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High Blood Pressure: Prevention and Treatment

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Why is it called high blood pressure? This is called blood pressure. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) happens when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal. Many different things can cause high blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading has two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats or contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on your blood vessels between beats when your heart is relaxing. What is the normal range of blood pressure? ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher. low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower. What causes high blood pressure?
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress
  • Older age
  • Genetics
What can happen if high blood pressure is not treated? Untreated hypertension may lead to serious health problems including:
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Kidney disease/failure
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Eye damage
  • Vascular dementia
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 they range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
  • Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present before pregnancy.
  • Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy.
  • Preeclampsia: This is a dangerous condition that typically develops in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the pregnant person. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures (eclampsia).
  • Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Pregnant people who have chronic hypertension are at increased risk for developing preeclampsia.
How do I know if I have high blood pressure? High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your provider measure it. Know your numbers so you can make the changes that help prevent or limit damage. What are the risk factors for high blood pressure? You are more likely to have high blood pressure if you:
  • Have family members who have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • Are of African descent.
  • Are older than 55.
  • Are overweight.
  • Don’t get enough exercise.
  • Eat foods high in sodium (salt).
  • Smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Are a heavy drinker (more than two drinks a day in men and more than one drink a day in women).
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS How is high blood pressure diagnosed? Since high blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms, your healthcare provider will need to check your blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. Providers usually check your blood pressure at every annual checkup or appointment. If you have high blood pressure readings at two appointments or more, your provider may tell you that you have high blood pressure. What tests will be done to diagnose this condition? Providers use a blood pressure cuff to measure your blood pressure. MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT 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. Eat healthy foods that are low in salt and fat.
  • Reach and maintain your best body weight.
  • Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks each day for men and less than one drink each day for women. One drink is defined as 1 ounce of alcohol, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.
  • Be more physically active.
  • Quit smoking and/or using tobacco products.
  • Work on controlling anger and managing stress.
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. (Ask your healthcare provider for a more detailed list of low sodium foods to eat.)
  • 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 (especially fast 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. Don’t add salt at the table. (Salt substitutes usually have some salt in them.)
  • 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.
What medications are used to treat high blood pressure? Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered “first line” (most effective and commonly prescribed) when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line, pressure-lowering medications are: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors block the production of the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels don’t narrow. Examples: lisinopril (Zestril® or Prinivil®), enalapril or captopril. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) 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 (Lopressor®; Toprol® XL), valsartan (Diovan® or Prexxartan®) or losartan. Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine (Norvasc® or Katerzia®), nifedipine (Procardia®XL or Nifedical®XL), diltiazem (Cardizem®, Dilacor® XR or Tiazac®). Diuretics (water or fluid pills) 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 (Microzide® or Oretic®) or chlorothiazide. Talk to your healthcare provider about what side effects and problems are possible when you take your blood pressure medicine. You should avoid some medications during pregnancy. If you get side effects that concern you, call your provider. They may change your dose or try a different medication. Don’t stop taking the medicine on your own.
Prawidlowe csisnienie
27 Healthy Habits
to Normalize Blood Pressure
Download now