What Does High Blood Pressure Mean?

What Does High Blood Pressure Mean?

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Did you know what does high blood pressure means? Are you also having high blood pressure also known as hypertension just like nearly 50% of the American population?

But you may not realize that you have it even after years of being hypertensive since it does not show any signs. Isn’t it horrifying? Undoubtedly it is and that’s why it is also sometimes referred to as a silent killer.

In order to live a healthy and long life, you need to consider certain medications and lifestyle modifications. With regard to later, you mainly need to consider your diet and then modify it to live a healthful life. Adding to it, incorporating the DASH diet to your daily routine can be fruitful.

Other than this, one of the other major facilitating factors is inclusive of physical activity. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests a 30-minutes physical activity 3-4 days a week is crucial for healthy living.

To facilitate you further, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about high blood pressure. Read on to know more:

What is High Blood Pressure (HBP) or Hypertension?

How High Blood Pressure is Harmful

Want to know what actually high blood pressure is? It is when the pressure of your blood, the blood’s force circulating via your blood vessels remains very high consistently.

The Functioning of Blood Pressure:

For survival and proper functioning, our organs and tissues require oxygenated blood. Adding to it, our circulatory system carries oxygenated blood all over the body.

Moreover, the beating of the heart generates pressure pushing blood via tube-shaped blood vessel’s network. Well, this network is inclusive of veins, arteries, as well as capillaries.

In fact, two forces result in this pressure of blood that is as follows:

  1. The First Force: It’s the systolic pressure which takes place due to the pumping of the blood out of the heart. This blood then moves toward the arteries that are circulatory system’s part.
  2. The Second Force: It’s the diastolic pressure which takes place due to the resting of the heart between heartbeats.

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Note: The representation of both these 2 forces takes place by numbers in a reading of blood pressure (BP).

How High Blood Pressure is Harmful?

Undoubtedly, high blood pressure is harmful in particular when it left untreated for over a long period of time. Wondering how? Primarily, it causes the heart as well as blood vessels to work more. In other words, it increases their workload.  In this way, both the blood vessels and heart have to work harder due to which they become less efficient.

What’s more? The high blood pressure’s friction and force deteriorate the delicate arterial tissues. Consequently, the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as bad cholesterol produces plaque together with little tears in arterial walls. This is what signifies the beginning of atherosclerosis i.e., hardening of blood vessels.

On top of that, increasing plaque, as well as damage further, causes the narrowing of the arterial inside. This is what raises blood pressure. Moreover, it also initiates an acrimonious circle which additionally damages the cardiovascular system and the rest of your body. Ultimately, it leads to other conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and arrhythmia.

Causes of Sudden High Blood Pressure:

Did you know that nearly one in every twenty hypertensive cases happens under the influence of an underlying condition?   One example of such underlying conditions is having a kidney disease.

Aside from this, usually, a number of inappropriate habits and practices in our everyday life causes high blood pressure. Following are some of its examples:

Medication: Excess usage of certain medication can give rise to your blood pressure such as

  • Consumption of contraceptive pills together with some other drugs
  • NSAIDs e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Drug abuse as in marijuana and cocaine.

Smoking: It can cause a sudden rise or decline in blood pressure. This is due to the release of numerous blood vessel-damaging chemicals e.g., nicotine as you smoke.

Health Conditions: Certain health conditions can cause episodes of sudden blood pressure rise. These conditions can be as follows:

  • Scleroderma
  • Kidney diseases
  • Tumors in glands which secretes hormone in particular adrenal glands
  • Accidents and injuries

Pondering Over What Foods Cause High Blood Pressure?

In fact, consumption of saturated fat in high contents and high levels of sodium tend to cause high Bp. Moreover, excess consumption of coffee, alcohol, and tea are also likely to increase Bp.

Thinking of Does Stress Cause High Blood Pressure?

Yes, anxiety and stress both can lead to a rise in Bp which is unexplained.

Aside from all of the above, some other causes of the rise in blood pressure are inclusive of the following:

  • Hormonal Imbalance.
  • Extra Bodyweight
  • Pain
  • Pregnancy can also cause sudden high blood pressures in some cases.

What are High Blood Pressure Signs and Symptoms?

What Does High Blood Pressure Mean

As stated earlier, HBP largely shows no signs and symptoms.

However, some inconclusive symptoms may be flushing of the face, headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds and blood spots in the eyes. Nonetheless, ignoring your BP in case you are not experiencing any signs and symptoms can put your life at risk.

Get to Know Your Levels Through High Blood Pressure Chart:

(upper number)
(lower number)
NORMAL Below 120 and Below 80
ELEVATED 120 to 129 and Below 80
130 to 139 or 80 to 89
(immediately consult your physician)
Above 180 and/or Above 120

High Blood Pressure Treatment:

Although HBP is incurable, keep with both medical management and certain lifestyle modifications enhances your life quality. Also, it reduces the risk of developing heart disease.

Medical Treatment:

In order to treat HBP, the doctor recommends certain medications. Here are some of the most commonly recommended drugs for the treatment of HBP:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Renin-inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers

Key Takeaway: Always consult your doctor prior to taking any medication to reap maximum benefits.

Lifestyle Modifications: High Blood Pressure Home Remedies

As per Experts, each modification in lifestyle is supposed to lower blood pressure by 4-5 mm Hg systolic and 2-3 mm Hg diastolic on an average.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends making the following modifications in your lifestyle to enjoy a healthier and good quality life:

  • Consume a well-balanced diet with low-salt intake. Wondering How Much Salt Is Too Much? As per the recommendation of WHO, keep your salt intake below 5 g/ day. Doing so minimizes the risk of high blood pressure and related health conditions.
  • Restrict alcohol use
  • Maintain a healthy body weight i.e., BMI more than 18 while less than 25.
  • Indulge in physical activity regularly i.e., do the physical activity of at least 30 minutes for most days a week. To serve this purpose, you can go for brisk walking, running, climbing, jogging, hiking, etc.
  • Attempt for stress-management e.g., practice yoga, meditate or take deep breaths.
  • Do not smoke
  • Properly use your medications
  • Follow what your doctor says

As an added bonus, I ‘m going to tell you about the specific diet recommended for high blood pressure patients here.

High Blood Pressure Diet

What Does High Blood Pressure Mean

The AHA recommends dietary approaches to stop hypertension or the DASH diet for individuals having high Bp. Didn’t know about it before?

Well, this diet includes an eating plan focusing on

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans
  • Low-fat dairy products.
Food groups For 1600-3000 total Calories/Day

Number of servings per week

For 2000 total Calories/Day

Number of servings per week

Grains and products made with grain Six to Twelve Seven to Eight
Fruits Three to Six Three to Five
Vegetables Four to Six Four to Five
Mostly low-fat dairy or non-fat dairy items Two to Four Two to Three
Lean meat, poultry or fish One and a half to two and a half Two
Legumes, Seeds, and Nuts Three to Six Four to Five
Fats and Sugar Two to Four Restricted

Takeaway Message:

Understanding and managing high Bp is crucial to living a quality life. On the other hand, if you don’t make efforts to treat it, you put your health at great risk. For instance, you can have a heart attack, stroke and/or kidney damage.

For monitoring as well as controlling your Bp, regularly visiting your doctor is recommended.

If your Bp reading is equal to or more than 130/80 mm, Work with your healthcare provider to cope up with high Bp. Nonetheless, do not diagnose yourself instead let the health professional perform your clinical diagnosis.

What’s more? The plan for treating high Bp possibly includes medical management and/or lifestyle modifications. In order to lower your Bp, you must follow that being said so far.

In addition, reducing your salt consumption and modifying your overall diet i.e., incorporating a DASH diet effectively lowers Bp.

Get to know about your Bp today to take further steps accordingly. Because your life matters and for living a healthy and long life, first comes your health.

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Tabinda Aziz

I am Tabinda Aziz, A passionate nutrition blogger who loves to write on food and nutrition. I have done BS Hons in Food sciences and human nutrition. Eat food everyday but eat right and in the right amount.

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