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Why Do People Get High Blood Pressure

You Don’t Know Your Numbers

High Blood Pressure – Health Risks of Hypertension

If you don’t check your blood pressure, you won’t know if there’s a potential problem. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that 13 million people in the United States are not aware that they have hypertension and therefore are not making lifestyle changes or taking medication to help control it.

What Are The Treatments For High Blood Pressure

Treatments for high blood pressure include heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.

You will work with your provider to come up with a treatment plan. It may include only the lifestyle changes. These changes, such as heart-healthy eating and exercise, can be very effective. But sometimes the changes do not control or lower your high blood pressure. Then you may need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines. Some people need to take more than one type.

If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Diagnosis Of High Blood Pressure

The best way to diagnose HBP is to have it measured. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury , has two numbers.

  • Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during heartbeats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories. The American Heart Associations guidelines are as follow:

  • Normal blood pressure: A reading of less than 120 and 80
  • Elevated blood pressure: A reading ranging from 120 to 129 and below 80
  • Stage 1 hypertension: A reading ranging from 130 to 139 or 80 to 89
  • Stage 2 hypertension: A reading ranging from 140 or higher or 90
  • Hypertensive crisis : A reading higher than 180 and/or 120

*If you have an electronic blood pressure machine and would like to measure your blood pressure at home, please follow The American Heart Associations guidelines:

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You Take Ibuprofen Every Day

Maybe you regularly take Advil for nagging low-back pain or arthritis in your hips or knees. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and inflammation, but they also can cause your blood pressure to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . NSAIDs cause the body to retain fluid and sodium, and they can affect the function of your kidneys, raising blood pressure. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, may be a better option for pain because it doesn’t raise blood pressure. Doctors also believe that aspirin, another NSAID, is safer for people with high blood pressure. You’ll want to ask your doctor what’s best for you.

What Are Common Symptoms Of Hypertension

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Deemed Unreliable  Patients ...

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.

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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 Is The Treatment For High Blood Pressure

Mild high blood pressure can often be treated by making lifestyle changes, including:

  • losing weight
  • limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men, or 1 drink per day for women with high blood pressure

However, lifestyle changes may not be enough. Some people also need medication to help reduce blood pressure levels to normal. While medicines are usually very effective at lowering blood pressure, they may cause side effects in some people.

Usually doctors will start a person on a low dose of a medicine and see how it goes. If it doesnt work well enough, or if there are troublesome side effects, other medicines will be used, sometimes in combination, until the blood pressure is controlled. This can take time. Some people will take medicines for life, although others will find that continuing to lose weight and changing their diet reduces the need for medicines.

Someone whose blood pressure is very high or causing symptoms such as headache, or if they have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, may need urgent treatment with medicines to bring the blood pressure down to normal levels.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that you regularly review with your doctor or specialist any medications you are taking for high blood pressure or high cholesterol to assess the ongoing benefits and risks. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

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About High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.

The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.

A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.

Untreated High Blood Pressure Leads To Heart Problems

Why do I have high blood pressure? MD Explains. (Video 1 of 2)

If high blood pressure is ignored or left untreated, your symptoms could develop into a variety of heart-related problems. Do your best to develop appropriate exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes that will positively impact your situation. If not, you may be at risk for developing:

  • Vascular weakness. The blood vessels overstretch to compensate for the added force from high blood pressure. This overstretching can lead to weakened blood vessels that are prone to rupturing. Stroke and aneurysms are caused by ruptured blood vessels.

  • Blood clots. The overstretching of blood vessels can create vascular scarring. This scar tissue in the blood vessels catches red blood cells as they pass through. The concentration of blood in the veins forms blood clots that inhibit, or block, the flow of blood to different body parts. Strokes and heart attacks are often the result of severe blood clots.

  • Plaque buildup. Plaque and cholesterol buildup in the damaged arteries. The flow of blood becomes limited or cut off as it tries to circulate through the body. Your heart will work harder to deliver blood throughout your body, which will increase your blood pressure. If the plaque or cholesterol entirely blocks the artery, you will be at risk for heart attacks.

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What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition

Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.

How long does high blood pressure last?

If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.

If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.

What is the outlook for high blood pressure?

You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.

When Should You Call A Doctor For High Blood Pressure

Many symptoms present gradually after years of poorly blood pressure control. Often, the first knowledge of hypertension occurs when a person complains of chest pain or has stroke-like symptoms. Should these occur, it is appropriate to call 911 immediately to activate emergency medical services and seek care.

You may be directed to seek medical care if blood pressure readings are elevated if done as part of a community health screening. Isolated elevated blood pressure readings do not necessarily make the diagnosis of hypertension. Blood pressure readings vary throughout the day, and your primary care provider may record a different reading than the one that was measured in a screening that sent you in for care.

There are non-specific symptoms associated with hypertension that may cause a person to seek care that includes

  • lightheadedness,

There are many other reasons to develop these symptoms other than high blood pressure.

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Quitting Smoking And Limiting Alcohol

If youre a smoker and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will most likely advise you to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can 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. Drinking alcohol in excess can raise blood pressure.

If you have risk factors for hypertension, you can take steps now to lower your risk for the condition and its complications.

Amount Of Potassium To Lower Blood Pressure

Why Do People Get Hypertension? myheart.net

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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:

  • Caffeine
  • Certain medications or combinations of medications
  • Chronic kidney disease

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.

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What Diet Helps Control High Blood Pressure

  • Eat foods that are lower in fat, salt and calories, such as skim or 1% milk, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole-grain rice and pasta.
  • Use flavorings, spices and herbs to make foods tasty without using salt. The optimal recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food. Dont add salt at the table.
  • Avoid or cut down on foods high in fat or salt, such as butter and margarine, regular salad dressings, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, fried foods, processed foods or fast foods and salted snacks.
  • Ask your provider if you should increase potassium in your diet. Discuss the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet with your provider. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since its rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.

Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues

High Blood pressure: Why we shouldnt worry about the number

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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Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important

Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.

Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.

For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.

What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure

If your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, they will talk with you about your recommended blood pressure target or goal. They may suggest that you:

  • Check your blood pressure regularly with a home blood pressure monitor. These are automated electronic monitors and are available at most pharmacies or online.
  • Quit smoking and/or using tobacco products.
  • Work on controlling anger and managing stress.

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What Do The Diastolic And Systolic Numbers Mean

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff and recorded as two numbers, for example, 120/80 mm Hg . Blood pressure measurements are usually taken at the upper arm over the brachial artery.

  • The top, the larger number is called the systolic pressure. This measures the pressure generated when the heart contracts . It reflects the pressure of the blood against arterial walls.
  • At the bottom, the smaller number is called the diastolic pressure. This reflects the pressure in the arteries while the heart is filling and resting between heartbeats.

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