Issues with high blood pressure have become so commonplace today that almost every third patient applying to the hospital needs the corresponding treatment. However, not all people consider this problem a serious one and, what’s worse, don’t follow the prescribed medication plan. Many of them would be shocked to find out that over 6,000 people die of conditions related to cardiovascular issues and high blood pressure every day.
For those unwilling to contribute to this sad statistics, it’s a good strategy to get a better understanding of this pervasive condition and ensure you take measures to control blood pressure and avoid hypertension and hypotension. Here are 19 general things about blood pressure everyone needs to know.
1) Don’t underestimate the significance of blood pressure. About one billion people around the world struggle with high blood pressure and the number is growing. By 2025, the percentage of adults with hypertension is expected to rise by 50%, according to doctors. Hypertension increases your chances to develop cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, blood vessels clogging, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Moreover, hypertension patients are more likely to become diabetic as well.
2) There are two types of pressure – systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The first reflects the heart beats, and the second shows when the heart rests. Blood pressure is a ratio of systolic over diastolic.
More info about systolic and diastolic blood pressure in this article: http://www.webmd.boots.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/diastolic-systolic
3) Get a useful habit of monitoring your hypertension, if any, by taking your blood pressure by yourself. Consider consulting your doctor, if the readings are high on several consecutive days. 120/80 mmHg is a norm for healthy adults under 55, and when your blood pressure exceeds 138/85 mmHg, it’s time to apply to the hospital for an additional checkup.
4) Having blood pressure lower than 90/60 mmHg means you have hypotension. Constant low blood pressure can cause dizziness or faintness when suddenly rising from a down position to standing. It happens due to a failure of the nervous system or cardiovascular system to react to a position change. With age, the risk of low blood pressure increases.
5) Your pressure readings may differ in the morning and the evening, like blood pressure varies through the day and night. When you are at rest or sleep, it tends to drop, and when you are overexcited, nervous or stressed out, it increases.
6) When you work out at the gym or are engaged in other physical activity, blood pressure normally rises, but it goes back to norm after activeness is over.
7) Everyone can occasionally have high blood pressure due to many reasons, but there are certain types of people who are more at risk than others. Keep an eye on your tonometer readings if you belong to the following categories.
- Heart disease patients
- Those having diabetes in their family history
- People aged 55 and over
- Obesity patients and the overweight
- Alcohol abusers
- Heavy smokers
- People consuming too much food high in salt and sodium
- Physically inactive people
- Patients with treatment including such medications as NSAIDs, decongestants, and illicit drugs
8) If the tonometer shows 140/90 or higher, provided you’ve taken measures more than two times, you have high blood pressure. People aged 60 and over are said to experience high blood pressure when having 150/90 readings or higher.
9) High blood pressure is rarely accompanied by noticeable symptoms. Around one-third of people with hypertension don’t actually realize they have it. The only way to find out if you have this condition is to take regular measures of your blood pressure.
10) It is important to monitor the work of your cardiovascular system and blood pressure because people with hypertension are four times more likely to die from heart disease, heart attack or stroke comparing to those with normal blood pressure readings.
11) If you have high blood pressure, you might be prescribed with two or more medications to bring your tonometer numbers down. However, lifestyle plays an important role in lowering blood pressure, and there are certain changes everyone can make to reduce and even avoid problems with pressure and eventual medical treatment.
12) In many cases, blood pressure rises as weight increases. Extra pounds also cause sleep apnea, which contributes to blood pressure issues. Shedding just 10 pounds and watching your waistline ensure you aren’t put at greater risk of high blood pressure.
13) Regular exercise for about an hour on three days of the week can lower your blood pressure up to 9 mmHg. Opt for jogging, walking, swimming or cycling, or choose any strength training to reduce blood pressure. In case you’ve never visited a gym and don’t know where to start, talk to your doctor or consult a professional coach on your personal exercise program. Make sure you work out regularly because only consistency leads to success.
14) Gradually switch to a healthy diet rich in whole grains, greens, fruits and dairy products. Cut on consuming processed products and fast food rich in saturated fats, sugar, salt, and cholesterol. Making even minimal changes in your eating habits can improve your blood pressure by 14 mmHg.
15) Add to your meals food rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium, such as leafy greens, berries, potatoes, beet, slim milk, oatmeal, and bananas. Eating them alone won’t fight your hypertension, but when combined with other preventive measures, their intake is important to control blood pressure.
16) Cut down the alcohol intake and monitor the quality of beverages you drink. In small amounts, good vine, for example, can be beneficial for your health and can even potentially lower blood pressure by 2 mmHg. But more than one drink a day not only raises blood pressure but also blocks the effectiveness of blood pressure medicine.
17) Smoking is another factor that causes blood pressure issues. Apart from other harm to your body, each cigarette increases blood pressure by several mmHg, and the effect lasts for many minutes after you finish smoking.
18) Don’t underestimate the role of chronic stress causing high blood pressure. Some people fight with stressful situations by eating junk food, abusing alcohol or smoking, which only adds to the problem. Think about factors that trigger your stress, such as family, career, money or illness, and make the necessary changes to eliminate what gives you the biggest hardship.
19) Don’t neglect a visit to a cardiologist twice a year and have all the necessary tests done. It’s better to detect a problem, if any, in advance than treat its consequences.
Regardless of age and your cardiovascular disease history, learn to use a tonometer and measure your blood pressure at home. Visit your doctor regularly and tell him about any symptom or complication you’ve noticed. In the case of any blood pressure problems, let your family and friends support you. They will make sure you take care of yourself, take medicine in time and don’t skip your visits to the doctor’s office.