Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
Which Blood Pressure Number Is More Important To Heart Health
In medical cases, the lowest number of the blood pressure reader often plays second to highest number , but new research has shown that both numbers are important in assessing the likelihood of a person’s heart attack.
The study was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine by scientists at Kaiser Permanente in California on BP Calculator.
There is no doubt, systolic has a more influential effect on the chance of heart disease and heart attack, high diastolic blood pressure is only a second and is a sovereign interpreter of such risks, “said the lead author Dr. Alexander Flint, a stroke specialist.”
Systolic refers to the level of stress in a person’s veins when the heart squeezes and pumps blood through the body.’ We should not declare victory just because one number is regulated. In the veins between heartbeats, diastolic is the pressure.
Over 36 million blood pressure readings were analyzed from 1,3 million adults in the study. All members were members of Northern California’s Kaiser Permanente. The majority was white black just 7.5 percent.
“It is also a good step forward in the treatment of blood pressure because diastolic blood pressure has to be managed because this can increase the risk of stroke,” says Dr. Nieca Goldberg, cardiologist at the NYU Langone Medical Center and the Joan H. Tisch Institute for Women’s Health’s medical director who did not take part in research work.
Alcohol restriction for men, for women only two drinks a day.
Whats Life Like With High Blood Pressure
It can mean some big changes. Medication may not be enough to keep your BP under control if you dont make and maintain appropriate lifestyle changes, like eating a more nutritious diet and getting plenty of exercise. This becomes even more critical as you get older, as BP frequently becomes more difficult to manage as you age. You also must maintain your daily medication regimen.
A critical component of your treatment likely will be a home blood-pressure monitor. Because HBP has no symptoms, the only way youll know your efforts are having the desired effect is to measure your BP on a regular basis. Your doctor will give you an appropriate schedule. Use these at-home readings as encouragement to stick to your self-care plan. If it wont budge, discuss this with your doctor, who may recommend a different medication or dosage.
And, remember: It might seem like a lot of work to deal with a problem that doesnt give you any obvious symptomsfor now, anyway. But trust us, lowering your blood pressure is the biggest gift you can give to you heart to keep it beating like a champ for years to come.
Read Also: What Should A Childs Blood Pressure Be
Also Check: What Not To Eat With High Blood Pressure
The Basics Of Blood Pressure
A blood pressure reading is made up of two numbers expressed as a fraction. The top number, or systolic pressure, measures how much pressure is in the arteries when the heart contracts. The bottom number, or diastolic pressure, measures the blood pressure between beats.
When your heart pumps, all that blood rushes and fills your arteries, Baker said. Its just like plumbing: if youre pumping more water into the system, the pressure inside the plumbing goes up. Thats your systolic reading. When the heart relaxes and fills, the reading falls and you get the lower number, or your diastolic reading.
What Treatments Are Available For Patients With High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Without treatment, you can have a transient ischemic attack or stroke, heart attack, enlarged heart, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease , aneurysms, kidney disease, and broken blood vessels in your eyes. Treatment includes making changes recommended by your healthcare provider.
Diet and lifestyle changes:
- Reach and stay at your ideal body weight
- Get regular exercise
- Eat a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet that is low in salt, fat and cholesterol, and contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Your diet is an important part of blood pressure control. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan and limiting sodium help control blood pressure. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian for a more personalized eating plan.
- Having no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and no more than one drink per day for women and lighter-weight men. One drink is considered to be 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
- Control stress and anger.
- Avoid all tobacco and nicotine products.
- Other lifestyle changes, such as controlling lipid levels and managing other health conditions, such as diabetes.
Medications and follow-up care:
Your doctor may ask you to record your blood pressure at home. Follow your doctors instructions for recording your blood pressure.
Read Also: What Is High Blood Pressure Reading
The ‘bottom’ Blood Pressure Number Matters Too
THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 — When it comes to blood pressure readings, the “top” number seems to grab all the attention.
But a large, new study confirms that both numbers are, in fact, critical in determining the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Blood pressure measurements are given as a “top” and “bottom” number. The first reflects systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts. The second reflects diastolic blood pressure, the pressure in the arteries between heart muscle contractions.
For years, systolic blood pressure has been seen as the one that really matters. That’s based on studies — including the famous Framingham Heart Study — showing that high systolic blood pressure is a stronger predictor of heart disease and stroke.
At the same time, though, doctors measure both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and treatment guidelines are based on both. So just how important is that diastolic number?
“The idea behind this new study was to address the confusion,” said lead researcher Dr. Alexander Flint, an investigator with Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s division of research.
Using medical records from 1.3 million patients, his team confirmed that, yes, high systolic blood pressure was a stronger risk factor for heart attack and stroke. But those risks also climbed in tandem with diastolic pressure and people with normal systolic readings were still at risk if their diastolic pressure was high.
Average Ranges Show Normal Pressure On The Arteries
Blood pressure measures the force pressed against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body.
Average blood pressure differs by sex and tends to rise with age. It’s important to know how blood pressure affects your health.
This article covers how healthcare providers differentiate between “normal” blood pressure and hypertension and includes blood pressure charts by age and gender. It will also discuss the health risks involved with hypertension, how you can monitor your blood pressure, and when you should call your healthcare provider.
Recommended Reading: Does High Blood Pressure Cause Fever
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.
You May Like: What Is Normal Blood Pressure By Age?
Habits For Promoting Healthy Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is greatly influenced by lifestyle, so most healthy people can properly manage blood pressure without medical intervention.
Keeping body weight within a normal range, eating a heart-healthy diet, decreasing mental stress and having a regular aerobic exercise routine can have a profound effect on blood pressure, Kazemi said.
Recommended Reading: Blood Pressure How To Read
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.
When Youve Just Been Diagnosed
|I’m fit and healthy, so why do I have high blood pressure?|
For many people, there is no single specific cause of their high blood pressure. Your genes can play a role: youre more likely to develop high blood pressure if youre from an African-Caribbean or South-Asian background or people in your family have had high blood pressure.
You can lower your risk of high blood pressure by leading a healthy lifestyle. If you have high blood pressure, medicines and a healthy lifteyle will help to lower it.
These tests help your doctor to:
You may need more detailed investigations, your doctor will discuss these with you. Find out more about if you have high blood pressure.
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Blood Pressure Go Up In The Evenings
Some Risk Factors Include:
Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
|SYSTOLIC mm Hg||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 1||130 139|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:
Don’t Miss: How Can You Tell Your Blood Pressure Is High
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment for hypertension depends on how high your blood pressure is, as well as your lifestyle and risk factors.
For elevated blood pressure, the goal is to keep your blood pressure from developing into clinical hypertension. No medications are necessary at this stage. Your doctor may recommend:
- losing weight if you have overweight or obesity
For stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as mentioned above, as well as:
- reducing your sodium intake
- finding healthy ways to manage your stress
- medication, if your blood pressure doesnt improve after 1 month of lifestyle changes
For stage 2 hypertension, the typical treatment, in addition to a healthier lifestyle, is medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications to help lower your blood pressure:
- ACE inhibitors to block substances that tighten blood vessels
- alpha blockers to help relax the arteries
- beta-blockers to decrease your heart rate and block substances that tighten blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers to relax blood vessels and decrease the work of your heart
- diuretics to decrease the amount of fluid in your body, including your blood vessels
A hypertensive crisis requires immediate treatment. Medications may be given orally or intravenously .
The most for a hypertensive crisis include:
- vasodilators, such as hydralazine, nitroglycerin, and nitroprusside
- beta-blockers, such as labetalol and esmolol
How Do I Prepare For A Blood Pressure Measurement
- Wait 30 minutes to measure your blood pressure if you just smoked, exercised or had a cup of coffee.
- Go to the bathroom and pee until your bladder is empty.
- Roll up your sleeve so you dont put the cuff over your shirt sleeve.
- Sit for at least five minutes without talking.
- Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Dont cross your legs.
- Rest your arm on a table in front of you so your arm is at heart level.
Don’t Miss: Does High Blood Pressure Cause Sweating
How Blood Pressure Is Measured
A doctor or nurse will measure your blood pressure with a small gauge attached to an inflatable cuff. It’s simple and painless.
The person taking your blood pressure wraps the cuff around your upper arm. Some cuffs go around the forearm or wrist, but often they aren’t as accurate.
Your doctor or nurse will use a stethoscope to listen to the blood moving through your artery.
Theyâll inflate the cuff to a pressure higher than your systolic blood pressure, and it will tighten around your arm. Then theyâll release it. As the cuff deflates, the first sound they hear through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure. It sounds like a whooshing noise. The point where this noise goes away marks the diastolic blood pressure.
In a blood pressure reading, the systolic number always comes first, and then the diastolic number. For example, your numbers may be “120 over 80” or written as 120/80.
Variations In Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure changes to meet your bodys needs. If a reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level.
Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a monitoring device.
Read Also: How To Keep Your Blood Pressure Down
What Does The Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean
Hereâs how to understand your systolic blood pressure number:
- Normal: Below 120
- Stage 1 high blood pressure : 130-139
- Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. Call 911.
Which Is More Important Systolic Or Diastolic
Systolic and diastolic are terms related to blood pressure measurement, which gauges the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries.
- The systolic blood pressure is the pressure produced when the heart contracts and pushes out blood
- The diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes and fills with blood between heartbeats
Blood pressure readings are expressed as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number, such as 120/80 mmHg .
Both systolic and diastolic are important readings for monitoring heart health, but the systolic is often given more weight. Studies show a greater risk of stroke and heart disease related to higher systolic blood pressures compared to elevated diastolic pressures, especially in people over age 50.
Recommended Reading: Does Zyrtec Cause High Blood Pressure