If you are suddenly being informed that you can qualify as a blood pressure patient under the new guidelines of American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, despite every fiber of your being instructing you do so, we suggest you don’t panic and instead follow below mentioned steps to get your body under control.
The guidelines suggest that high blood pressure (hypertension) can now be recorded at 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), instead of 140/90 like it used to. This means that there is a whole new batch of people that can be counted as patients of stage 1 hypertension. Though it is not something to be perturbed about, you do need to take certain consistent steps to make sure that you are keeping your blood pressure levels regimented.
What is blood pressure measurement?
By taking your blood pressure measurements your physician examines the amount of blood that is travelling through your blood vessels and how much resistance is this blood encountering when the heart is pumping. When the force of the blood traversing through your vessels is disproportionately excessive, you have high blood pressure (hypertension).
Understanding high blood pressure
Arteries, narrow blood vessels, create resistance in the blood flow – which means that the more cramped your arteries are the greater resistance they will pose, leading to higher blood pressure levels. Over time, the elevation in blood pressure levels will cause significant health issues, most commonly heart disease.
Hence, we vehemently advocate regular wellness checkups for early detections – since doing so can help your doctor prepare a treatment plan that would help regulate the discovered symptoms. If you have been diagnose, make sure you frequently go on doctor-advised BP reading so that your doctor can notice changes that might need extra attention. If you are reporting elevated BP levels, then your doctor will make adjustments to your treatment plan and then monitor your BP readings every few weeks.
Comprehending your blood pressure readings
A blood pressure reading is predominantly made up of two types of numbers – systolic pressure (top number) and diastolic pressure (bottom number).
Systolic pressure (top number) indicates the pressure your arteries endure when your cardiovascular system pumps out blood and pulsates. Diastolic pressure (bottom number) reports the pressure your arteries are encountering between every heart palpitation.
These readings are further classified into five different categories:
A healthy blood pressure reading typically scores less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
The elevated blood pressure reading usually reports systolic number between 120 and 129 mm Hg, whereas the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. Doctors often tend to treat elevated blood pressure with lifestyle changes rather than medication.
Stage 1 hypertension
Hypertension reading logs the systolic number between 130 and 139 mmHg, while the diastolic number is logged between 80 and 89 mmHg.
Stage 2 hypertension
The stage 2 hypertension reading constitutes a systolic number of 140 mmHg or higher, whilst the diastolic number is 90mmHg or higher.
A hypertensive crisis systolic number racks up to more than 180 mmHg with diastolic number going above 120 mmHg reading. This blood pressure reading is often followed by symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, or visual changes that might need immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of hypertension
Hypertension is usually silent, which means that many individuals who would get diagnose with it in the future would not experience any surface level symptoms. Often it takes years, even decades, for the symptoms to worsen, and become severe enough to be notice.
According to American Heart Association signs of severe hypertension usually materialize in the following ways:
- Blood spots in the eyes
Getting regular wellness exams, that include blood pressure readings, is the most accurate way of identifying hypertension. Several clinics make it a point to get an individual’s BP reading at the beginning of every appointment.
However, we suggest that you remain even more diligent with the wellness exams and BP readings if you have a family history of heart diseases. This will allow your doctor to construct treatment plans adequate for your needs – normally these plans are comprise of medications and lifestyle changes that are alters according to your tests, over time.
A typical treatment plan for high blood pressure
There are a number of elements your doctor can employ when treating you for high blood pressure. As a general rule, there are primary hypertension treatment options and secondary hypertension treatment options.
Primary hypertension treatment options include lifestyle changes that your doctor will start you off with. Only inching towards medications when your situation requires it.
Secondary hypertension treatment options usually target conditions or situations your doctor surmises might be turning your blood pressure levels aggressive. For example, if you are consuming medication your doctor believes might be worsening your condition or activating it then they might suggest alternative medication that don’t have a similar side effect.
General treatment options
Your doctor may get you to try different medications. Take you through a trial-and-error phase, till they find the best fit for you. Generally, your doctor will prescribe beta-blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin II receptor blockers, Alpha-2 agonists, and/or Calcium channel blockers.
Doctors also suggest lifestyle changes as a supplementary tool to medications, or standalones. They often consist of:
Weight gain is report to be one of the major reasons of a surge in blood pressure levels. Because being overweight will cause your breathing to become disrupted, especially as you sleep. Weight loss has proven to be one of the most powerful ways. To reduce blood pressure – tapering out 1 mm Hg with every kilogram (2.2 pounds) lost.
Indulging in regular physical activity for 30 – 150 minutes. 6 days a week can lower your blood pressure by 5 – 8 mm Hg, if you have high blood pressure. Exercising also reduces weight which can be an added benefit. However you will have to remain diligent because halting your workouts can cause your BP to rise again.
The smallest reduction in sodium will elevate your heart health. Curtail your blood pressure levels by 5 – 6 mm Hg. If you have high blood pressure. Though the general sodium intake limit is 2,300 mg every day. Cutting it down to 1,500 mg or lesser will be ideal for adults.
Cigarettes are known to hike your BP, and keep it heighten for several minutes afterward. Eliminating smoking from your daily intake can significantly minimize your risk of heart diseases and bring about an overall improvement in your health.
Being chronically stress contributes magnanimously to stress. Not only does stress induce harmful chemicals into your body. But it can also lead you to seek coping mechanisms like binge eating, alcohol consumption, and smoking. As a solution your doctor might suggest certain coping strategies. That will help you manage BP own, without any medicinal interventions.
By seeking treatment with well-informed, research developed internal medicine clinic NOIP you can ensure you get a lifetime of unparalleled medical attention that has you remedially covered from all sides.