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HomeExclusiveWhen Is Blood Pressure Highest

When Is Blood Pressure Highest

How Can I Measure My Blood Pressure At Home

High Blood Pressure

Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.

SMBP means you regularly use a personal blood pressure measurement device away from a doctors office or hospitalusually at home. These blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use. A health care team member can show you how to use one if you need help.

Evidence shows that people with high blood pressure are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they use SMBP combined with support from their health care team than if they dont use SMBP.3

Use these additional tips for SMBP:4

  • Use a blood pressure log pdf icon to record your blood pressure measurements.
  • Take your blood pressure at the same time every day.
  • Take at least two readings, 1 or 2 minutes apart.

How Your Blood Pressure And Circulatory System Work

In order to survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood that your circulatory system carries throughout the body. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries. This pressure blood pressure is the result of two forces: The first force occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force is created as the heart rests between heart beats.

Measuring Your Blood Pressure At Home

You can also diagnose yourself with hypertension by measuring your blood pressure at home. If readings are high over two visits at the doctors office, and if your blood pressure is higher than 135/85 mmHg when properly measured at home, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made. This requires you to measure your blood pressure twice a day, in the morning and evening, for one week. Pay no attention to the measurements from the first day. Measuring blood pressure at home requires accurate equipment and proper measuring techniques. Measure the blood pressure of others in your house their blood pressure may also be high.

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What Are The Types Of High Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure with no known single cause, this is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension. Most people have this type of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure which is caused by another health problem, this is known as secondary hypertension, and treating the cause should bring your blood pressure back down to normal.

Normal Blood Pressure For Children

What to know if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure ...

Normal BP ranges vary in children by age. The University of Iowa Stead Family Childrens Hospital provides this chart:

Normal Blood Pressure for Children
Systolic
112128 mm Hg 6680 mm Hg

What is considered healthy for your child also varies by height, age, and sex. You can use Baylor College of Medicine’s calculator to see if your childs blood pressure reading is in a healthy range.

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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 high blood pressure, regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with low blood pressure. Use the chart 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 high blood pressure is diagnosed, getting a blood pressure check, the further tests you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and what it means if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Read more

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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Which Number Is More Important

Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term buildup of plaque and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.

However, either an elevated systolic or an elevated diastolic blood pressure reading may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. According to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.

Third Misconception About High Blood Pressure: It’s Ok As Long As One Number Is Normal

Blood Pressure: How High is Too High and How Do I Lower it Safely?

You may notice that when your doctor measures your blood pressure, the reading includes two numbers, one written on top of the other. These numbers can be confusing. The top number is called your systolic blood pressure. This number represents the force of blood through your blood vessels during your heartbeat.

  • 119 or below is normal systolic blood pressure
  • 120-129 is considered elevated
  • 130 and greater is high blood pressure

The bottom number is called your diastolic blood pressure. This number represents the force of blood through your blood vessels in between heartbeats, while your heart is resting.

  • 79 or below is normal diastolic blood pressure
  • 80 and greater is hypertension

Many people pay more attention to the systolic rate than the diastolic, but experts say that the heart can tolerate a high top number better than a high bottom number. As you age, though, the systolic number tends to take on additional significance as the risk of heart attack and especially stroke increases.

Blood pressure does change throughout the day, depending on your activities. Blood pressure changes over time, as well. Systolic blood pressure tends to rise as you get older. Diastolic blood pressure may decrease as you get older.

If either of your blood pressure readings is consistently above normal, then you need to take action right away. You and your doctor can develop a plan to treat high blood pressure or even prehypertension before damage to your organs occurs.

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What Are Other Ways I Can Lower My Blood Pressure

In addition to taking medicine to control your blood pressure, you can take other steps to help keep your blood pressure levels healthy.

  • Get regular physical activity. Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity helps keep your heart and blood vessels strong. It also can help you keep a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking damages your blood vessels and greatly increases your risk of not only high blood pressure but also heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Eat healthy foods. Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a healthy weight. Having overweight or obesity means your heart must work harder to pump blood and oxygen around the body. Staying at a healthy weight reduces the stress on your heart and reduces your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

When Is My Blood Pressure Too High

Whether a persons individual blood pressure is so high that lowering it is necessary to prevent the development of pathological conditions does not merely depend on the blood pressure value. A persons individual medical history is the determining factor: for instance, persons at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease may already require treatment even for levels falling within the elevated-normal range.

If a case of high blood pressure goes untreated, the risk of cardiac insufficiency, heart attack, circulatory disorders, stroke, or kidney damage increase considerably. This is why blood pressure should be checked regularly at-risk groups are recommended to keep a blood pressure chart.

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What Is Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually the systolic number comes before or above the diastolic number. For example, 120/80 means a systolic of 120 and a diastolic of 80.

Advantages Of Home Testing

3 Dangerous Myths About High Blood Pressure

Research has shown that home blood pressure readings are similar to blood pressure recorded by 24-hour ambulatory monitors .

In addition, home blood pressure readings eliminate the white-coat effect .

Besides routine monitoring for known or suspected high blood pressure, there are other reasons why your doctor may recommend home blood pressure checks. For instance, they may want to check the effectiveness of a current medication or a new low-salt diet change.

They may even use home blood pressure checks to monitor for low blood pressure in certain people or for a condition called masked hypertension .

In the end, though, your doctor will use your home blood pressure readings as an adjuvant to office blood pressure readings, not as a substitute. So be sure to continue seeing your doctor for regular check-ups.

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What Else Is Important When Checking My Blood Pressure

Many factors can influence your blood pressure reading. The following guidelines will help you get the best and most accurate results from your blood pressure monitoring.

Avoid Blood Pressure Spikers

Certain factors can increase your blood pressure. It is important to understand how these âspikersâ affect your BP numbers. To learn their effect, check your BP before and after you experience each of the factors listed below. Once you know their effect, avoid these spikers before your daily checkup routine. This will prevent them from interrupting your baseline measurement and will allow you to see if your standard BP is stable. As you establish your BP routine, use the following guidelines to control spikes in your readings.

Choose A Good Machine

Myriad choices exist in todayâs marketplace for home blood pressure monitoring devices. Not all are equal. Be sure to choose an FDA-approved device. Once you have selected a machine, it not a bad idea to take it in to your doctorâs office. Take your blood pressure reading in front of your physician, nurse or PA so they can ensure you are using it properly. Have them to take an additional reading on their machine, to compare for accuracy.

Take the Proper Position for Reliable Blood Pressure ReadingsEnsure you are positioned correctly for accurate blood pressure readings. Put your feet on the floor and straighten your back with arms supported at heart level. Make sure your elbow is at about the same level as your heart.

Second Misconception Is That High Blood Pressure Can’t Be Prevented

Perhaps you have other relatives with high blood pressure. Maybe you’re a member of a group of people who are at greater risk. For these or other reasons, you may be tempted to think that there’s nothing you can do about high blood pressure.

Here is some good news about high blood pressure: Even if you have many risk factors, there are steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure:

  • Keep your weight at a healthy level. You can accomplish this by a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This includes eating only the amount of food your body needs and choosing foods high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Limit how much salt you eat. Most of the sodium you eat is in the form of salt. It may be salt that you add at the table or salt added to processed foods you consume.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Don’t smoke tobacco, and minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Get regular exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of activity each day, at least five days a week. Exercise relieves stress and helps you control your weight.
  • Don’t let stress build up. The chemicals your body makes in response to stress make your heart beat harder and faster and your blood vessels tighten. All this makes blood pressure higher.

Ask your doctor for suggestions about high blood pressure and how to prevent it. Your doctor may refer you to other health care professionals who can help.

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Learn About High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. Your blood pressure naturally goes up and down throughout the day. But if your blood pressure stays up, you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. When blood pressure is high, it causes damage to your blood vessel walls that gets worse over time. This increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.

Having high blood pressure is serious, but there is good news. There are many ways to manage blood pressure. Our topics cover lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure, such as eating better, being active, and losing weight. You will also learn how to check your blood pressure at home and weigh the pros and cons of taking medicine to lower your blood pressure.

Get the information you need in our high blood pressure topics, such as:

What Are The Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure: what causes high blood pressure?

Nearly one-third of all Americans have high blood pressure, but it is particularly prevalent in:

  • People who have diabetes, gout, or kidney disease

  • African Americans

  • People in their early to middle adult years men in this age group have higher blood pressure more often than women in this age group

  • People in their middle to later adult years women in this age group have higher blood pressure more often than men in this age group

  • Middle-aged and elderly people more than half of all Americans age 60 and older have high blood pressure

  • People with a family history of high blood pressure

  • People consuming a high salt diet

  • Overweight people

  • Women who are taking oral contraceptives

  • People with depression

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Preventing High Blood Pressure

Exercising for 30 minutes a day can reduce blood pressure by as much as 9 mmHg. Eating less salt achieves a similar effect. Alcohol should be consumed only in moderation, and smoking should be avoided entirely. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk products, and little meat will keep blood pressure low.

Each excess kilogram of body weight a person loses reduces blood pressure by up to 2 mmHg. Because stress also increases blood pressure, care should be taken to ensure a good work-life balance and adequate sleep.

What Are The Treatments For High Blood Pressure

Treatments for high blood pressure include heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.

You will work with your provider to come up with a treatment plan. It may include only the lifestyle changes. These changes, such as heart-healthy eating and exercise, can be very effective. But sometimes the changes do not control or lower your high blood pressure. Then you may need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines. Some people need to take more than one type.

If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Integration And Redundancy Of Cardiovascular Control

Arterial blood pressure is regulated by neural and endocrine mechanisms and augmented by exchange between the vascular and other body fluid spaces. Neural control is mostly by the SNS, with a minor role played by the PNS in controlling heart rate and some local vascular beds. Endocrine agents that control vascular smooth muscle tone include the vasoconstrictors catecholamines, angiotensin II, and ADH and the vasodilator nitric oxide. Physical mechanisms include exchange of fluid between the plasma and the interstitial fluid at the capillaries of the microcirculation, and the loss of plasma from filtration at the renal glomerulus. The renal regulation of blood pressure is augmented by the same agents that constrict vascular smooth musclethe catecholamines, angiotensin II, and ADHas well as the steroid hormone aldosterone. It is useful to understand the vascular control systems on the basis of both the pressure range over which they operate and the time frame in which they operate.

J. Eric Piña-Garza MD, Kaitlin C. James MD, in, 2019

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