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Why Would Blood Pressure Be High

What Medications Are Used To Treat High Blood Pressure

Why is my Systolic Blood Pressure High?

Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered first line when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line drug pressure lowering medications are:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the production the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels dont narrow. Examples: lisinopril , enalapril , captopril .
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing. Examples: metoprolol , valsartan , losartan .
  • Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine , nifedipine , diltiazem .
  • Diuretics flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill. Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorothiazide.

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.

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Women with hypertension can deliver healthy babies despite having the condition. But it can be dangerous to both mother and baby if its not monitored closely and managed during the pregnancy.

Women with high blood pressure are more likely to develop complications. For example, pregnant women with hypertension may experience decreased kidney function. Babies born to mothers with hypertension may have a low birth weight or be born prematurely.

Some women may develop hypertension during their pregnancies. Several types of high blood pressure problems can develop. The condition often reverses itself once the baby is born. Developing hypertension during pregnancy may increase your risk for developing hypertension later in life.

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Good Sleep Can Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure

Most people experience a dip in blood pressure during the deepest stage of sleep , which is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to sleep. Not having that nighttime dip is a risk factor for heart disease and may increase daytime blood pressure.

Typically people spend 90 minutes to two hours in slow wave sleep per night. A recent study published in;Hypertension;found that men who got less slow wave sleep each night were a higher risk for hypertension than men who got more deep sleep.

While sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and age can both affect the amount of deep sleep you get, there are steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and being more active during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep.

Other Treatment To Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

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There are some natural health products that you may hear about to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It is not clear if some vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins can lower risk. But it is clear that some natural health products, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, do not lower risk.footnote 3

Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Tell your doctor if you plan to use natural health products. Your doctor can make sure they are safe for you.

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Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy

High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:

Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present prior to pregnancy.

Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Preeclampsia, which develops in someone who has chronic hypertension .

Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy, but no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia are present. Some women will later develop preeclampsia, while others probably have high blood pressure before the pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: This is found in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the mother. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .

Your blood pressure will be checked regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hypertension

Q: If left untreated, does hypertension get worse?

A: Its hard to say. Researchers are starting to see that kids and adolescents with pre-hypertension are more likely to develop stage 1 hypertension, but we dont know if ;or when stage 1 hypertension will progress to stage 2.

Q: Can hypertension be cured?

A: In some cases, secondary hypertension can be fixed. For example, if:

  • its caused by a narrowing in a blood vessel that the doctors are able to widen
  • its caused by a rare endocrine tumor that doctors are able to treat successfully

There are also cases in which hypertension might be transient; for example, if its caused by a temporary inflammation of the filters in the kidney.

Even when hypertension cant be fixed, it can almost always be well-controlled, with diet and exercise and/or medication.

Q: If my child is being treated for hypertension, what should I watch out for?

A: Keep an eye out for:

  • chest pains
  • severe headaches that dont seem to respond to at-home treatment
  • changes in vision
  • swelling of hands and feet
  • shortness of breath with limited exertion
  • changes in her urine

Q: Will my child need to go on medication?

A: Only a fraction of kids with hypertension require medication. Frequently, its treated with diet and exercise modification first. And if the child is overweight, every kilogram of weight she loses, her blood pressure could bring her blood pressure down by about a point.

Q: Will my child have hypertension as an adult?

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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.

Blood Pressure Paradigm Shift

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Based on Dr. B’s recommendations, ideally, it should be taken 3 to 5 times in succession until two pressures are the same.

When the blood pressure cuff is tightened on your arm, the brain receives a signal. That signal, increase the blood pressure to compensate for the blockage. It is not until you pump up and release the blood pressure cuff 3 to 5 times that you will get an accurate reading.

The difference in the first reading to the last could increased by 10 points or more.

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Ask The Doctor: Why Does My Blood Pressure Rise In The Afternoon

Q. I am a 50-year-old woman with newly diagnosed high blood pressure. As diets go, mine is definitely on the healthy side. I do not exercise at a health club, but I do a lot of housecleaning and gardening, and I do walk a fair amount, which I feel is equal to what I would accomplish at a health club. I weigh 150 pounds and my height is 5 feet, 6 inches. I take Toprol-XL. My blood pressure seems to be normal in the morning, averaging 121/74, but in the afternoon the upper number is often in the 140s to 150s. Is it normal for blood pressure to rise like this as the day goes on, especially while on a medication?

A. It’s great that you are paying close attention to your blood pressure readings. Beta blockers like metoprolol are not great medications for lowering blood pressure when used all by themselves. So, as the day goes on, and you eat and exert yourself physically, my guess is that the metoprolol is just not strong enough to control your blood pressure. One option is to switch to another medication, such as a diuretic or an ACE inhibitor. If your doctor thinks you need the beta blocker for some other cardiac condition, adding a diuretic or ACE inhibitor to the beta blocker makes sense. In fact, combining low doses of medications that fight high blood pressure in different ways is probably a more effective way to do it than with a high dose of a single medication.

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High Blood Pressure In Adults

Healthy blood pressure in adults is a reading below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. Blood pressure between 120 to 129 systolic and under 80 diastolic is considered elevated. Elevated blood pressure means you have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure later on. Your doctor may suggest eating less salt, eating a heart healthy diet, or living a more active lifestyle.

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How To Measure Blood Pressure

Usually a nurse checks your blood pressure to make sure its not too low or too high before your doctors appointment. But you can also check your readings manually at home. You can use an inflatable cuff similar to those used at your doctors office. Or you can use a digital blood pressure monitor with automatic cuff inflation.

Read the directions carefully when measuring your blood pressure. Certain factors can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. These factors include:

How High Is Too High For Blood Pressure

Why is My Blood Pressure High in The Morning?

Although the term labile hypertension means blood pressure that fluctuates more than usual, the term actually has no official definition. Theres no line that must be crossed no minimum blood pressure reading or number of spikes necessary to make the diagnosis.

The term simply indicates a situation where blood pressure is rising beyond whats considered normal and acceptable for an individual.

Most times, these people have reasonable blood pressure control, says Dr. Lioudis. Yet they have periods when they may experience facial flushing, tension headaches, sweating or feelings of unease. When they check their blood pressure, its high.

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When To See A Doctor

If a person who monitors their blood pressure at home does not see lower readings despite implementing lifestyle changes, they should get in touch with a doctor to determine the underlying cause of their high blood pressure.

A person should seek immediate medical attention if they get two readings of 180/120 mm Hg or higher within a 5-minute period, especially if they are experiencing a headache or nosebleed.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore

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If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.

While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.

For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.

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Treating High Blood Pressure With Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor may suggest that you make one or more of the following changes:

  • Lose weight. If you’re overweight, losing extra kilograms may bring your blood pressure down.
  • Get more active. Regular aerobic exercise can help lower blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.
  • Eat less sodium. To help lower blood pressure, try to eat less than 2,000 mg a day.footnote 2
  • Follow theDASH diet. The DASH eating plan can help you lower your blood pressure.

For tips on how to do these things, see the Living With High Blood Pressure section of this topic.

One Woman’s Story:

Izzy, 60

“I could never have imagined I could get down so low by losing weight. I feel sure it was the WAY I lost weight, with DASH.”Izzy

Read more about Izzy and how she uses the DASH eating plan.

Youre Not Getting Enough Exercise

What is blood pressure, and why is high blood pressure dangerous?

Sitting too much or leading a sedentary lifestyle can mess with just about every aspect of your health, and your cardiovascular health is no exception. Being sedentary leads to elevated blood pressure, both indirectly and directly, says Dr. Beniaminovitz. Sedentary people tend to be overweight or obese, and, as mentioned above, weight is one of the main driving causes of high blood pressure.

Additionally, getting regular aerobic activity helps you maintain a healthy blood pressure by making blood vessels more compliant and less sensitive to hormonal influences, he explainsso a lack of such activity may accelerate arterial hardening, forcing the heart and blood vessels to work that much harder.

BP fix: Get your heart pumpin .

A research analysis of nearly 400 studies suggests that regular exercise could be as effective as commonly prescribed blood pressure drugs. In the pantheon of physical activity, aerobic exercising is the best for blood pressure, says Dr. Beniaminovitz. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week such as biking, brisk walking, swimming, a barre class, or even higher-speed varieties of yoga like vinyasa.

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What Makes Blood Pressure Suddenly Increase

Asked by sam

What Makes Blood Pressure Suddenly Increase?

During a recent visit to the doctor my blood pressure was suddenly very high, so high that I had to go to the emergency and be monitored for several hours. I was put on metaprolol, but my blood pressure still spikes throughout the day. What would make my blood pressure go up like that? At what point is it so high that I should go to the ER again?

What Causes Labile Hypertension

When labile hypertension is suspected, a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Then the work of pinpointing the underlying cause begins. Serious detective work often is required. We look at the patients overall health, lifestyle and medications, says Dr. Lioudis.

When a medication or lifestyle choice is the precipitating factor, making appropriate changes can cause labile hypertension to disappear.

Underlying medical conditions are a bigger concern, since they may be harder to treat.

We look for sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or a problem with the adrenal glands, as any of these can cause blood pressure to fluctuate,says Dr. Lioudis.

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Garlic And Garlic Milk

Considered one of the most effective natural remedies for diastolic hypertension. It is good for thrombosis, hardening of the arteries, and high blood cholesterol. Using fresh garlic is best. You can also make garlic milk by heating half a liter of water and milk and boil 10 garlic cloves in it. When it cools off, you can add some honey to it before drinking.

Developing A Healthy Diet

Doctor, Why Do I Have High Blood Pressure?

A heart-healthy diet is vital for helping to reduce high blood pressure. Its also important for managing hypertension that is under control and reducing the risk of complications. These complications include heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.

A heart-healthy diet emphasizes foods that include:

  • fruits
  • lean proteins like fish

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