What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:
- coronary heart disease – where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
- strokes – a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
- heart attacks – a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked
Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.
What Should My Bp Be For My Age
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Treatment Of Blood Pressure Fluctuations
Since labile hypertension can be caused by side effects of medications, discontinuation can help relieve the condition.
If you can, avoid frequent home monitoring, as it can lead to anxiety and elevated readings. It is, however, important to note that antihypertensive treatment does not reduce blood pressure fluctuations.
In dire cases, your doctor may want to treat you with anxiolytics, a class of medications used to prevent or treat anxiety symptoms or disorders.
Hypertension doesnt occur suddenly. One of the signs that ought to prompt a visit to your doctor is unexplained blood pressure fluctuations. It will help you prevent further complications such as:
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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.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.
You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
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Should My Diastolic Pressure Change When I Stand Up
I have diastolic dysfunction , stage one and Im taking 5 mg lisinopril a day to keep my pressure down. When sitting, my BP is around 110/70 but when standing, the diastolic shoots up to 89-94! The systolic goes up to 128 or 114, or goes down to 104. Shouldnt my diastolic go down when I stand up?
Submitted by Janice from Glen Ellyn, Illinois on 11/07/2013
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Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.
Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .
Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.
Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.
You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.
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Ptsd And High Blood Pressure
A growing body of research has linked post-traumatic stress disorder to high blood pressure.
Researchers arent sure about the mechanism underlying the relationship between PTSD and high blood pressure, but it may have something to do with higher levels of inflammation in patients with PTSD, which may increase blood pressure.
When To Contact A Doctor
If the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat becomes irregular or is causing distressing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.
Even if there does not appear to be any danger, a doctor can provide assistance in reducing the risk of complications.
If a person is experiencing the following symptoms, all of which are symptoms of a heart attack, someone needs to call 911:
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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:
- Certain medications or combinations of medications
- Chronic kidney disease
When The Problem Is Autonomic Dysfunction
In labile hypertension, blood pressure tends to spike upwards. Blood pressure that swings in both directions may be a sign of a different problem called autonomic dysfunction.
People with this problem have difficulty regulating involuntary functions such as heart rate, breathing and body temperature, in addition to blood pressure. We usually send these patients to cardiology for testing, says Dr. Lioudis.
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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:
Primary High Blood Pressure
While the specific cause of primary high blood pressure remains unknown, there is compelling evidence to suggest that a number of risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition.
These risk factors include:
- age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
- a family history of high blood pressure – the condition seems to run in families
- being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
- high amount of salt in your diet
- lack of exercise
- excessive alcohol consumption
A number of health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, have also been linked to an increase risk of developing primary high blood pressure.
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Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Theres no single cause of high blood pressure, but rather many contributing factors. Some are out of your control, such as age, race, gender, and family historyblood pressure tends to increase over the age of 70, affects more women than men over the age of 55, and is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, perhaps due to a genetic sensitivity to salt.
Many other risk factors for hypertension are within your control. Being overweight, eating a poor diet high in salt, smoking, drinking excessively, and not getting enough physical exercise can all impact your blood pressure.
There are also specific substances that can raise your blood pressure, such as:
- Caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
- Prescription medications, including some of those used to treat ADHD, birth control pills, corticosteroids, atypical antipsychotics, MAOIs and SNRIs used to treat depression, and some cancer drugs.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
- Cough and cold medications containing decongestant or NSAIDs.
- Herbal supplements, such as ephedra and yohimbine.
- Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Licorice found in some candies and gum.
High Blood Pressure Treatment
The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.
The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
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Lifestyle Changes May Reduce Your Need For Pills
For most of us, as the years increase, so does our blood pressure. By age 60, almost 65% of Americans will have high blood pressure. Although men are more likely to develop high blood pressure between ages 45 and 55, women are at greater risk after 65. Yet high blood pressure isn’t an inevitable fact of later life. It’s possible to slow the processes that drive blood pressure up. By doing so, you’ll also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and dementia.
Blood pressure reflects the amount of blood flowing through the vessels and the pressure exerted by the vessel walls against the blood. In a blood pressure reading, the top number represents the systolic pressure, recorded when the vessel contracts to push blood through. The bottom number represents the diastolic pressure, recorded when the vessels are relaxed. Over time, our blood vessels lose elasticity, and atherosclerotic plaque may build up in artery walls. Both of these trends make vessels stiffer. As vessels become less flexible, blood pressure is higher at any level of blood flow.
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What Causes Low Blood Pressure
Some people have a blood pressure level that is naturally low. That is, there is no specific cause or reason why. It can be the result of a healthy lifestyle and being fit and active, and your genes may play a role.
Your blood pressure varies throughout the day. It might drop when youve just eaten while your blood is carried to your gut, if youve been standing up for a long time, if youre dehydrated, and if the temperature is warm.
There are a number of other possible causes of low blood pressure:
MedicationsLow blood pressure, and low blood pressure when you stand up, can be caused by medications. These include , antidepressants and beta blockers, which are used to treat heart problems.
Health problemsLow blood pressure can also be caused by an illness or health problem.
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Poor Nutrition And Anemia
Poor nutrition can cause anemia, which in turn can cause a rapid heart rate and low blood pressure. When you do not take in enough iron, your body lacks what it needs to form adequate red blood cells. Lack of folate and vitamin B12 also can lead to low blood pressure due to anemia. Anemia also is characterized by fatigue.
When you are anemic and not producing enough red blood cells, your bodys ability to carry oxygen to tissues like muscle throughout your body is diminished. Other symptoms may include fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath during exercise, concentration problems, headaches, chest pain, tingling and constipation, according to the American Society of Hematology. Consult a doctor if you have signs of anemia.
Drugs That Can Cause High Blood Pressure
Medications that you take to control other health conditions, such as arthritis, epilepsy, or allergies, can cause your blood pressure to rise.
Such medications can also interfere with the ability of antihypertensive drugs to keep blood pressure down.
Pain Medications Common pain and anti-inflammatory medicines can lead to the retention of water, which can increase blood pressure and create problems with the kidneys.
HormonesBirth control pills can also affect blood pressure. Women who take birth control pills usually experience a small rise in systolic and diastolic blood pressure .
Hormone therapy used to relieve symptoms of menopause can also cause a small rise in systolic blood pressure.
If you know you have high blood pressure but are considering hormone therapy, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of undergoing hormone therapy, as well as the best ways to control your blood pressure.
Additionally, some recreational and illegal drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy , and amphetamines, are also known to increase blood pressure.
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What Is A Fluctuating Heart Rate
When a person has a fluctuating heart rate, they may feel as if their heart rate is jumping up and down. Instead of following a regular pattern, the heart rhythm changes within a short time. This is called arrhythmia. A can cause an irregular heart rate. Anyone who notices fluctuating heart rate should seek medical advice. A doctor will do some tests and work with them on a treatment plan.
More From Martin Scurr For The Daily Mail
You tell me you are taking 5mg of lisinopril and 2.5mg of bendroflumethiazide. These work by widening the blood vessels and reducing the total volume of liquid in the blood stream, which both act to lower blood pressure.
But while levels below the recommended cut-off point of 140/90 are associated with better future health, your level 102/65 may be considered too low, particularly if you are in an older age group.
Thats because this group seems more prone to dizziness , which can result in falls.
This does not present problems for everyone, and if you are thriving, then well and good.
But some people will feel faint and weak at this low level.
If this is the case, the treatment needs to be reduced, followed by a period of regular monitoring should blood pressure become too high again.
Most of us in medical practice struggle to get our patients onto treatment that is consistently effective, and it often needs two or three medicines to achieve it.
Evidently the combination of your two drugs is proving too powerful perhaps your GP could try you on lisinopril alone, or even at 2.5mg daily rather than 5mg, though that remains the decision of your doctor.
Judging from the tests and attention your GP surgery is giving you, I believe you are in a good position, and in very good hands.
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How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is defined as the amount of pressure that is exerted on the artery walls as blood moves through them. It is measured in millimetres of mercury, or mmHg.
A more detailed explanation is provided below.
Two measurements are used to measure blood pressure:
- Systolic pressure – the measure of blood pressure exerted when your heart beats and forces blood around your body.
- Diastolic pressure – the measure of blood pressure when your heart is resting in between beats.
Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are measured in millimetres of mercury .
The figures are usually represented with the systolic pressure first, followed by the diastolic pressure. Therefore, if your GP says that your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’, or 120/80mmHg, they mean that you have a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg.