or too high.

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body. As it travels, the blood delivers oxygen to the bodys vital organs.

Sometimes, a problem in the body makes it harder for the heart to pump blood. For example, this could occur if an artery becomes too narrow.

Persistent high blood pressure can place strain on the walls of the arteries. This can lead to various health problems, some of which can be life threatening.

Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .

Therefore, if blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg, the systolic pressure is 120 mm Hg and the diastolic pressure is 80 mm Hg.

Systolic

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How To Understand High Blood Pressure Readings

Two numbers create a blood pressure reading. Systolic pressure indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood. Diastolic pressure is the reading of the pressure in your arteries between beats of your heart.

Five categories define blood pressure readings for adults:

  • Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury .
  • Elevated: The systolic number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. Doctors usually dont treat elevated blood pressure with medication. Instead, your doctor may encourage lifestyle changes to help lower your numbers.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
  • Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. Blood pressure in this range requires urgent medical attention. If any symptoms like chest pain, headache, shortness of breath, or visual changes occur when blood pressure is this high, medical care in the emergency room is needed.

A blood pressure reading is taken with a pressure cuff. For an accurate reading, its important you have a cuff that fits. An ill-fitting cuff may deliver inaccurate readings.

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What causes high blood pressure in children?

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What Should I Avoid Eating If I Have High Blood Pressure Or Kidney Disease

If you have kidney disease, avoid foods and beverages that are high in sodium.

Additional steps you can take to meet your blood pressure goals may include eating heart-healthy and low-sodium meals, quitting smoking, being active, getting enough sleep, and taking your medicines as prescribed. You should also limit alcoholic drinksno more than two per day for men and one per day for womenbecause consuming too many alcoholic beverages raises blood pressure.

In addition, a health care professional may recommend that you eat moderate or reduced amounts of protein.

Proteins break down into waste products that the kidneys filter from the blood. Eating more protein than your body needs may burden your kidneys and cause kidney function to decline faster. However, eating too little protein may lead to malnutrition, a condition that occurs when the body does not get enough nutrients.

If you have kidney disease and are on a restricted protein diet, a health care professional will use blood tests to monitor your nutrient levels.

Things That Can Increase Your Risk Of Getting High Blood Pressure

You might be more at risk if you:

  • eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • do not do enough exercise
  • drink too much alcohol or coffee
  • do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
  • 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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How Blood Pressure Is Measured

Hypertension can be mild, moderate or severe. Your blood pressure is naturally higher when you are exerting yourself, such as during physical exercise. It is only a concern if your blood pressure is high when you are at rest, because this means your heart is overworked and your arteries have extra stress in their walls.Blood pressure readings are a combination of two measurements. These are:

  • Systolic is the highest pressure against the arteries as the heart pumps. The normal systolic pressure is usually between 110 and 130mmHg.
  • Diastolic is the pressure against the arteries as the heart relaxes and fills with blood. The normal diastolic pressure is usually between 70 and 80mmHg.

Quitting Smoking And Limiting Alcohol

Hypertension

If youre a smoker and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will most likely advise you to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can 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. Drinking alcohol in excess can raise blood pressure.

If you have risk factors for hypertension, you can take steps now to lower your risk for the condition and its complications.

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Bp Fix: Cut Way Back On Packaged Foods

Instead, load up on whole foods rich in beneficial nutrients, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, suggests Dr. Beniaminovitz. Potassium and magnesium are both minerals that help blood vessels relax, which in turn can help lower blood pressure and recent research links high-fiber diets to significant reductions in systolic blood pressure.

If you want to follow a specific dietary plan thats been proven to lower blood pressure, Dr. Beniaminovitz recommends either the DASH diet or a well-formulated Mediterranean Diet.

Youre Having More Than One Alcoholic Drink Per Day

For people who already drink, moderate alcohol consumption is often not a problem, and some research suggests it may even help prevent heart disease. However, heavier alcohol consumptionespecially frequent binge drinking episodescan lead to chronically elevated blood pressure, says Dr. Philips. Research has also tied binge drinking to an increased risk of developing atherosclerosisbuildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

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Five Key Blood Pressure Symptoms As Expert Explains Main Causes That Aren’t Stress

High blood pressure is a common condition that could put a person at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Often it is thought that a cool head is needed to keep blood pressure levels at bay.

When stress levels spike, it can feel like our pulse and blood pressure surge too so is this cause for genuine concern? Some may be surprised to learn that stress isn’t a main cause for long-term high blood pressure, and there are other key factors that you should remain aware of.

To mark Know Your Numbers Week, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of getting your blood pressure checked, here are key facts about the condition, as explained by an expert.

The Top 10 Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure Include:

What causes high blood pressure?

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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Bp Fix: If Youre Going To Drink Drink Moderately

One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits. And if its really more about the ritual than the alcohol itself, consider periodically swapping out your glass of cabernet for a kombucha or one of those trendy new non-alcoholic cocktails from brands like Curious Elixirs, Seedlip, and Kin.

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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High Blood Pressure Treatment

The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

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