You Have Another Health Conditionor You Take One Of These Meds
If you do have high blood pressure, your doctor will likely take into consideration the range of other diseases and disorders that, when poorly managed, cause your blood pressure to become elevated. These include thyroid problems, renovascular disease, Cushings syndrome, and a number of others. The key to all these conditions is the correct diagnosis, says Dr. Beniaminovitz. When the proper diagnosis is made, working with your doctor to reverse and or treat these conditions often cures high blood pressure.
BP fix: Document symptoms that seem unusual.
If your doc says your BP is high, bring up any strange symptoms that could indicate an underlying cause , and always provide them with a list of your current medications and supplements.
If your meds are the issue, ideally they would be discontinued or changed to ones that have no or less effect on blood pressure, says Dr. Beniaminovitz. If a change in medication is not possible, often your doctor will prescribe optimal lifestyle and blood pressure medication to combat the effects.
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 1500 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 do not add salt at the table.
- Avoid or cut down on 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 it is 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.
Youre Having More Than One Alcoholic Drink Per Day
For people who already drink, moderate alcohol consumption is often not a problem, and some research suggests it may even help prevent heart disease. However, heavier alcohol consumptionespecially frequent binge drinking episodescan lead to chronically elevated blood pressure, says Dr. Philips. Research has also tied binge drinking to an increased risk of developing atherosclerosisbuildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
BP fix: If youre going to drink, drink moderately.
One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits. And if its really more about the ritual than the alcohol itself, consider periodically swapping out your glass of cabernet for a kombucha or one of those trendy new non-alcoholic cocktails from brands like Curious Elixirs, Seedlip, and Kin.
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Reduce And Manage Stress
The body releases chemicals and hormones that can narrow the blood vessels temporarily when we are under stress. Stress also gets our heart beating faster. Long-term stress is thought to increase the risk of getting heart problems, such as stroke and heart attacks. Taking time to relax and practice stress-reducing exercises can be very helpful.
Risks Of High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- are of black African or black Caribbean descent
- live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.
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What Can I Do To Lower My Blood Pressure
There are things we can all do to help control blood pressure. These lifestyle modifications are changes you can make in your daily life.
- Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.
- Increase your physical activity. Add 90 to 150 minutes each week of aerobic exercise. Also, include three days of strength training each week. Not only can this help reduce or control your blood pressure, but it can also help with weight management. In overweight individuals, a weight loss of even five to 10 percent has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
- Limit your alcohol. It is recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one to help control blood pressure.
- Manage your stress. Because stress can have a major impact on our bodies, it is important to have an effective coping technique. There are many techniques for relaxation.
- If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can have a huge impact on your health.
These are some of the most proactive ways one can support a normal blood pressure and an overall healthy life. But sometimes, even a healthy lifestyle is not enough to maintain a safe blood pressure. When lifestyle modifications do not lower blood pressure to better levels, medication can be prescribed.
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What Are The Dangers Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the silent killer. This means it does not have any symptoms and can go untreated for a long time, which can lead to many major health risks. If left untreated, a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher results in an 80% chance of death within one year, with an average survival rate of ten months. Prolonged, untreated high blood pressure can also lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.
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Legs Hips And Stomach
Narrow and blocked arteries in the lower part of your body — especially your legs — can cause pain and cramping. Because it’s affecting blood vessels that aren’t near your heart, your doctor may call this peripheral artery disease . It can make muscles in your legs and hips sore and tired when you walk or climb stairs.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure
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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Youre Feeling Lonely Or Socially Isolated
You may not necessarily feel stressed when you experience loneliness or social isolation, but these feelingswhen they persistcan trigger the same dangerous release of stress hormones that spike blood pressure, says Dr. Beniaminovitz. Not to mention, chronic loneliness is associated with depression, and research has shown a correlation between depression, subsequent weight gain, and increase in blood pressure.
BP fix: Make more plans with friends.
We are social beings and we need a certain amount of social interaction to function optimally, says Dr. Beniaminovitz. But if the idea of putting yourself out there seems impossible, start small. Send a friend a quick DM to say youre thinking of them, and see where things go. Combine physical activity and social time by committing to a weekly Saturday morning yoga class with a pal. Want to make new friends? Try volunteering to meet like-minded people.
Optimizing Treatment Of High Blood Pressure
The authors bring several evidence-based yet progressive concepts into the guidelines, the first of which is that high blood pressure should be treated using a team approach. This makes sense, as science supports more and better patient education around self-monitoring, nutrition, and lifestyle changes, as well as stress management. Telehealth is emphasized as a cost-effective method of ongoing monitoring that is more convenient for patients than frequent office visits.
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The Salt Intake Recommendations
You need about 500 milligrams of salt every day for your body to function. Most people take in about 10 times that amount daily. The recommended amount of salt for people with high blood pressure is about 1500 milligrams a day. Any reduction in your salt intake will help.
High Blood Pressure From Alcohol Consumption
A number of factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, including alcohol consumption. The more you drink, the higher your chances are of developing high blood pressure.5
High blood pressure is a common health issue in the U.S. that, if not controlled, can increase the risk of serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure.
In the U.S., about 75 million adults have high blood pressure and it accounts for an estimated 54% of all strokes and 47% of all ischemic heart disease events.1,2 Alcohol use can contribute to high blood pressure.
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How Blood Pressure Changes
Your body controls the pressure in your arteries using a complex system of regulators including your heart, kidneys, enzymes, hormones and your nervous system.
Blood pressure is always changing based on your activity level, stress level, time of day, and even the position of your body. Lifestyle factors such as alcohol, caffeine, food, tobacco , and stress can all change your blood pressure.
There are several categories of high blood pressure: normal, pre-high blood pressure, stage 1 high blood pressure, and stage 2 high blood pressure. If either of the numbers in your blood pressure measurement is higher than normal, you should work on reducing your blood pressure through lifestyle changes and should seek the care of a physician.
Complications Of High Diastolic Blood Pressure
While much emphasis is placed on reducing systolic blood pressure values, elevations in diastolic blood pressure is still a significant predictor of life-threatening consequences. A previous study evaluating the medical records of over a million people reported that while elevations in systolic blood pressure were indeed linked to a higher risk of heart disease-related chest pain as well as strokes, high diastolic blood pressure was liked to a great risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition where the main artery found the abdominal cavity leaks or bursts creating a life threating situation. Additionally, other studies found that a link between increases in diastolic blood pressure and cognitive decline.
Isolated diastolic hypertension can possibly lead to possible progression of systolic hypertension, of which is a predictor of diabetes, stroke, and heart failure.
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This Is High Blood Pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. This is called high blood pressure, or hypertension. Over time it can lead to a number of health problems including heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to lower it.
High blood pressure is very common, about a third of adults in the UK have it, but many arent aware of it. It doesnt usually have any symptoms so the only way to know you have it is to have a blood pressure check.
Continue Learning About Hypertension
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.
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Heart Attack And Heart Disease
High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.
How Is Resistant Hypertension Diagnosed
- Full history and physical exam, which includes letting your doctor know about all medications and supplements, whether they are prescription, over-the-counter, herbal or recreational. Its important to mention if you skip doses of daily medicines.
- True measurement of your blood pressure using correct technique and calibrated equipment.
- Home blood pressure measurement during the day and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to record your blood pressure throughout a regular day. It may be used if your physician suspects your blood pressure readings in the office dont tell the whole story.
- Tests for secondary conditions, which may include special blood work and imaging studies. Identifying and treating these conditions may eliminate hypertension or at least make it more treatable.
- Tests for organ damage caused by hypertension, which may include:
- Electrocardiogram to measure your hearts size and rhythm
- Echocardiogram to measure your hearts size and function
- Fundoscopic eye exam to check for damaged blood vessels inside the eye these tiny blood vessels come in from the brain and are a unique opportunity for your doctor to judge the health of similar blood vessels in your brain, heart and kidneys
- Urinalysis to check for kidney damage
- Other blood tests
- Chest X-ray
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How Does Blood Pressure Work
Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure changes from minute to minute. It’s affected by activity and rest, body temperature, diet, emotions, posture, and medicines.
Excessive Salt Raises Blood Pressure
Too much sodium can cause water retention that puts increased pressure on your heart and blood vessels. People with high blood pressure and those at a high risk for developing hypertension, including adults over 50 and black men and women, should have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily of salt.
Even people with normal levels should eat salt in moderation. Stick to no more than 2,300 mg of sodium , per day.
Most dietary sodium comes from processed foods. Rules of thumb are to choose foods with 5% or less of the daily value of sodium per serving and opt for fresh poultry, fish and lean meats, rather than canned, smoked or processed. Similarly, fresh or frozen vegetables are better than canned.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if people cut just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day, it could help lower the number of new cases of heart disease per year by up to 120,000.
Further, potassium found in foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, oranges, low-fat milk and halibut can counterbalance the pressure-increasing effects of sodium by helping to rid the body of excess sodium.
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High Blood Pressure Risks
Growing data shows a higher risk of COVID-19 infections and complications in people with high blood pressure.
Analysis of early data from both China and the U.S. shows that high blood pressure is the most commonly shared pre-existing condition among those hospitalized, affecting between 30% to 50% of the patients. Other health conditions included cancer, diabetes, or lung disease. In Italy, a report said that more than 99% of people who had died from the virus had one of these conditions — and 76% of them had high blood pressure.
Other research shows that people with high blood pressure are also slightly more likely to die from coronavirus. Their risk is about twice as high as that of the overall population.
High Blood Pressure In Pregnant Women
High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy. Readings higher than 140 systolic or 90 diastolic is considered high. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. About 8 percent of women develop some form of hypertension while pregnant, says the .
There are two main categories of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
- Chronic hypertension:This is when blood pressure is high before a woman becomes pregnant or when high blood pressure develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: These types of high blood pressure problems are specific to pregnant women and typically develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These types of problems typically disappear after a woman gives birth.
Your doctor may prescribe medications if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy.
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