High blood pressure

Hypertension; HBP

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force exerted against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood to your body. Hypertension is the term used to describe high blood pressure.

Untreated high blood pressure can lead to many medical problems. These include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, eye problems, and other health issues.

Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The top number is called systolic blood pressure. The bottom number is called diastolic blood pressure. For example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mm Hg).

One or both of these numbers can be too high. (Note: These numbers apply to people who are not taking medicines for blood pressure and who are not ill.)

  • Normal blood pressure is when your blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mm Hg most of the time.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) is when one or both of your blood pressure readings are higher than 130/80 mm Hg most of the time.
  • If the top blood pressure number is between 120 and 130 mm Hg, and the bottom blood pressure number is less than 80 mm Hg, it is called elevated blood pressure.

If you have heart or kidney problems, or you had a stroke, your doctor may want your blood pressure to be even lower than that of people who do not have these conditions.

Monitoring blood pressure

Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

Untreated hypertension

Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

Lifestyle changes

Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

DASH diet

A diet that is effective in lowering blood pressure is called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

High blood pressure tests

Routine lab tests are recommended before beginning treatment of high blood pressure to determine organ or tissue damage or other risk factors. These lab tests include urinalysis, blood cell count, blood chemistry (potassium, sodium, creatinine, fasting glucose, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol), and an ECG (electrocardiogram). Additional tests may be recommended based on your condition.

Blood pressure check

To measure blood pressure, your doctor uses an instrument call a sphygmomanometer, which is more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. The cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to stop the flow of blood in your artery. As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery. These pumping sounds register on a gauge attached to the cuff. The first pumping sound your doctor hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries.

If your doctor told you that you have high blood pressure, you may have wondered, what’s the big deal? Well high blood pressure IS a big deal, because it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and kidney disease, sometimes before you even realize you have it. When you have high blood pressure, you’ll want to control it before it can lead to these dangerous complications. Let’s talk about high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. Blood pressure measures the force at which your blood rushes against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it through your body. The higher the force, meaning the higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work. High blood pressure damages not only your heart but also your arteries. When your doctor or nurse measures your blood pressure, you’ll see two numbers. The top number is called systolic blood pressure. That’s the force of blood in your arteries whenever your heart beats. The bottom number measures diastolic blood pressure, or the force of blood in between heartbeats. You’re more likely to have high blood pressure if you don’t exercise regularly, you’re obese, you eat too much salt, you have diabetes, you smoke, or you have a family history of high blood pressure. Most of the time, you won’t know that you have high blood pressure. That’s because high blood pressure usually doesn’t cause symptoms. Unless you get your blood pressure checked, you may have no idea there’s a problem until you develop heart disease or another complication. If your blood pressure is high, a few simple lifestyle changes can help bring it back down, and prevent its complications. Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, avoid fatty, salty, and sugary foods, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, limit salt to 1,500 milligrams or less a day, that’s less than a teaspoon per day, and if you smoke, now is the perfect time to quit. Ask your doctor for tips on how to kick the habit. If these measures don’t work, your doctor may prescribe one or more medicines to control your blood pressure. Because high blood pressure can sneak in without warning, stop it before it starts. Stay healthy, and your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you already have high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice to get it under control.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention