Blood pressure is a measurement of the force or pressure exerted by blood against the walls of blood vessels. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a condition in which the pressure inside your blood vessels is consistently too high. High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because you may not be aware that anything is wrong with your body, yet the damage is still being done.
There are two numbers in your blood pressure reading. The systolic blood pressure is the highest figure, and it measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats or contracts. The diastolic blood pressure is the lowest figure, and it measures the pressure in your blood vessels between beats when your heart is relaxing.
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One of two types of high blood pressure will be diagnosed by a doctor:
- High blood pressure that is primary (also known as necessary). Aging and bad habits like not getting enough exercise are two of the most prominent causes of this sort of high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure as a side effect. Different medical conditions (such as kidney or hormonal disorders) or, in rare cases, a medicine you’re taking can cause this form of high blood pressure.
Untreated hypertension can result in a variety of major health issues, including:
A heart attack has occurred.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a type of vascular disease that affects
Kidney failure or disease.
Complications that might arise during pregnancy.
Damage to the eyes.
Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that affects the blood vessels
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About 10% of all pregnancies are complicated by high blood pressure. There are numerous types of high blood pressure that can occur during pregnancy, ranging from mild to severe. High blood pressure can manifest itself in a variety of ways during pregnancy, including:
Chronic hypertension refers to high blood pressure that exists prior to pregnancy.
High blood pressure during pregnancy is known as gestational hypertension.
Preeclampsia is a serious disorder that affects pregnant women in the second half of their pregnancy and causes hypertension, protein in the urine, and widespread swelling. It can trigger seizures and impact other organs in the body (eclampsia).
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Chronic hypertension with preeclampsia: People who are pregnant and have chronic hypertension are more likely to develop preeclampsia.
Because high blood pressure has no symptoms, your healthcare professional will use a blood pressure cuff to check your blood pressure. Every annual checkup or appointment, your blood pressure is routinely checked. Your provider may notify you that you have high blood pressure if you have high blood pressure readings at two or more appointments.
Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff by healthcare professionals.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your healthcare provider will discuss your suggested blood pressure target or goal with you. They might advise you to:
Using a home blood pressure monitor, check your blood pressure on a regular basis. These are automatic electronic monitors that may be found at most pharmacies or on the internet.
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Consume high-fibre, low-salt, and low-fat foods.
Get to and stay at your ideal body weight.
Men should have no more than two drinks per day, while women should have no more than one drink per day. 1 ounce of alcohol, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer is considered one drink.
Increase your physical activity.
Tobacco use and/or smoking should be avoided.
Work on anger management and stress management.
Low-fat, low-salt and low-calorie foods include skimming or 1% milk, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole-grain rice and pasta. (Ask your doctor for a more comprehensive list of low-sodium foods to eat.)
To make foods taste good without salt, use flavourings, spices, and herbs. It is recommended that you consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day in your diet. Remember that most restaurant items (particularly fast food), as well as many processed and frozen foods, are rich in salt. To flavor your cuisine, choose herbs and spices that don’t include salt. At the table, don’t add salt. (Salt replacements typically contain some salt.)
Butter and margarine, typical salad dressings, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, fried foods, processed foods or fast foods, and salted snacks should all be avoided or reduced.
Consult your doctor to see if you should boost your potassium intake. Consult your doctor about the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The DASH diet promotes eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while lowering sodium intake. The DASH diet makes it easy to eat less salt and sodium since it’s high in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods.
If high blood pressure isn’t treated, it can put you at risk for catastrophic illnesses later in life, including heart attack, renal failure, and stroke. However, if you follow your doctor’s advice, you can keep your blood pressure under control. Take any medications prescribed by your doctor exactly as directed. Even if your blood pressure results start to fall into the normal range, keep taking them. Eating healthy foods, keeping track of your weight, and getting regular exercise are all good ways to help control your blood pressure.