FAQS ABOUT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE- Your Health Is Your Wealth

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What is normal  blood pressure?

A normal blood pressure is a reading of 120/80 mmHg or below.

What is high blood pressure?

A person with a constant blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or high is diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is a condition in which the force of blood against the arteries is too strong, eventually damaging the arteries, kidneys and heart. High blood pressure or hypertension can lead to heart disease or stroke.

What causes high blood pressure?

The exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown however, certain conditions like genetics, inactivity, obesity, poor diet and old age can contribute to it’s development.

What is the unit for blood pressure?

Blood pressure is measure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

What is systolic and diastolic blood pressure?

Blood pressure is written as systolic pressure  (upper number) over diastolic pressure (lower number). Systolic pressure is the force of blood against the artery wall as your heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the blood  pressure between heartbeats.

What is pre-hypertension?

A pre-hypertension reading ranges between a systolic reading of 120-139 mmHg and a diastolic reading of 80-89 mmHg. If you are considered pre-hypertensive, you are at a higher risk of developing hypertension and all its accomapanied by  complications like heart disease and stroke.

What is isolated systolic hypertension?

This is when only the top number is higher – usually 140 or high. This is as harmful as having both numbers high. It can also be asymptomatic as with other types of high blood pressure.

What is secondary high blood pressure?

This is high blood pressure caused by another disease or condition and in some cases certain medications.

What causes secondary high blood pressure?

Causes of secondary high blood pressure include the following;

  • alcoholism
  • kidney disease
  • hormone related diseases like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease
  • medications like birth control pills, appetite suppressant, some antidepressants, steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

When should i consider high blood pressure a medical emergency?

High blood pressure is a medical emergency when it presents symptoms like shortness of breath, vision problems, difficulty in speech, severe headache, weakness on one side, confusion or severe abdominal pain which worsens within minutes or hours. In this case your blood pressure needs to be lowered immediately. Go to the emergency room right away.

What is the range for the various types of blood pressure?

Normal blood pressure – 120/80 mmHg or less

Pre-hypertension – systolic pressure 120 – 139 and diastolic pressure 80 – 89 mmHg

Stage 1 hypertension – systolic pressure 140 – 159 and diastolic pressure 90 – 99 mmHg

Stage 2 hypertension – systolic pressure 160 of greater and diastolic pressure of 100 or greater mmHg

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure usually shows no symptoms and patients do not even know they have it till they go to the doctor. Very high blood pressure may present symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting and vision problems. These symptoms can also be a sign of malignant high blood pressure (very high blood pressure that comes on suddenly and requires emergency medical treatment).

What are some of the health issues associated with high blood pressure?

Hypertension cause serious complications like:

  • kidney disease
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • eye disease
  • atherosclerosis

What increases your likelihood to get high blood pressure?

Certain factors put you at risk of this disease. They include:

  • obesity
  • pre-hypertension
  • family history
  • age – men over 45 and women over 55
  • race – African-American

A person’s lifestyle can also put him at risk of the disease. These include:

  • inactivity
  • eating too much salt
  • alcoholism
  • lack of potassium in the diet
  • long-lasting stress
  • smoking
  • medications like NSAIDs, birth control pills and steroids

How can i prevent high blood pressure?

Hypertension can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. These include:

Exercising regularly

Maintaining a healthy weight

Managing stress

Drinking alcohol in moderation if you drink alcohol

Eating healthy. You can follow the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) which emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, fish, poultry, beans, fat-free and low-fat dairy products and low intake of salt.

Can high blood pressure be cured with medication?

Medication for high blood pressure does not cure the disease but help control the blood pressure. Some people may be able to manage it well enough to stop taking medication and others may have to take the medication for the rest of their life.

What drugs are commonly prescribed for high blood pressure? What are some of their common side effects?

The commonly prescribed drugs for high blood pressure are:

diuretics – general weakness, headaches, low potassium blood levels

ACE inhibitors – high potassium blood levels, headaches, diarrhea, persistent dry cough

Beta blockers - low heart rate, dizziness, light headedness, decreased sexual ability, drowsiness

Angiotensin receptor blockers - high potassium blood levels, fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea

Alpha blockers – pounding heart, dizziness, headaches, nausea, weight gain, general weakness

Calcium channel blockers – heart rhythm problems, ankle swelling, dizziness

How do i know if my weight is the main factor causing my high blood pressure?

Check what your Body mass index (BMI) is. For a chart of BMI please read obesity. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. The high your BMI, the more your chances are of getting high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Can i lose weight with the DASH eating plan?

Yes , because the DASH eating plan consist of low-calorie foods. But remember to combine this with regular exercising for a long-lasting healthy weight.

Is there a cure for high blood pressure?

It depends on which type of blood pressure you have. There is primary and secondary high blood pressure. Primary high blood pressure has no known cause. Factors like race, genes, lifestyle, heredity and age may be contributing factors. This is a life long condition and but can be managed with medication and lifestyle change. Secondary high blood pressure on the other hand is caused by an underlying condition like kidney disease or some cancers and taking some medication. This can be cured if the underlying condition is successfully treated and if the medication causing the rise in blood pressure s discontinued.

What should i avoid eating or drinking whiles on blood pressure medication?

Good old grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice blocks intestinal enzymes that destroy many medications and prevent their absorption in the body.  Blocking the action of these enzymes may also lead to toxic side effects of these drugs because more drugs get into the body and cause an increase in blood levels of these medications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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