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When To Go To The Doctor For High Blood Pressure

What Questions Might I Be Asked In The Emergency Room

7 Mistakes that artificially RAISE blood pressure at the doctor’s office

Your healthcare provider will interview you when you enter the emergency room. Do your best to prepare yourself to answer the following questions, and more, that your healthcare provider may ask.

  • What medications are you on?
  • Did you forget your blood pressure medication?
  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?

If youre unable to check your blood pressure, but think it might be high, dont hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2021.

References

High Blood Pressure At Doctor’s Could Signal Danger

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 — If you dread seeing the doctor and your blood pressure reading always seems to be high at the doctor’s office, a new review says you should take those elevated readings seriously.

The problem is called white-coat hypertension and it may signal an underlying problem.

The research defined white-coat hypertension as elevated readings at the doctor’s office, along with normal blood pressure elsewhere. People who had untreated white-coat hypertension had double the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke compared with people with normal blood pressure.

The odds of having a heart attack or stroke were also about one-third higher for those with white-coat hypertension, according to the new review. Their risk of dying prematurely from any cause was also increased by about a third compared to people with no blood pressure problems.

“People with white-coat hypertension may not be monitored regularly. They may feel like nothing is wrong,” said lead author Dr. Jordana Cohen. She is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, in Philadelphia.

Cohen said everyone needs to know their blood pressure outside the doctor’s office. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a defined as a top reading of at least 130 or a bottom one of 80. The condition affects nearly a third of American adults, the researchers said.

The study was published June 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Can Anxiety Make Blood Pressure Go Up

While occasional anxiety does not cause long-term high blood pressure, it can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure during those anxiety episodes. If those temporary spikes in blood pressure occur every day or frequently, they can damage blood vessels, the heart, and kidneys in the long run or cause high blood pressure. Talk to a healthcare provider about medication if your anxiety interferes with your daily activities.If you want to learn more about hypertension, check our guide What does hypertension mean?

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Where To Get A Blood Pressure Test

You can ask for a blood pressure check. You do not have to wait to be offered one.

  • at your GP surgery by a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or self-service machine
  • at some pharmacies
  • at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults aged 40 to 74 in England
  • in some workplaces

You can also test your blood pressure at home using a home testing kit.

Treatment Of High Blood Pressure

Why the Y Difference in High Blood Pressure?

Treatment for HBP depends on its severity and associated risks of developing other diseases. Treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes

Medications

  • ACE inhibitors will help blood vessels relax and open up, leading to a lower blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers will help blood vessels open up, leading to a lower blood pressure.
  • Beta blockers will help reduce your blood pressure.
  • Alpha blockers will help reduce the arteries resistance, relaxing the muscle tone of the vascular walls.
  • Alpha-2 receptor agonists will help reduce blood pressure by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic portion of the involuntary nervous system.
  • Calcium channel blockers will help relax and open up narrowed blood vessels, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure.
  • Combined alpha and beta blockers are used as an IV drip for those patients experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
  • Central agonists will help decrease the blood vessels ability to tense up or contract.
  • Diuretics water pills will help reduce the amount of fluid retention in your body.
  • Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors will help reduce blood pressure by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Vasodilators will help the muscle in the walls of the blood vessels to relax, allowing the vessel to dilate.

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What Medication Is Prescribed To Treat High Blood Pressure

Once diagnosed with high blood pressure, you and your doctor will discuss the best treatment options. If your doctor decides to prescribe you with a medication, it can be comforting to understand the different types of blood pressure medication available and what each of them do.

According to the American Heart Association, the following are common classes of blood pressure medications and how each of them help lower your blood pressure:

Each class of medications is accompanied by possible side effects and your doctor will work to determine which medication is right for you.

British Columbia Specific Information

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:

You may also call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or you can Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian.

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What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure readings include two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure . This is the force of blood on the artery walls as your heart pumps. The second number is the diastolic pressure . This is the force of blood on the artery walls between heartbeats.

If the top number stays high, or the bottom number stays high, or both, that means you have high blood pressure . It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. Your doctor will give you a goal for your blood pressure.

How Do You Make Lifestyle Changes

Best Ways To Lower Your High Blood Pressure

Making any kind of change in the way you live your daily life is like being on a path. The path leads to success. Here are the first steps on that path:

  • Have your own reason for making a change. If you do it because someone else wants you to, you’re less likely to have success. When you have high blood pressure, the reason for making lifestyle changes is clear: to lower your blood pressure. If you don’t feel ready now, learn more about high blood pressure and the damage it can do. When you truly want to make changes, you’re ready for the next step.
  • Set goals. Include long-term goals as well as short-term goals that you can measure easily. Your doctor can help you figure out what your long-term goals should be for your blood pressure. Short-term goals are the small steps you take, week by week, to improve your health.
  • Measure improvements to your health. Before you make lifestyle changes, ask your doctor to check your blood pressure. Then, as you start to make changes, have your blood pressure checked often, and keep track of the numbers. You can buy a home blood pressure monitor that is easy to use.
  • Think about what might get in your way, and prepare for slip-ups. By thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen. Use a personal action plan to write down your barriers and backup plans.
  • Get support from your family, your doctor, and your friends. Tell them about your long-term and short-term goals and how they can help.
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    What About Chronic Diseases How Can These Affect Blood Pressure

    To start with low blood pressure, here are a few diseases that can literally cause low blood pressure: malnutrition, septicemia, anaphylaxis, bradycardia , heart attack, heart failure, parathyroid disease, Addisons disease, diabetes, and hypoglycemia . High blood pressure, on the other hand, can be caused by the following diseases: kidney disease, diabetes, sleep apnoea, glomerulonephritis, thyroid problems, lupus, obesity, and scleroderma.

    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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    Youre Experiencing A Hypertensive Urgency Or Hypertensive Emergency

    Hypertensive urgencies and hypertensive emergencies are by far the most common types of hypertensive crises. The two types of emergencies differ in terms of severity, but both are serious conditions and both instances of when to go to the ER for high blood pressure.

    A hypertensive urgency occurs when your blood pressure has reached 180/120 but you are not yet experiencing symptoms or organ failure. A hypertensive urgency may be a temporary spike in blood pressure. If you are not experiencing symptoms, wait five minutes, then take your blood pressure again. If your blood pressure has remained at 180/120, have someone drive you to the ER you are at-risk for a hypertensive emergency.

    A hypertensive emergency occurs when your blood has reached 180/120 and you are experiencing symptoms. Symptoms include severe chest pain, severe headache, and blurred vision, and may also include symptoms of other medical issues that are caused by or related to the hypertensive emergency. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in conjunction with a blood pressure reading of 180/120, it is essential that you seek medical treatment immediately.

    For a thorough examination of these hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency, please see our article,What is a Hypertensive Crisis?

    The Blood Pressure Category That Requires You To Go To The Hospital Or Call A Doctor: Hypertensive Crisis

    Ask JJ: Hypertension

    There are 5 blood pressure categories In the Blood Pressure Chart. From least serious to serious they are Normal, Elevated, High Blood Pressure Stage 1, High Blood Pressure Stage 2 and Hypertensive Crisis .

    Hypertensive crisis is the blood pressure category when your numbers are high enough when you should go to the hospital for blood pressure. In order for you to understand this situation in better detail, Im going to provide you with exact examples of blood pressure readings that fall into this category. In addition, Im giving you the signs and symptoms of a hypertensive crisis.

    In this range the higher number is higher than 180 AND/OR the lower number is higher than 120. Now listen up, because the AND/OR is extremely important. This means that for your blood pressure to be in hypertensive crisis only one of the 2 numbers have to be either higher than 180 for the systolic number or higher than 120 for the diastolic number.

    The following are some blood pressure readings that would indicate youre in hypertensive crisis:

    • 160/130: Even though the systolic number is 180 or less, youre in a hypertensive crisis because the diastolic number is higher than 120.
    • 190/105: Even though the diastolic number is 120 or less, youre in a hypertensive crisis because the systolic number is higher than 180.
    • 185/125: Youre in hypertensive crisis because either number are both higher than 180 or 120.

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    About High Blood Pressure

    Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood under pressure to the rest of your body through your arteries. You need some pressure to keep your blood moving, but if its consistently too high, it puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Other parts of your body, such as your brain and your kidneys may also be affected by high blood pressure.

    Sometimes high blood pressure is caused by another health problem you already have. But most of the time theres no obvious cause. See our Section on causes below for more information.

    Blood pressure is measured at two points:

    • the highest level, when your heart muscle contracts and pumps blood out through the arteries this is called systolic blood pressure
    • the lowest level, when your heart relaxes between beats and fills with blood this is called diastolic blood pressure

    Your overall blood pressure reading combines these and is shown as two numbers measured in millimetres of mercury . A reading of around 120/80mmHg is seen as healthy above 140/90mmHg is considered high.

    Can You Treat High Blood Pressure Naturally

    In addition to medications to treat high blood pressure, your doctor will likely recommend you take some steps to living a healthier lifestyle. Medical News Today shares some things you can do to help naturally lower your blood pressure alongside your prescribed course of treatment:

    • Get regular exercise

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    What Causes Spikes In Blood Pressure

    A hypertensive crisis could be triggered by many different things. Some of the more common catalysts are: missing a blood pressure medication dosage, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or artery rupture. You can tell from this list that some issues will be much more critical as far as organ damage, so it is imperative to get to the ER for help, he says.

    Anxiety And White Coat Hypertension

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

    White coat hypertension is a common syndrome among people who feel anxious in medical settings. So profound can this anxiety be that the systolic number can increase by as much as 30 mm Hg by just walking into a healthcare providers office. It tends to be worse during first visits to a medical facility and will often gradually ease as the person becomes more familiar with the surroundings.

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    What Can You Do To Prevent High Blood Pressure

    Making lifestyle changes can help you to prevent high blood pressure. You can:

    • Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra weight.
    • Eat heart-healthy foods.
    • Eat less salt and salty foods.
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.

    What To Think About

    • The medicine your doctor chooses may be based on other health problems you have. For example, doctors often prescribe ACE inhibitors for people who have diabetes or heart failure.
    • Some people who get a cough while taking ACE inhibitors do well with ARBs, which usually don’t cause a cough.
    • You may need to avoid some over-the-counter medicines. For example, check with your doctor before you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofenwith high blood pressure medicines. NSAIDs may raise blood pressure and keep your blood pressure medicines from working well. NSAIDs may also interact with your blood pressure medicine and cause kidney problems.
    • Don’t take any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or other natural health products unless you talk to your doctor first. Medicines can interact with each other and keep blood pressure medicines from working right or cause a bad reaction.

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    Hypertensive Crisis: When To Go To The Er For High Blood Pressure

    If you are one of the 75 million Americans dealing with high blood pressure, you may have heard about a hypertensive crisis. Hypertension begins at a blood pressure reading of 140/90, and it becomes increasingly more severe after that. Because blood pressure spikes affect us all in different ways, its hard to know when should you go to the ER. One of Advance ERs experienced physicians, Dr. Joseph Meier, takes time to answer your hypertension questions so you know exactly when to go to get medical help.

    Do I Have High Blood Pressure

    7 Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure [Infographic &  Video]

    Anyone can have high blood pressure. Some medical conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, kidney disease, and thyroid problems, can cause high blood pressure. 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, especially isolated systolic hypertension.
    • 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.

    High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms, but routine checks of your blood pressure will help detect increasing levels. If your blood pressure reading is high at two or more check-ups, the doctor may also ask you to measure your blood pressure at home.

    There are important considerations for older adults in deciding whether to start treatment for high blood pressure if it is above 130/80, including other health conditions and overall fitness. Your doctor may work with you to find a blood pressure target that is best for your well-being and may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and medications.

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