Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Stage 2 hypertension. More-severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher.
Hypertension is a popular ailment that is quite prevalent amongst the urban population of today. This condition primarily occurs when the blood forcefully pushes against the arteries as the heart pumps.
To measure this pressure, doctors use a Sphygmomanometer which gives the blood pressure reading in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and consists of two numbers.
- The upper or first number – measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure).
- The lower or second number – measure the pressure in the arteries between beats (diastolic pressure).
Hypertension occurs when the systolic pressure ranges from 130 to 139 mm Hg or when the diastolic pressure ranges from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
Hypertension, a more severe kind, occurs when the systolic pressure ranges between 140 mm Hg or higher or when the diastolic pressure ranges between 90 mm Hg or higher.
While both these numbers are crucial, for older people, particular emphasis should be laid on the systolic reading. Here you can understand high BP in old age more clearly.
Isolated Systolic Hypertension is a condition that occurs when the diastolic pressure remains normal (below the range of 90 mm Hg), but the systolic pressure shoots up (touches beyond 140 mm Hg). This is a common condition that is observed in people above the age of 60 years.
Different Types of Hypertension
Primary Hypertension (also known as Essential Hypertension)
For almost 90% of the patients, the cause of this Hypertension is unknown. Your doctor will diagnose this Hypertension type after analyzing your blood pressure after three or four visits. People who suffer from this Hypertension type show no significant symptoms. However, a few patients do show the below signs:
- Frequent headaches
This Hypertension type occurs when there is an abnormality in the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.
Some common causes of this Hypertension include:
- Abnormalities or tumors of the adrenal glands
- Hormonal imbalances
- Excessive salt or alcohol intake
Here the blood pressure rises rather quickly and causes a medical emergency where the patient needs to be rushed to the hospital. It is typically observed in small fractions of society such as young African-American men and women with pregnancy toxemia, to name a few.
Some common symptoms include:
- Numbness in arms and legs
- A headache
- Chest pain
- Blurry vision
This type of Hypertension is usually observed in people who are aged, obese or are suffering from diabetes or kidney ailments.
Ways to Control High Blood Pressure
When suffering from hypertension, your healthcare provider will advise you to control your blood pressure by making a few tweaks to your current lifestyle. he/she will understand your case and history thoroughly and will come up with a plan. Some of the common lifestyle changes suggested to regulate high blood pressure are as follows:
Take charge of your weight
The cause of sudden blood pressure increase in patients has been found to be directly linked with one’s weight.
Obesity or being overweight can put stress on your breathing which can lead to sleep apnea. Another point you should be particularly mindful of is about taking charge of your waistline. Too much fat content around the waistline can you make vulnerable to high blood pressure.
Losing weight is crucial to lowering your high blood pressure. You can start y going on walks daily for up to 2-3 months combined with yoga. Then you can advance on to lightweight training and running. You can even consider dancing, swimming or pursuing any sport like badminton or cycling which are super effective in losing weight rapidly.
Exercise Every day
Linked to losing weight, exercising every day is vital to keep stress and anxiety at bay along with aiding fast weight loss.
When you exercise 150-300 minutes a week, you stand the chance of lowering your blood pressure by 5-8 mm Hg.
Working out regularly for 30-60 minutes will help regulate your blood pressure and prevent the development of hypertension. A combination of cardio, strength training or resistance training along with stretches is needed to ensure a well-rounded approach to fitness. Speak to a healthcare expert about charting out a plan depending on your weight and other health complications (if any).
Eat Nutritious Meals
Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) to reduce your high blood pressure by 11 mm Hg.
To do this, you will need to maintain a diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. Maintain a food diary either manually or digitally and keep track of the calories you consume during each meal.
Incorporate more potassium-enriched foods into your diet such as bananas, avocados, oranges, sweet potatoes, yoghourt, lentils and spinach who are important to reduce the influence of sodium in your body.
Be smart about your eating and check the labels to evaluate the calories content of what you sop and try sticking to healthy nutritious meals such as salads, roasts, baked items and boiled food even when you are eating out with your family and friends on a Sunday!
Lower your Sodium Intake
Sodium plays a huge role in elevating blood pressure.
Cutting it out of your diet can reduce your blood pressure by 5-6 mm Hg.
Avoid eating processed or packaged food items that have high sodium content. Try to add as little salt as possible to your homecooked meals. To reverse the effects of sodium intake, have potassium-enriched foods as mentioned above.
Quitting the habit of smoking not only lowers your blood pressure instantly but also keeps you safeguarded from various heart diseases.
The role of caffeine in increasing your blood pressure is debated. However, having too much caffeine can impact your health in other ways which can add stress and contribute to increasing hypertension. For a healthy lifestyle limit your intake of caffeine, if the source is coffee, to one or a maximum of two cups a day.
Keep Stress At Bay
Chronic stress is one of the main contributors to high blood pressure.
Sometimes, people adopt coping mechanisms such as binge-eating, smoking and drinking to deal with stress. This can further heighten your health woes.
As a first step towards stress management identify your stress triggers. Try to avoid or eliminate them from your life. Focus on things you can control and stop worrying about those you cannot control. Exercise every day as it helps to releases endorphins that lower pain and stress in your life. Make time each week to relax and pamper yourself. Practice gratitude every morning by maintaining a journal.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption can be beneficial for lowering your blood pressure only when it is limited to one or two glasses a day. If consumed in excess, it can increase your blood pressure.
Monitor Blood Pressure with a Device at Home Regularly
Last but not the least, purchase a blood pressure monitoring device from any online or offline pharmacy and monitor your levels daily. If you are being prescribed any new medication for any other health disorder, monitor your pressure if the new medications are having any impact on it. Notify your doctor of the same.
If you are finding it challenging to keep up with your lifestyle changes get support from your family and friends to keep you motivated. Build yourself a positive community of well-wishers and take charge of your health!