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:
Allergy Medications That Will Not Raise Blood Pressure
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What Are The Best Ways To Control Your Blood Pressure If You Get Covid
Monitor your blood pressure if you are at home, but make sure you are using a monitor thats validated. This just means the monitor has been verified to be clinically accurate. The website validatebp.org is a great resource, as well as your local pharmacist. Second, continue to take your blood pressure medications as prescribed unless your doctor says otherwise. Lastly, stay well hydrated and follow a heart-healthy diet.
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How Is It Treated
For most people, the goal is to reduce the blood pressure to less than 140/90. If you have diabetes or kidney disease, the goal is less than 130/80 mm Hg.
If your blood pressure is above normal , you may be able to bring it down to a normal level without medicine. Weight loss, changes in your diet, and exercise may be the only treatment you need. If you also have diabetes, you may need additional treatment.
If these lifestyle changes do not lower your blood pressure enough, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine. Some of the types of medicines that can help are diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and vasodilators. These medicines work in different ways. Many people need to take 2 or more medicines to bring their blood pressure down to a healthy level.
When you start taking medicine, it is important to:
- Take the medicine regularly, exactly as prescribed.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects right away.
- Have regular follow-up visits with your healthcare provider.
It may not be possible to know at first which drug or mix of drugs will work best for you. It may take several weeks or months to find the best treatment for you.
So You Have High Blood Pressure What Else Could Be Wrong
If you have high blood pressure, get checked for diabetes and high cholesterol. Most people who have high blood pressure also have some of the other risks for heart disease and stroke, such as not getting enough physical activity, having unhealthy eating habits, smoking, being overweight or drinking too much alcohol. Ask your doctor to test your kidney function through a blood and urine test, and through the electrolytes in your blood; kidney problems can cause high blood pressure.
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What About The Patient’s Compliance Withmedication Regimens
When uncomplicated hypertension has not caused symptoms, as often happens, some patients tend to forget about their medications. Patients also tend to fail to take their medications as prescribed if they cause side effects. These quality of life issues are very important, especially with regard to compliance with prescribed blood pressure medications. Certain antihypertensive medications may cause such side effects as fatigue and sexual impotence which can have profound effects on a patient’s quality of life and compliance with treatment. More resistant cases of hypertension that require higher doses of medication may cause more adverse effects, and therefore, less compliance.
In dosing schedules that require taking medication two to four times a day , some patients will remember to take their medicine only some of the time. In contrast, medications that can be given once daily tend to be remembered more regularly.
Expensive blood pressure medications, especially if insurance does not cover the costs, may also reduce compliance. People attempt to save money by skipping doses of the prescribed medication. The least expensive medication regimes use generic drugs, which are readily available for some of the diuretics and beta blockers. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, reducing dietary sodium, decreasing consumption of alcohol, and exercising regularly, reduce the need for some medications.
Malnutrition And High Blood Pressure
Starvation and malnutrition subject your body to both stress as well as potential potassium and vitamin D deficiencies. Your blood pressure is likely to increase as a result of these factors. A study featured in a 2004 issue of the “Nephron Clinical Practice” found that blood pressure increased in malnourished children, including those who recovered from malnutrition six years later. The study involved 172 impoverished children that were over the age of 2. Out of the 172 children who participated, 91 suffered from malnutrition, 20 had recovered from malnutrition and the remaining 61 were not malnourished. Blood pressure readings were taken from two of the three groups and compared against those of the group that was not malnourished. The results of the study found that both groups had blood pressure readings that were as much as 29 mmHg higher than the blood pressure readings of the control group. The findings support the assertion that starvation elevates blood pressure.
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You Rarely Go Outside
Binging a new show on Netflix for days on end while quarantining inside your home should protect you from COVID-19, but it could increase your blood pressure or worsen existing hypertension, suggests a study in the Journal of American Heart Association. And why is this? It’s the lack of sunlight that’s boosting your blood pressure.
In the observational study, researchers analyzed 46 million blood pressure readings from 342,000 patients in 2,200 dialysis clinics and found that exposure to UV sunlight was associated with lower systolic blood pressure. For decades, scientists have known of seasonal variation in blood pressure, but had linked it to factors such as air temperature and vitamin D, which is produced when sunlight hits the skin. This new study found that temperature played a role, but “half the seasonal variation in blood pressure is independent of temperature. It’s due to the UV alone,” said lead author Dr. Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure readings are composed of two numbersfor example, 120/80 mm Hg.
The top number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures the pressure in your arteries between each heart beat.
The standard unit of measure, mm Hg, stands for “millimeters of mercury.” Mercury pressure gauges have been replaced with electronic pressure gauges, but the abbreviation is still used.
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High Blood Pressure Chart
The chart below shows measures for normal and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .
Doctors measure blood pressure in millimeters of mercury .
Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is the top number on a blood pressure reading. Diastolic, which is the lower number, represents the blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats.
- congenital conditions, such as Cushings syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma
Sometimes, there is no apparent cause. In this case, a doctor will diagnose primary hypertension.
Consuming a high fat diet, carrying excess weight, drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking tobacco, and the use of some medications also increase the risk.
Treatment will depend on several factors, including:
- how high the blood pressure is
- the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke
The doctor will recommend different treatments as blood pressure increases. For slightly high blood pressure, they may suggest making lifestyle changes and monitoring the blood pressure.
If blood pressure is high, they will recommend medication. The options may change over time, according to how severe the hypertension is and whether complications arise, such as kidney disease. Some people may need a combination of several different medications.
Dehydration And Blood Pressure
Can dehydration cause blood pressure to rise? It absolutely can.
Basically, when you fail to drink enough water, the body will compensate through sodium retention, which can lead to high blood pressure.
In other words, sodium is like the bodys water insurance policy. It helps regulate the amount of water that is around and in your cells.
Dehydration forces the body to slowly shut down some of its capillary beds throughout your entire system. When some of these capillary beds shut down, this puts greater pressure on both your capillaries and arteries, and in turn raises your blood pressure.
Not drinking enough water also causes the blood to thicken. The heart then squeezes and pushes the thick blood to the aorta. The blood then must fall out from the bend of the aorta.
When blood is too thick, this can reduce blood flow, and therefore gravity is not strong enough to pull it down toward your feet. As a result, the muscles must squeeze and work harder.
When these muscles squeeze, they increase the pressure inside your blood vessels, and this leads to hypertension.
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Adopting A Cleaner Lifestyle
If youre a smoker, try to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the bodys tissues and harden blood vessel walls.
If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.
One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.
Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration can sometimes lead to low blood pressure. Some people may have hypotension even with mild dehydration.
You can also get dehydrated by losing water too quickly. This can happen through vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, strenuous exercise, and excess sweating. Medications such as diuretics may also cause dehydration.
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Can High Blood Pressure Be Prevented Or Avoided
If your high blood pressure is caused by lifestyle factors, you can take steps to reduce your risk:
- Lose weight.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Learn relaxation methods.
If your high blood pressure is caused by disease or the medicine you take, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Additionally, treating any underlying disease can help reduce your high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Facts
What every adult should know about high blood pressure, or hypertension
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.;
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body.;If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
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Possible Causes Of Resistant Hypertension
Resistant hypertension may have one or more other underlying medical conditions. In addition to treating resistant hypertension with medications, doctors typically investigate secondary causes , such as:
- Abnormalities in the hormones that control blood pressure.
- The accumulation of artery-clogging plaque in blood vessels that nourish the kidneys, a condition called renal artery stenosis.
- Sleep problems, such as the breath-holding type of snoring known as obstructive sleep apnea.
- Obesity or heavy intake of alcohol or other substances that can interfere with blood pressure.
What Is High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of your blood as it flows through the arteries in your body. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When your heart beats, it pushes blood through your arteries. As the blood flows, it puts pressure on your artery walls. This is called blood pressure.
High blood pressure happens when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal. Many different things can cause high blood pressure. If your blood pressure gets too high or stays high for a long time, it can cause health problems. Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at a higher risk for stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and kidney failure.
There are 2 types of high blood pressure.
Primary hypertension.;This is also called essential hypertension. It is called this when there is no known cause for your high blood pressure. This is the most common type of hypertension. This type of blood pressure usually takes many years to develop. It probably is a result of your lifestyle, environment, and how your body changes as you age.
Secondary hypertension.;This is when a health problem or medicine is causing your high blood pressure. Things that can cause secondary hypertension include:
- Kidney problems.
- Thyroid or adrenal gland problems.
- Some medicines.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
When blood pressure is too low, the first organ to malfunction is usually the brain. The brain malfunctions first because it is located at the top of the body and blood flow must fight gravity to reach the brain. Consequently, most people with low blood pressure feel dizzy or light-headed, particularly when they stand, and some may even faint. People who faint fall to the floor, usually bringing the brain to the level of the heart. As a result, blood can flow to the brain without having to fight gravity, and blood flow to the brain increases, helping protect it from injury. However, if blood pressure is low enough, brain damage can still occur. Also, fainting can result in serious injuries to the head or other parts of the body.
Low blood pressure occasionally causes shortness of breath or chest pain due to an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle .
All organs begin to malfunction if blood pressure becomes sufficiently low and remains low. This condition is called shock.
The disorder causing low blood pressure may produce many other symptoms, which are not due to low blood pressure itself. For example, an infection may produce a fever.
Some symptoms occur when the body tries to increase blood pressure that is low. For example, when arterioles constrict, blood flow to the skin, feet, and hands decreases. These areas may become cold and turn blue. When the heart beats more quickly and more forcefully, a person may feel palpitations .
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
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Decrease Your Salt Intake
Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.
While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, french fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.
What Increases Your Risk
Things that increase your risk for high blood pressure include:
- A family history of high blood pressure.
- 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.
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