If you experience any complications from high blood pressure, such as a stroke or heart attack, contact your doctor right away. In such critical situations, do not try home remedies. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension) and no complications, the first thing you should do is relax and lie flat. Set aside the task you were working on and begin taking deep breaths slowly. This stress-relieving technique can help to lower blood pressure to some extent. If calming techniques do not help, see a doctor right away. Also, remember to take your antihypertensive medications if your blood pressure is uncontrolled by lifestyle changes and diet.
Medication is the primary treatment option for high blood pressure. Medication can be gradually reduced as blood pressure improves as a result of lifestyle changes. Medications, when combined with a healthy diet, reduce the risk of having a stroke, having a heart attack, or having other complications. But instead of making habit of taking medicine all the time, you need to modify your life style so that you can live healthy life independently.
What is blood pressure?
The pressure exerted by the blood on the inner walls of the arteries is referred to as blood pressure or BP. It fluctuates slightly throughout the day, decreasing when relaxing and increasing briefly when excited or stressed. An increase in resting BP can cause scarring, stiffening or hardening of the arteries.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension or high BP, is a silent killer that affects 80 million Americans. It is estimated that up to 16 million Americans are unaware of the condition. Untreated hypertension can increase the risk of developing heart diseases or having a stroke. High blood pressure is caused by the constriction of very small blood vessels called arterioles. As a result, the heart must pump more forcefully to overcome the resistance in the narrowed blood vessel bed. This causes increased pressure inside the vessels.
- Hypertension occurs when systolic or diastolic readings are consistently 140 or higher.
- BP readings of 180/120 mmHg or higher are considered dangerously high and necessitate immediate medical attention.
High BP can result in a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, vision loss, kidney failure, dementia, erectile dysfunction and bone weakness.
What is normal blood pressure according to age?
The pressure of the blood within the arteries is referred to as blood pressure. It is primarily produced by the contraction of the heart muscle. Its dimensions are represented by two numbers.
- The first systolic pressure is the highest and is measured after the heart contracts.
- The second diastolic pressure is the lowest and is measured before the heart contracts.
The chart depicts normal BP for both men and women based on their age. The chart includes both diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP).
What is systolic blood pressure?
The pressure exerted by your blood as it flows through your arteries is not constant, but rather dynamic, and it constantly reflects what your heart is doing at any given time. When the heart is actively beating (a condition known as systole), blood is ejected into the arteries, at that time the pressure in your arteries due to blood is known as systolic blood pressure. Because of the dynamic ejection of blood into the arteries, the pressure within the arteries rises. The systolic blood pressure is the highest blood pressure reached during an active cardiac contraction. A normal systolic blood pressure when a person is sitting quietly is 120 mmHg or below.
What is diastolic blood pressure?
Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood within the arteries between two heartbeats, that is, when the heart is not actively ejecting blood into the arteries.
After the heart has finished contracting, the cardiac ventricles relax for a brief moment to allow them to be refilled with blood in preparation for the next contraction. This period of ventricular relaxation is referred to as diastole, and the blood pressure measured during diastole is referred to as the diastolic blood pressure. A normal diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg or less.
The systolic blood pressure and the diastolic blood pressure are the two numbers used to measure a person’s blood pressure. These two figures represent different aspects of the pressure exerted by your blood as it circulates through your arteries.
When your heart pumps blood into your arteries, it exerts pressure on the blood. BP is measured by doctors to quantify the force exerted by moving blood against the walls of your arteries. Because the heart beats, the blood flow through the arteries is pulsatile, and the flow of blood, as well as the pressure it exerts, fluctuate from moment to moment.
What causes high blood pressure?
Smoking , being overweight, lack of physical activity, too much salt in the diet, too much alcohol consumption, stress, older age, genetics, family history of high BP, chronic kidney disease, adrenal and thyroid disorders and sleep apnea are the common causes of high BP.
How to lower blood pressure?
If you have high BP, you may be concerned about taking medication to lower it. The way you live your life has a big impact on how you treat your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to avoid, postpone, or reduce your need for medication. Here are some lifestyle changes, you can make to maintain and lower BP.
Exercise: If you have high BP, regular physical activity, such as 150 minutes per week, can lower it by 5 to 8 mm Hg. It is critical to maintain consistency because if you stop exercising, your BP will rise again.
Exercise can help you avoid developing hypertension if you have high BP. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can help you lower your BP to a more manageable level. To lower BP, you can go for walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. You can also try high-intensity interval training, which consists of alternating short bursts of intense activity with recovery periods of lighter activity.
Reduce your stress: Chronic stress may play a role in high BP. More research is needed to determine how chronic stress affects BP. Stress can also contribute to high blood pressure if you respond to it by eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol or smoking. Change your expectations, focus on issues you can control and plan to solve them, avoid stress triggers, schedule time to relax and do activities you enjoy, and practice gratitude.
Healthy diet: If you have high BP, eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products while limiting saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your BP by up to 11 mm Hg. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is the name given to this eating plan. It is difficult to change your eating habits, but with the following advice, you can adopt a healthy diet:
- Manage a food diary: Even writing down what you eat for a week can reveal surprising information about your true eating habits. Keep track of what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat it, and why.
- Consider increasing your potassium intake: Potassium can help to lower BP by counteracting the effects of sodium. Food, such as fruits and vegetables, is a better source of potassium than supplements.
- Be a wise shopper: When shopping, read food labels and stick to your healthy-eating plan even when dining out.
Lose weight: As a person’s weight increases, so does their BP. Being overweight can also cause sleep-disrupted breathing, which raises your BP even more. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for BP control. In general, losing one kilogram of weight can reduce your BP by about one millimeter of mercury (mm Hg).
Aside from losing weight, you should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can increase your risk of developing high BP.
- Men are at risk if their waist circumference exceeds 40 inches.
- If a woman’s waist measurement is greater than 35 inches, she is at risk.
Reduce sodium in your diet: If you have high BP, even a small reduction in sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and lower your BP by 5 to 6 mm Hg. The effect of sodium consumption on BP varies depending on the group of people. In general, keep sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. A lower sodium intake of 1,500 mg or less per day, on the other hand, is ideal for most adults.
Limit amount of alcohol you drink: Alcohol can be both beneficial and detrimental to your health. You can potentially lower your BP by 4 mm Hg by drinking alcohol in moderation: one drink per day for women, two drinks per day for men. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can cause BP to rise by several points. It may also reduce the efficacy of blood pressure medications.
Eat dark chocolate: While large amounts of dark chocolate are unlikely to benefit your heart, small amounts may. This is due to the high concentration of flavonoids in dark chocolate and cocoa powder, which are plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate. A study found that flavonoid-rich cocoa improved several markers of heart health in the short term, including BP reduction. Use non-alkalized cocoa powder, which is especially high in flavonoids and contains no added sugars, for the most potent effects.
Cut added sugar: It’s not just sugar; all refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white flour, quickly convert to sugar in your bloodstream and can cause problems. Low carb diets may also help lower BP, according to some studies.
Eat berries: Berries contain more than just juicy flavor. They’re also high in polyphenols, which are natural plant compounds that are good for your heart. Polyphenols have been shown to lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes while also improving BP, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.
Quit smoking: Each cigarette you smoke raises your BP for several minutes after you put it out. Smoking cessation allows your BP to return to normal. Smoking cessation can lower your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health. People who quit smoking may live longer lives than those who never quit.
Eat foods rich in magnesium and calcium: High BP is common in people who do not consume enough calcium. While calcium supplements have not been proven to lower BP, calcium-rich diets appear to be linked to healthy levels. The calcium recommendation for most adults is 1,000 milligrams per day. It is 1,200 mg per day for women over 50 and men over 70. Calcium can also be obtained from collard greens and other leafy greens, beans, sardines, and tofu, in addition to dairy.
Magnesium is an important mineral that aids in the relaxation of blood vessels. While magnesium deficiency is uncommon, many people do not get enough of it. Some studies have suggested that a lack of magnesium is associated with high BP, but clinical research has been less conclusive. Nonetheless, eating a magnesium-rich diet is a recommended method of preventing high BP.
You can also take home massage to relax your muscles, which will help to lower BP.