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Where Does High Blood Pressure Come From

S To Lowering Your Blood Pressure

How Ear Acupressure Helps Reduce Blood Pressure: see title thumbnail for close up of ear image

The first line of treatment for high blood pressure is to make healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Get active
  • Manage stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Its also important to take any antihypertensive medications your doctor recommends. There are many different types of medications available to control high blood pressure, so if one drug causes unpleasant side effects, your doctor can help you find a more suitable one.

    Even if your doctor also prescribes you medication to help tackle hypertension, controlling your weight, quitting smoking, improving your diet, managing stress, and getting regular exercise are critical for keeping your heart in shape and managing your blood pressure over the long term.

    If youve just been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or have suffered a serious health event such as a stroke or heart attack, you may be experiencing a great deal of emotional upheaval. Its important to give yourself time to process the change in your health and be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new situation. But its also important to know there are plenty of things you can do to come to terms with your diagnosis and regain control of your health.

    Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes

    The following can help normalize blood pressure:

    • Stopping smoking: Smoking harms the arteries and can cause high blood pressure.
    • Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein: Reduce or eliminate added sugars and processed foods.
    • Getting regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends moderate-intensity exertion, such as walking at a quick pace. A person should do this for 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week.
    • Limiting alcohol consumption: Women should drink no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. Drinking more than this can raise blood pressure.
    • Finding healthy ways to lower stress: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other techniques to manage stress can help to avoid spikes in blood pressure.
    • Consuming less sodium: Excessively salty foods can cause sharp increases in blood pressure.
    • Reducing the intake of caffeine: Caffeinated drinks can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, and may make anxiety worse.

    Consult a doctor for personalized guidance.

    Regulating Blood Pressure: The Renin

    The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is a series of reactions designed to help regulate blood pressure.

    • When blood pressure falls , the kidneys release the enzyme renin into the bloodstream.

    • Renin splits angiotensinogen, a large protein that circulates in the bloodstream, into pieces. One piece is angiotensin I.

    • Angiotensin I, which is relatively inactive, is split into pieces by angiotensin-converting enzyme . One piece is angiotensin II, a hormone, which is very active.

    • Angiotensin II causes the muscular walls of small arteries to constrict, increasing blood pressure. Angiotensin II also triggers the release of the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal glands and vasopressin from the pituitary gland.

    • Aldosterone and vasopressin cause the kidneys to retain sodium . Aldosterone also causes the kidneys to excrete potassium. The increased sodium causes water to be retained, thus increasing blood volume and blood pressure.

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    How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure

    Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure;is quick and painless.

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

    High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.

    What Is Normal Blood Pressure

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    A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80. It’s read as “120 over 80.” The top number is called the systolic, and bottom number is called the diastolic. The ranges are:

    • Normal: Less than 120 over 80
    • Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
    • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
    • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
    • Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120 — See a doctor right away

    If your blood pressure is above the normal range, talk to your doctor about how to lower it.

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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.

    What If Just The First Blood Pressure Number Is High

    For older people, often the first number is 130 or higher, but the second number is less than 80. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension, which is due to age-related stiffening of the major arteries. It is the most common form of high blood pressure in older people and can lead to serious health problems in addition to shortness of breath during light physical activity, lightheadedness upon standing too fast, and falls. Isolated systolic hypertension is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. If your doctor determines that your systolic pressure is above a normal level for your age, ask how you can lower it.

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    Studies Reveal An Unhealthy Partnership

    Researchers have known for a while that high blood cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure. In 2002, they separated participants into three groups according to their cholesterol levels . They then tested blood pressure under various conditions of rest and exercise.

    The results, which were published in the Journal of Human Hypertension , showed that those with higher cholesterol levels had significantly higher blood pressure levels during exercise than those with lower cholesterol levels. The researchers concluded that even mildly increased cholesterol levels could influence blood pressure. They added that cholesterol seems to mess up how blood vessels contract and release, which can also affect the pressure needed to push blood through them.

    A later study, published in the Journal of Hypertension , found similar results. Researchers analyzed data from 4,680 participants aged 40 to 59 years from 17 different areas in Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They looked at blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diet over the previous 24 hours. The results showed that cholesterol was directly related to blood pressure for all participants.

    Results showed the following:

    The same researchers did a similar test on women with a follow-up of about 11 years, and found comparable results. Their study was published in .Healthy women with higher levels of cholesterol were more likely to develop hypertension down the road than those with lower levels of cholesterol.

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    Hypertension – How to Lower Your Blood Pressure – Part 1

    For instance, the researchers representing Harvard Medical School showed that inflammation could even trigger high blood pressure. Lead researcher, Dr. Howard Sesso and his colleague conducted a study on the 21,000 women health professionals who were either 45 years or older.

    All these women participants larger Womens Health study did not have high blood pressure and any other kind of cardiovascular disease.

    Dr Sesso, along with colleagues, recorded a vital baseline blood level of C-reactive protein. It is an inflammation marker in the body which indicate an infection or inflammation.

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    During the study, it was noted that there were about ¼ of the women who had developed hypertension. It became necessary for the Researchers to correlate the initial blood level associated with C-reactive protein with their later risk of suffering from high blood pressure.

    Based on another study, Scott Grundy, MD, professor at the University of Texas, stated that the metabolic factors could even explain the connection for inflammation.

    Cholesterol and diabetes can also elicit an inflammatory response. A metabolic syndrome even occurs, which can cause high inflammation amongst people along with hypertension.

    Dr Grundy said that smoking could even trigger high blood pressure and inflammatory changes.

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    Pounding In Your Ears

    If you have a sensation of pulsing or pounding in your ears when you havent been exercising vigorously, this could indicate an elevated blood pressure. It could also be related to drinking too much caffeine, so try cutting back on the coffee and soda. Anxiety can have the same effect, so try meditation or a relaxing activity to see if the pounding sensation resolves.

    Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues

    High blood pressure can be the first indication of a serious underlying condition. When a patient comes in with high blood pressure, doctors will check their urine and kidney function; do an electrocardiogram to check the size of the heart; and look for lung changes.

    Stress on the blood vessels makes people with hypertension more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease,;heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms. Correspondingly, chronic conditions such as diabetes,;kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.

    In some women, pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to preeclampsia. Postpartum blood pressure typically goes back to normal levels within six weeks. However, some women who have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy may be more likely to develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases as they age.

    Some of these medical issues can also cause spikes in high blood pressure .

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    Change In Mental Status

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    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.

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    What Increases Your Risk

    Things that increase your risk for high blood pressure include:

      • A family history of high blood pressure.
      • Aging.
      • Eating a lot of sodium .
      • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day or more than 14 drinks a week for men or 9 drinks a week for women.
      • Being overweight or obese.
      • Lack of exercise or physical activity.
      • Race. People of African, South Asian, First Nations, Inuit or Metis;descent are more likely to get high blood pressure, often have more severe high blood pressure, and are more likely to get the condition at an earlier age than others. Why they are at greater risk is not known.

    Other possible risk factors include:

      • Low intake of potassium.
      • Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing.
      • Long-term use of pain medicines like NSAIDsfor example, naproxen or ibuprofen or COX-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib . Aspirin does not increase your risk for getting high blood pressure.

    How Blood Pressure Is Controlled

    When the heart contracts, the blood inside the left ventricle is forced out into the aorta and arteries. The blood then enters small vessels with muscular walls, called arterioles. The tone in the muscular walls of the arterioles determines how relaxed or constricted they are. If narrowed, they resist flow.Reduced flow of blood is detected in the brain, the kidneys and elsewhere. Nerve reflexes are stimulated and hormones are then produced. The heart is induced to beat more forcefully so that blood pressure is maintained at a higher level, to overcome the restricted flow through the arterioles. The achievement of good flow eases possible problems for function of the brain and kidneys.These adjustments occur normally. However, in some people the adjustments become fixed and high blood pressure persists. These people have developed hypertension.

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    Is High Blood Pressure Genetic

    High blood pressure can run in familiesyou might be able to blame it on genetics, as well as similar lifestyle habits.

    When it comes to high blood pressure, the acorn doesnt fall far from the tree, says Guy L. Mintz, MD, director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Northwell Healths Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, New York. If your mom is obese or overweight or has diabetes, you are likely to as well, as these are two high blood pressure risk factors, he says.

    Genes are one part of this, but families also tend to eat the same way and often share similarities in how or if they exercise, Dr. Mintz notes.

    Heres what you need to know about high blood pressure, the potential role of genes in high blood pressure, and available treatment options.

    How Does Eating Diet And Nutrition Affect High Blood Pressure And Kidney Disease

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    Following a healthy eating plan;can help lower your blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet is an important part of any healthy eating plan. Your health care professional may recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan. DASH focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are healthy for your heart and lower in sodium, which often comes from salt. The DASH eating plan

    • is low in fat and cholesterol
    • features fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts
    • suggests less red meat, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages
    • is rich in nutrients, protein, and fiber

    A registered dietitian can help tailor your diet to your kidney disease. If you have congestive heart failure or edema, a diet low in sodium intake can help reduce edema and lower blood pressure. Reducing saturated fat and cholesterol can help control high levels of lipids, or fats, in the blood.

    People with advanced kidney disease should speak with their health care professional about their diet.

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    How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

    If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.

    Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:

    Eat a healthy diet:

    • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
    • Limit salt.
    • Avoid alcohol.

    Get regular exercise:

    • Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.

    Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:

    • People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.

    If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.

    What Does Blood Pressure Tell You

    Blood pressure measures the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries, or blood vessels. Your heart pumps blood into your arteries. And the arteries carry that blood to the rest of your body.

    The top number of your blood pressure reading tells you the force of the blood against artery walls when your heart beats. It is called systolic pressure. The bottom number tells you what your blood pressure is when your heart is at rest between heartbeats. It is called diastolic pressure.

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    What Can Parents Do

    Ask your doctor to measure your childs blood pressure starting at age 3. Helping children keep a healthy weight, eat nutritious foods, and get regular physical activity can lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. Try these tips to help your child keep a healthy weight and normal blood pressure:

    Food and Drinks

    Physical Activity

    Healthy Weight

    Get Involved


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