How Will I Know If I Have Essential Hypertension
Blood pressure checks are the best way to screen for the condition. Its important to understand how to take your blood pressure and read the results.
Blood pressure readings have two numbers, usually written this way: 120/80. The first number is your systolic pressure. Systolic pressure measures the force of blood against your artery walls as your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body.
The second number measures your diastolic pressure. Diastolic pressure measures the force of your blood against your artery walls between heartbeats, as the heart muscle relaxes. Learn more about systolic and diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure readings can fluctuate up or down throughout the day. They change after exercise, during rest, when youre in pain, and even when youre stressed out or angry. Occasional high blood pressure readings dont necessarily mean you have hypertension. You wont receive a diagnosis of hypertension unless you have high blood pressure readings at least two to three different times.
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
High blood pressure is diagnosed with a blood pressure monitor. This is a common test for all doctor visits. A nurse will place a band around your arm. The band is attached to a small pump and a meter. He or she will squeeze the pump. It will feel tight around your arm. Then he or she will stop and watch the meter. This provides the nurse with 2 numbers that make up your blood pressure. The top number is your systolic reading . The bottom number is your diastolic reading . You may also hear the doctor or nurse say a blood pressure is 120 over 80.
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120 on top and less than 80 on the bottom.
- Prehypertension levels are 120-139 on top and 80-89 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 1 is 140-159 on top and 90-99 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 2 is 160 or higher on top and 100 and over on the bottom.
The higher your blood pressure is, the more often you need to have it checked. After age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. Do it more often if you have had high blood pressure in the past.
Wrong Medication Or Wrong Dose
For each person theres an ideal combination of medications and dosages that would best control their hypertension. Some people havent yet received that ideal combination. Its important to work with a doctor who is familiar with the range of medications and who knows what works best for each individual.
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Living With High Blood Pressure
Controlling your high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake. If you need medicine to control your high blood pressure, you will likely need it all your life.
Additionally, you will need to get used to regular blood pressure checks. Your doctor may want you to come to the office regularly. Or you may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Some pharmacies and retail clinics have blood pressure machines on site. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. Another option is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
How Is Resistant Hypertension Treated
Treatment options for resistant hypertension or pseudo-resistant hypertension depend on your underlying conditions and how well you tolerate various medications. Treatments include:
- Addressing any conditions that may have caused the hypertension.
- Making lifestyle changes
- Adjusting medications to find your optimal type and dosage
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Eating More Fruits And Vegetables And Less Fat
People who have high blood pressure or people at high risk for developing high blood pressure should reduce their intake of saturated fats in favor of unsaturated forms.
that those with high blood pressure prioritize more heart-healthy foods, such as:
- whole grain, high fiber foods
- a variety of fruits and vegetables
- pulses, such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils
- fish rich in omega-3 twice per week
- nontropical vegetable oils, such as olive oil
- skinless poultry and fish
- low fat dairy products
If a person has high blood pressure or wished to maintain moderate blood pressure, it is important to avoid trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, animal fats, and processed fast foods when creating a diet plan.
However, omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in oily fish and olive oil, have protective effects on the heart. However, these are still fats. While they are typically healthful, people with a risk of hypertension should still include them in their total fat intake.
contribute to hypertension. A fall in blood pressure usually follows weight loss, as the heart does not have to work so hard to pump blood around the body.
A balanced diet with a calorie intake that matches the individuals size, sex, and activity level will help.
What Factors Affect Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is affected by any event or behavior that alters the bodys cardiovascular system specifically: peripheral resistance, vessel elasticity or cardiac output.
There are a number of factors that cause changes in the cardiovascular system and thereby affect blood pressure. Many of these factors have a short-term effect on blood pressure, but over time the effect may become long-term.
Some of the factors causing a short-term affect on blood pressure are
- Asleep or awake Sleeping usually results in a lowering of BP
- Body position – lying down results in a lowing of BP while sitting or standing results in an increase in BP
- Emotional state – stress and anger increase BP while being relaxed decreases BP
- Temperature blood pressure will tend to go up when a person is cold
- Sleep apnea – pauses in breathing while sleeping raise blood pressure
- Smoking increases blood pressure
- Caffeine increases blood pressure
- Alcohol increases blood pressure
The last four items, sleep apnea, smoking, caffeine and alcohol over an extended period of time can cause the resting blood pressure to increase to the impact of these factors on the heart muscle and vascular resistance of the circulatory system.
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Stiffening Of The Arteries
Some physicians consider the most authentic form of pseudo-resistant hypertension to be caused by stiffened brachial arteries that prevent the blood pressure cuff from obtaining a true reading. If your doctor suspects this form of pseudo-resistant hypertension, they might consider other ways to measure your blood pressure.
What Are The Symptoms Of Resistant Hypertension
You can have hypertension without having any symptoms. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked by a health care provider.
However, symptoms may be felt when blood pressure first rises or during a hypertensive crisis, when levels are extremely high. These symptoms may include headaches, shortness of breath, chest pain and nosebleeds.
Dizziness is usually not a symptom of high blood pressure. In fact, dizziness can sometimes be a symptom of low blood pressure. Frequent or unexplained dizziness may be a warning sign of a serious condition and should be addressed by your physician.
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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 for kids with hypertension, such as:
Eating a healthy diet:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
- Limit salt.
- Avoid alcohol.
Getting regular exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. Kids 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.
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.
Factors Influencing Bp Regulation
Regulation of normal blood pressure is a complex process. Arterial BP is a product of cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance. Cardiac output is the product of stroke volume and heart rate. The factors affecting cardiac output include sodium intake, renal function, and mineralocorticoids. The inotropic effects occur via extracellular fluid volume augmentation and an increase in heart rate and contractility.
Peripheral vascular resistance is dependent upon the sympathetic nervous system , humoral factors, and local autoregulation. The vasculature is highly innervated by sympathetic fibers. The SNS produces its effects via the vasoconstrictor alpha effect or the vasodilator beta effect. Along the same line, the renal artery is highly innervated, with the sympathetic activation promoting sodium retention via increased renin secretion.
Similarly, the role of the arterial baroreflex system in moment-to-moment regulation of BP is well known. Although electrical stimulation of baroreceptors can cause significant reduction in BP in humans with treatment-resistant hypertension, its importance in long-term BP control remains controversial. These studies confirm the role of the SNS as a component in the pathogenesis of hypertension.
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What Are The Risks Of Resistant Hypertension
Over time, uncontrolled hypertension damages the arteries, contributing to their stiffening. As the arteries become narrower and less flexible, the heart has to work harder to move blood through the body. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and other heart conditions cause damage to your kidneys, memory and vision and contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Why Is Hypertension An Important Issue In Low
The prevalence of hypertension varies across regions and country income groups. The WHO African Region has the highest prevalence of hypertension while the WHO Region of the Americas has the lowest prevalence of hypertension .
The number of adults with hypertension increased from 594 million in 1975 to 1.13 billion in 2015, with the increase seen largely in low- and middle-income countries. This increase is due mainly to a rise in hypertension risk factors in those populations.
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Genetics And Family History
When members of a family pass traits from one generation to another through genes, that process is called heredity.
Genes likely play some role in high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions. However, it is also likely that people with a family history of high blood pressure share common environments and other potential factors that increase their risk.
The risk for high blood pressure can increase even more when heredity combines with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking and eating an unhealthy diet.
Find out more about genetics and disease on CDCs Office of Public Health Genomics website.
Family health history is a record of the diseases and health conditions people in your family have had. Family health history is a useful tool for understanding health risks and preventing disease. To help people collect and organize information on their family history, CDCs Office of Public Health Genomics collaborated with the Surgeon General and other federal agencies to develop a Web-based tool called My Family Health Portrait.
Vasoreactivity And The Role Of The Vascular Endothelium
The vasoreactivity of the vascular bed, an important phenomenon mediating changes of hypertension, is influenced by the activity of vasoactive factors, reactivity of the smooth muscle cells, and structural changes in the vessel wall and vessel caliber, expressed by a lumen-to-wall ratio.
The vascular endothelium is considered to be a vital organ, in which synthesis of various vasodilating and constricting mediators occurs. The interaction of autocrine and paracrine factors takes place in the vascular endothelium, leading to growth and remodeling of the vessel wall and to the hemodynamic regulation of BP.
Numerous hormonal, humoral vasoactive, and growth and regulating peptides are produced in the vascular endothelium. These mediators include ET, Ang II, bradykinin, NO, and several other growth factors.
ET is a potent vasoconstrictor in humans and impairs renal pressure natriuresis. ET-1 is the predominant isoform and stimulates ET type A receptor. Chronic ET-1 activation of ETA receptors in the kidneys may play a major role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Bosentan and other ET-1 receptor antagonists have been beneficial in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension however, their role in the management of essential hypertension is limited because of their side effects, which include fluid retention and edema.
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What Are Common Symptoms Of Hypertension
Hypertension is called a “silent killer”. Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is essential that blood pressure is measured regularly.
When symptoms do occur, they can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.
The only way to detect hypertension is to have a health professional measure blood pressure. Having blood pressure measured is quick and painless. Although individuals can measure their own blood pressure using automated devices, an evaluation by a health professional is important for assessment of risk and associated conditions.
Blood Pressure And Ageing
With advancing years, the arteries tend to become more rigid . This may change a persons blood pressure pattern, with a higher systolic pressure and a lower diastolic pressure. The higher systolic pressure is important because it can further accelerate the rigidity of the arteries. This state is referred to as isolated systolic hypertension. Although these changes are due to ageing, this is not a normal state and may need medication to control the systolic pressures.
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Raas Activation In Obesity/metabolic Syndrome
The RAAS is the most powerful hormonal system for regulating renal sodium excretion and plays a critical role in BP regulation. Excess weight gain, especially when associated with increased visceral adiposity, causes mild to moderate increases in several components of the RAAS, including Ang II and aldosterone, . Even with only modest activation of the RAAS, blockade of Ang II receptors or angiotensin converting enzyme , or mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism attenuates sodium retention, volume expansion, and increased BP in obesity, , . Thus, obesity appears to increase BP sensitivity to RAAS activation.
MR antagonism may also reduce BP and protect the kidneys from injury through mechanisms that are at least partly independent of aldosterone. For example, administration of the MR antagonist spironolactone in obese patients and patients with treatment-resistant hypertension caused reductions in BP that did not correlate with circulating aldosterone levelsâ. In obese hypertensive patients treated with ACE inhibitors, addition of spironolactone to their treatment regimen further reduced BP indicating that MR antagonism reduces BP in obesity despite prior blockade of Ang II formation.
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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Continue Learning About Heart And Circulatory System
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
How Blood Pressure Is Measured
Hypertension can be mild, moderate or severe. Your blood pressure is naturally higher when you are exerting yourself, such as during physical exercise. It is only a concern if your blood pressure is high when you are at rest, because this means your heart is overworked and your arteries have extra stress in their walls.Blood pressure readings are a combination of two measurements. These are:
- Systolic is the highest pressure against the arteries as the heart pumps. The normal systolic pressure is usually between 110 and 130mmHg.
- Diastolic is the pressure against the arteries as the heart relaxes and fills with blood. The normal diastolic pressure is usually between 70 and 80mmHg.
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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.