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However, more research is needed to determine the potential benefits. Some research is studying whether vitamin D can reduce blood pressure, but more research is needed. While it's best to include these supplements in your diet as foods, you can also take supplement pills or capsules. Talk to your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your blood pressure treatment. Some supplements can interact with medications, causing harmful side effects, such as an increased bleeding risk that could be fatal.
You can also practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to help you relax and reduce your stress level. These practices may temporarily reduce your blood pressure.
High blood pressure isn't a problem that you can treat and then ignore. It's a condition you need to manage for the rest of your life. To keep your blood pressure under control:. Sticking to lifestyle changes can be difficult, especially if you don't see or feel any symptoms of high blood pressure. If you need motivation, remember the risks associated with uncontrolled high blood pressure. It may help to enlist the support of your family and friends as well. If you think you may have high blood pressure, make an appointment with your family doctor to have your blood pressure checked.
No special preparations are necessary to have your blood pressure checked. You might want to wear a short-sleeved shirt to your appointment so that the blood pressure cuff can fit around your arm properly. Avoid eating, drinking caffeinated beverages and smoking right before your test. Plan to use the toilet before having your blood pressure measured. Because some medications, such as over-the-counter cold medicines, pain medications, antidepressants, birth control pills and others, can raise your blood pressure, it might be a good idea to bring a list of medications and supplements you take to your doctor's appointment.
Don't stop taking any prescription medications that you think may affect your blood pressure without your doctor's advice. Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to discuss, it's a good idea to be prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor. Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together.
List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For high blood pressure, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:. In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something. Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on.
Your doctor may ask:. It's never too early to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and becoming more physically active. These are primary lines of defense against high blood pressure and its complications, including heart attack and stroke. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Blood pressure measurement To measure your blood pressure, a specialist places an inflatable cuff around your arm and measures your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic.
References High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed March 9, What is high blood pressure? When you should call for high blood pressure. Screening and home monitoring. Preventive Services Task Force. Accessed March 27, Thomas G, et al. Blood pressure measurement in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in adults. Blood pressure monitoring kiosks aren't for everyone. Food and Drug Administration.
Basile J, et al. Overview of hypertension in adults. Know your risk factors for high blood pressure. Accessed March 12, Limiting alcohol to manage high blood pressure. High blood pressure and African Americans. Douglas PS, et al. Definition and pathogenesis of left ventricular hypertrophy in hypertension.
Understanding blood pressure readings. Whelton PK, et al. Monitoring your blood pressure at home. Choice of drug therapy in primary essential hypertension. Accessed March 14, Accessed March 22, Calhoun DA, et al. Treatment of resistant hypertension. Diet in the treatment and prevention of hypertension. Accessed March 26, Exercise in the treatment and prevention of hypertension. You may need to try different medicines until you find one or a combination of medications that work for you. Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension.
Here are some of the most common home remedies. A heart-healthy diet is vital for helping to reduce high blood pressure.
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These complications include heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. Reaching a healthy weight should include being more physically active. In addition to helping you shed pounds, exercise can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure naturally, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Aim to get minutes of moderate physical activity each week. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight through a heart-healthy diet and increased physical activity can help lower your blood pressure. These are all proven stress-reducing techniques. Getting adequate sleep can also help reduce stress levels. If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether.
Alcohol can raise blood pressure. One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension. A plant-based diet is an easy way to increase fiber and reduce the amount of sodium and unhealthy saturated and trans fat you take in from dairy foods and meat.
Instead of red meat, opt for healthier lean proteins like fish, poultry, or tofu. People with hypertension and those with an increased risk for heart disease may need to keep their daily sodium intake between 1, milligrams and 2, milligrams per day. The best way to reduce sodium is to cook fresh foods more often. Avoid eating restaurant food or prepackaged foods, which are often very high in sodium.
Studies suggest regularly eating dark chocolate may reduce blood pressure.
Everything You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Women with hypertension can deliver healthy babies despite having the condition. Women with high blood pressure are more likely to develop complications. For example, pregnant women with hypertension may experience decreased kidney function. Babies born to mothers with hypertension may have a low birth weight or be born prematurely. Some women may develop hypertension during their pregnancies. Several types of high blood pressure problems can develop.
The condition often reverses itself once the baby is born. Developing hypertension during pregnancy may increase your risk for developing hypertension later in life. In some cases, pregnant women with hypertension may develop preeclampsia during their pregnancy. This condition of increased blood pressure can cause kidney and other organ complications.
This can result in high protein levels in the urine, problems with liver function, fluid in the lungs, or visual problems. As this condition worsens, the risks increase for the mother and baby. Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia , which causes seizures. High blood pressure problems in pregnancy remain an important cause of maternal death in the United States.
Complications for the baby include low birth weight, early birth, and stillbirth. There is no known way to prevent preeclampsia, and the only way to treat the condition is to deliver the baby. If you develop this condition during your pregnancy, your doctor will closely monitor you for complications.
Because hypertension is often a silent condition, it can cause damage to your body for years before symptoms become obvious. Healthy arteries are flexible and strong. Blood flows freely and unobstructed through healthy arteries and vessels. Hypertension makes arteries tougher, tighter, and less elastic. This damage makes it easier for dietary fats to deposit in your arteries and restrict blood flow. This damage can lead to increased blood pressure, blockages, and, eventually, heart attack and stroke.
Hypertension makes your heart work too hard. Your brain relies on a healthy supply of oxygen-rich blood to work properly. Uncontrolled hypertension may also affect your memory and ability to learn, recall, speak, and reason. It does, however, lower the risks for future problems. If you have risk factors for hypertension, you can take steps now to lower your risk for the condition and its complications. Slowly work your way up to eating more servings of heart-healthy plants. Aim to eat more than seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Then aim to add one more serving per day for two weeks. Insulin resistance , which is common in obesity and is a component of syndrome X or the metabolic syndrome , is also thought to contribute to hypertension.
Turning the Tide - Dealing with the scourge of hypertension (Part 4) | South Coast Herald
Events in early life, such as low birth weight , maternal smoking , and lack of breastfeeding may be risk factors for adult essential hypertension, although the mechanisms linking these exposures to adult hypertension remain unclear. Secondary hypertension results from an identifiable cause. Kidney disease is the most common secondary cause of hypertension. A review found that any alcohol increased blood pressure in males while over one or two drinks increased the risk in females.
In most people with established essential hypertension , increased resistance to blood flow total peripheral resistance accounts for the high pressure while cardiac output remains normal. It is not clear whether or not vasoconstriction of arteriolar blood vessels plays a role in hypertension. Pulse pressure the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure is frequently increased in older people with hypertension. This can mean that systolic pressure is abnormally high, but diastolic pressure may be normal or low a condition termed isolated systolic hypertension.
What is high blood pressure?
Many mechanisms have been proposed to account for the rise in peripheral resistance in hypertension. Most evidence implicates either disturbances in the kidneys' salt and water handling particularly abnormalities in the intrarenal renin—angiotensin system  or abnormalities of the sympathetic nervous system. It has also been suggested that endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation may also contribute to increased peripheral resistance and vascular damage in hypertension. Hypertension is diagnosed on the basis of a persistently high resting blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends at least three resting measurements on at least two separate health care visits.
For an accurate diagnosis of hypertension to be made, it is essential for proper blood pressure measurement technique to be used. Proper blood pressure measurement requires the person whose blood pressure is being measured to sit quietly for at least five minutes which is then followed by application of a properly fitted blood pressure cuff to a bare upper arm. An exception to this is those with very high blood pressure readings especially when there is poor organ function. With the availability of hour ambulatory blood pressure monitors and home blood pressure machines, the importance of not wrongly diagnosing those who have white coat hypertension has led to a change in protocols.
In the United Kingdom, current best practice is to follow up a single raised clinic reading with ambulatory measurement, or less ideally with home blood pressure monitoring over the course of 7 days. This condition is believed to be due to calcification of the arteries resulting in abnormally high blood pressure readings with a blood pressure cuff while intra arterial measurements of blood pressure are normal. Once the diagnosis of hypertension has been made, healthcare providers should attempt to identify the underlying cause based on risk factors and other symptoms, if present.
Secondary hypertension is more common in preadolescent children, with most cases caused by kidney disease. Primary or essential hypertension is more common in adolescents and has multiple risk factors, including obesity and a family history of hypertension. Additional tests for diabetes and high cholesterol levels are usually performed because these conditions are additional risk factors for the development of heart disease and may require treatment.
Serum creatinine is measured to assess for the presence of kidney disease, which can be either the cause or the result of hypertension. Serum creatinine alone may overestimate glomerular filtration rate and recent guidelines advocate the use of predictive equations such as the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease MDRD formula to estimate glomerular filtration rate eGFR. Additionally, testing of urine samples for protein is used as a secondary indicator of kidney disease. It may also show whether there is thickening of the heart muscle left ventricular hypertrophy or whether the heart has experienced a prior minor disturbance such as a silent heart attack.
A chest X-ray or an echocardiogram may also be performed to look for signs of heart enlargement or damage to the heart. Hypertension is also sub-classified: Isolated systolic hypertension refers to elevated systolic pressure with normal diastolic pressure and is common in the elderly. Hypertension is classified as "resistant" if medications do not reduce blood pressure to normal levels. Hypertension occurs in around 0.
A variety of factors, such as gestational age , postconceptional age and birth weight needs to be taken into account when deciding if a blood pressure is normal in a newborn. High blood pressure must be confirmed on repeated visits however before characterizing a child as having hypertension. The value of routine screening for hypertension in children over the age of 3 years is debated.
Preventive Services Task Force that the available evidence is insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and harms of screening for hypertension in children and adolescents who do not have symptoms. Much of the disease burden of high blood pressure is experienced by people who are not labeled as hypertensive. Lifestyle changes are recommended to lower blood pressure, before starting medications. The British Hypertension Society guidelines  proposed lifestyle changes consistent with those outlined by the US National High BP Education Program in  for the primary prevention of hypertension:.
Effective lifestyle modification may lower blood pressure as much as an individual antihypertensive medication. Combinations of two or more lifestyle modifications can achieve even better results. Various expert groups have produced guidelines regarding how low the blood pressure target should be when a person is treated for hypertension.
The first line of treatment for hypertension is lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, physical exercise, and weight loss. Though these have all been recommended in scientific advisories,  a Cochrane systematic review found no evidence for effects of weight loss diets on death, long-term complications or adverse events in persons with hypertension. Dietary changes shown to reduce blood pressure include diets with low sodium,    the DASH diet ,  vegetarian diets ,  and green tea consumption.
Increasing dietary potassium has a potential benefit for lowering the risk of hypertension. Physical exercise regimens which are shown to reduce blood pressure include isometric resistance exercise , aerobic exercise , resistance exercise , and device-guided breathing. Stress reduction techniques such as biofeedback or transcendental meditation may be considered as an add-on to other treatments to reduce hypertension, but do not have evidence for preventing cardiovascular disease on their own.
Several classes of medications, collectively referred to as antihypertensive medications , are available for treating hypertension. First-line medications for hypertension include thiazide-diuretics , calcium channel blockers , angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors ACE inhibitors , and angiotensin receptor blockers ARBs. Previously beta-blockers such as atenolol were thought to have similar beneficial effects when used as first-line therapy for hypertension. However, a Cochrane review that included 13 trials found that the effects of beta-blockers are inferior to that of other antihypertensive medications in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that remains above a target level, in spite of being prescribed three or more antihypertensive drugs simultaneously with different mechanisms of action.
What is hypertension?
Rates also vary markedly within regions with rates as low as 3. Rates of high blood pressure in children and adolescents have increased in the last 20 years in the United States. Kidney disease is the most common secondary cause of hypertension in children and adolescents. Nevertheless, primary or essential hypertension accounts for most cases. Hypertension is the most important preventable risk factor for premature death worldwide. Modern understanding of the cardiovascular system began with the work of physician William Harvey — , who described the circulation of blood in his book " De motu cordis ".
The English clergyman Stephen Hales made the first published measurement of blood pressure in In , Nikolai Korotkoff improved the technique by describing the Korotkoff sounds that are heard when the artery is ausculated with a stethoscope while the sphygmomanometer cuff is deflated. The symptoms similar to symptoms of patients with hypertensive crisis are discussed in medieval Persian medical texts in the chapter of "fullness disease".
Descriptions of hypertension as a disease came among others from Thomas Young in and especially Richard Bright in Historically the treatment for what was called the "hard pulse disease" consisted in reducing the quantity of blood by bloodletting or the application of leeches. In the 19th and 20th centuries, before effective pharmacological treatment for hypertension became possible, three treatment modalities were used, all with numerous side-effects: The first chemical for hypertension, sodium thiocyanate , was used in but had many side effects and was unpopular.
None of these were well tolerated. The first was chlorothiazide , the first thiazide diuretic and developed from the antibiotic sulfanilamide , which became available in The World Health Organization has identified hypertension, or high blood pressure, as the leading cause of cardiovascular mortality. Over the past three years, more national societies have been engaging in WHD and have been innovative in their activities to get the message to the public.
In , there was record participation from 47 member countries of the WHL. During the week of WHD, all these countries — in partnership with their local governments, professional societies, nongovernmental organizations and private industries — promoted hypertension awareness among the public through several media and public rallies. Using mass media such as Internet and television, the message reached more than million people.
As the momentum picks up year after year, the WHL is confident that almost all the estimated 1. High blood pressure is the most common chronic medical problem prompting visits to primary health care providers in USA. People also face the challenges of adhering to medicine schedules and making lifestyle changes. Nonetheless, the achievement of blood pressure goals is possible, and most importantly, lowering blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of death due to heart disease and stroke, the development of other debilitating conditions, and the cost associated with advanced medical care.
A review of several studies found that restoring blood vitamin D levels by using supplements more than 1, IU per day reduced blood pressure in hypertensive individuals when they had existing vitamin D deficiency. Supplementation with vitamin D over 18 months in normotensive individuals with vitamin D deficiency did not significantly affect blood pressure. There is tentative evidence that an increased calcium intake may help in preventing hypertension. However, more studies are needed to assess the optimal dose and the possible side effects. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about arterial hypertension. For other forms of hypertension, see Hypertension disambiguation.