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
What Is Low Blood Pressure
While hypertension can be problematic for your overall health, blood pressure thats too low can also be cause for concern. With that said, the American Heart Association doesnt recognize a specific day-to-day blood pressure reading as too low. Instead, its a matter of what symptoms you may be experiencing due to low blood pressure, how these symptoms affect you and how long they persist.
New Clarity On Blood Pressure Levels
Enter the new advice from ACP and AAFP. If you’re 60 or older and have no other cardiovascular risk factors , these guidelines recommend maintaining a systolic reading below 150 mm/Hg.
Thats appropriate for most people in the group above, researchers say. Heres why: The two dozen studies reviewed for the guidelines suggested that aggressive treatment to get systolic blood pressure below 140 in people who are over age 60 didnt extend life or reduce the number of heart attacks. It did, however, possibly lower the risk of strokes.
The new guidelines also recommend that people over age 60 at high risk for cardiovascular problems or who had a heart attack or stroke consider treatment with medication when their systolic level reaches 140. The goal for these people is a systolic level below 140.
But the new guidelines leave it up to you and your doctor to determine exactly what blood pressure level is best. Thats because some people may be able to better tolerate the side effects that can occur with aggressive medication therapy to lower blood pressure.
If you’re under age 60, the ACP/AAFP guidelines don’t include recommendations for you. You can follow these 2014 guidelines from the expert group known as the Eighth Joint National Committee as well as advice from the medical experts at Consumer Reports and Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs: Youre considered to have high blood pressure if your systolic reaches 140 or your diastolicthe bottom numberreaches 90 or above.
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How Do You Know If You Have High Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure reading is given as two numbers:
Your blood pressure reading fits into one of five categories:
At each prenatal care checkup, your provider checks your blood pressure. To do this, she wraps a cuff around your upper arm. She pumps air into the cuff to measure the pressure in your arteries when the heart contracts and then relaxes. If you have a high reading, your provider can recheck it to find out for sure if you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can go up or down during the day.
Dangerously High Blood Pressure: All You Need To Know About Hypertension
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Thats why its so important for you to stay on top of your health and know the symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure.
If you have already been diagnosed with hypertension, you may already know the risks and what to do in case of an emergency. Even so, it always helps to be prepared.
Heres everything you need to know about hypertension, plus what to do in case of a medical emergency.
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Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy
High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and they range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present before pregnancy.
Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy.
Preeclampsia: This is a dangerous condition that typically develops in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the pregnant person. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .
Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Pregnant people who have chronic hypertension are at increased risk for developing preeclampsia.
Your provider will check your blood pressure regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.
Where Do We Go From Here
There are several newer antihypertensive agents, such as the angiotensin II receptor antagonists, that are now available. At present, however, we have no data that their use will decrease morbidity and mortality to either as great or a greater degree than older medications. The angiotensin II antagonists are highly effective when used with small doses of a diuretic, and the cough induced by ACE inhibitors in about 15% to 20% of cases is not a problem.
Renin inhibitors and vasopressor antagonists are also being studied, as are medications that either augment the effects or prevent the degradation of endothelium-relaxing factor .
Endopeptidase inhibitors that prevent the breakdown of atrial naturetic factor, which increases sodium excretion and lowers blood pressure, might also prove useful. Some investigators also believe that if insulin sensitivity can be increased, blood pressure might be better controlled.
Finally, several genes have been identified that may play a causative role in hypertension. Mutations of these genes have been identified in certain susceptible populations. The potential for gene therapy in hypertension is one that will be watched with interest.
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This Is The #1 Sign Your Blood Pressure Is Not Normal
High blood pressure or hypertension causes the heart to work harder to pump blood and can lead to serious health issues if left untreated like heart attack, stroke and more. Although hypertension is a common conditionan estimated 116 million U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk can be greatly reduced by working out 150 minutes a week, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. High blood pressure can happen without any symptoms, but there can be alarming indications that you should have it checked. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 20 years of direct patient care experience who shares three worrisome warning signs not to overlook. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Will Taking Birth Control Pills Increase My Chances Of Getting High Blood Pressure
Doctors and researchers have found a link between birth control pills and an increase in blood pressure among some women. They say that it is more likely to occur in women who are overweight, have kidney disease or have a family history of high blood pressure.
Talk to your health care team to determine what forms of birth control may be best for you. Women with known medical problems or other special conditions might need additional examinations or tests to determine the appropriate method of contraception.
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What Is Hypertensive Crisis
There are two kinds of hypertensive crises: Urgent and Emergency.
Once your systolic blood pressure is over 180 and your diastolic blood pressure is over 120, you are in Hypertensive Crisis. For someone with regular hypertension, this may be a short term elevation, so you test again after a few minutes to be sure.
Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure
Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.
So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with , regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with . Use the to see where your numbers sit.
If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.
Making sure your readings arent a one-off
A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.
Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.
Read about how , getting a , the you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and .
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Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure
Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.
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.
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Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure
Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.
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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 :
When To See A Doctor For High Blood Pressure
Since the majority of individuals living with hypertension dont experience symptoms, its likely youll find out about your high blood pressure numbers during a doctors appointment. After being diagnosed with hypertension, you should continue to see your doctor, especially if you cant control your blood pressure with prescribed medication or recommended lifestyle changes.
Youre experiencing a hypertensive crisis
You should also see or contact your doctor if you experience a related high blood pressure event called a hypertensive crisis. There are two main types of hypertensive crises:
A hypertensive emergency is a rare medical emergency where your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher and you are experiencing symptoms of target organ damage. If this happens to you, call emergency medical services right away.
Symptoms of target organ damage include:
- Difficulty speaking
If youre experiencing elevated blood pressure of 180/120 mm Hg or higher but are not experiencing any of the above symptoms, this is called hypertensive urgency. Wait five minutes and take your blood pressure a second time. If it is just as high, call your doctors office. Your doctor might want to adjust your medications. Hypertensive urgency does not usually result in hospitalization.
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Q: What Advice Do You Give Patients Whose Blood Pressure Is In The 130/80 Range Who Previously Werent Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure And Now They Have It
A: This new classification is not saying that you or your doctor have been doing anything wrong with your blood pressure. We have always classified blood pressure above 120/80 as high. The goal of the new classification is to raise awareness about high blood pressure and improve treatment. By diagnosing high blood pressure earlier, we can help prevent more heart attacks and strokes. These new guidelines are not necessarily going to change whether you are prescribed medication for your high blood pressure or what medications youre on the levels. Were still prescribing the same medications you were on before. We are trying to help give everyone access to the treatments they need and more early aggressive treatment. Were just focusing a lot more on diet, weight loss and exercise.
Its really at 140/90 that were treating patients with medications. At 130/80, were looking at lifestyle changes. Its only people with a lot of risk factors that we will be aggressive with and try to get lower than 130/80.
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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