Two numbers make a blood pressure reading.
Systolic pressure: This is the first number. It shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood.
Diastolic pressure: This is the second number. It’s the reading of the pressure in your arteries between beats of your heart.
Four categories determine blood pressure readings for adults:
- Healthy:A healthy blood pressure reading should be 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
- Prehypertension:The systolic number is usually between 120 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg. Doctors may not treat prehypertension with medication. Instead, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower your numbers.
- Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 140 and 159 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 90 and 99 mm Hg.
- Stage 2 hypertension:This stage of hypertension is very severe and dangerous. A systolic number over 160 mm Hg or a diastolic number over 100 mm Hg is a sign of an advanced stage of hypertension.
A blood pressure reading is done with a pressure cuff. For an accurate reading, it’s vital you have a cuff that fits. An ill-fitting cuff may give inaccurate readings. Blood pressure readings may be different for children and teenagers. Ask your child’s doctor for healthy ranges if you’re monitoring your child’s blood pressure.
Treatment options for high blood pressure
A number of factors assist your doctor determine the best treatment option for you. These factors include which type of hypertension you have and what causes have been identified.
Primary hypertension treatment options
If your doctor diagnoses you with primary hypertension, lifestyle changes may assist reduce your high blood pressure. If lifestyle changes alone aren’t good enough, or if they stop being effective, your doctor may prescribe other medication.
Secondary hypertension treatment options
When your doctor uncovers the underlying issue causing your hypertension, treatment will focus on the other condition. For example, if a medicine you’ve started taking is creating increased blood pressure, your doctor will try other medicines that don’t have this side effect.
Sometimes, hypertension is persistent despite treatment for the underlying cause. In this situation, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help reduce your blood pressure.
Treatment plans for hypertension often evolve. What worked at first may quit working. Your doctor will continue to work with you to refine your treatment.
Medication for high blood pressure
Many people pass through a trial-and-error phase with blood pressure medications. You may need to try different medicines until you find one that works fine for you.
Some of the medications used to treat hypertension are inclusive of:
Beta-blockers: This type of medicine makes the heart beat slower and with less force. This reduces the amount of blood pumped through your arteries, which lowers blood pressure.
Diuretics: High sodium levels and excess fluid in your body can increase blood pressure. Diuretics, also known as water pills, help your kidneys remove excess sodium from your body. As the sodium leaves, the amount of fluid in your blood decreases, which assist lower your blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors: Angiotensin is a chemical that makes blood vessels and artery walls to tighten and narrow. ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors stops the body from producing as much of this chemical. This helps blood vessels relax and reduces blood pressure.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): While ACE inhibitors targets to stop the creation of angiotensin, ARBs block angiotensin from binding with receptors. Without the chemical, blood vessels won’t tighten. That helps relax vessels and lower blood pressure.
Calcium channel blockers: Excess calcium in the smooth muscles of your heart causes harder, stronger heartbeats. Reduce the calcium, and the force of the heartbeats will also decrease. That assist lower blood pressure and relaxes arteries and blood vessels.
Alpha-2 agonists: This type of medication slows the nerve impulses that makes blood vessels to tighten. This helps muscles relax, which reduces blood pressure.
Home remedies for high blood pressure
Healthy lifestyle changes can assist you control the factors that cause hypertension.
The most common home remedies include:
Developing a healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet is important for helping reduce high blood pressure. It’s also vital for managing hypertension that is under control, and reducing the risk of complications. These complications include heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
A heart-healthy diet emphasizes foods that include:
- whole grains
- lean proteins like fish
Increasing physical activity
Reaching a healthy weight should include being more physically active. In addition to assisting you shed pounds, exercise can aid reduce stress, lower blood pressure naturally, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Aim to get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. That’s about 30 minutes five times per week.
Reaching a healthy weight
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can assist lower your blood pressure.
Exercise is a great way to manage stress. Other activities can equally be helpful. These include:
- deep breathing
- muscle relaxation
These are all proven stress-reducing techniques. Getting adequate sleep can also help reduce stress levels.
Adopting a cleaner lifestyle
If you’re a smoker, tries to quit. Tobacco damages and hardens blood vessel walls. If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, look for help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.