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High blood pressure is when your heart works extra hard to pump blood around your body. It means that the force of blood flowing through your arteries is higher than normal.
But to understand what this means, you first need to know what blood pressure is.
Everyone has blood pressure (BP).
It refers to the force of blood pushing against your artery walls, as it flows through your heart. A reading breaks down into 2 numbers, e.g. 120/80:
Systolic: This is the first number in a blood pressure reading. It measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
Diastolic: The second number in a blood pressure reading. This measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests, i.e. between heart beats.
If your systolic or diastolic force is high, you have high blood pressure – a.k.a. hypertension. And if your systolic or diastolic force is low, you have low blood pressure.
According to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, high blood pressure categories include:
A reading below 120/80.
Systolic pressure from 120 to 129 with diastolic pressure of 80 or below. Prehypertension usually gets worse over time. Hypertension symptoms may begin here.
Systolic pressure from 130 to 139, or diastolic pressure from 80 to 89. High bp treatment often begins at this stage, e.g. diet changes, medications, herbal supplements.
Systolic pressure is 140 or higher, or diastolic pressure is 90 or higher. This is a severe form of high BP.
Call your doctor asap if your systolic pressure is over 180 or your diastolic pressure is 120 or more. This is a medical emergency.
Your high blood pressure will be either:
Sometimes high blood pressure causes you to feel unwell, but not always. Some people go years without knowing they have a problem as symptoms never develop. This is dangerous as high BP causes the body to become susceptible to other conditions, such as:
If YOU want to stay healthy and feel well into your senior years, it’s vital to seek high bp treatment if you need it.
Visit your doctor or health professional if you suspect your blood pressure is high. Don’t wait for World Heart Day (September 29) to look after your health – start today.
These celebrities, and their families, learned about the dangers of high blood pressure the hard way.
Barry White, singer/songwriter, suffered from high blood pressure for years. Did he wait too long to get help? It’s possible, as standard high bp treatment wasn’t enough to keep Barry in the music studio. His high blood pressure contributed to kidney failure and a fatal stroke.
Whitney Houston, beloved singer and actress, passed away in 2012. Many people believe she died from a drug overdose, but the coroner’s report reveals more. Whitney’s official cause of death was drowning, as well as heart disease related to undiagnosed high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be a ‘silent’ condition. Often, high blood pressure symptoms don’t develop at all, even when the condition is severe. Signs of high blood pressure to look out for include:
High blood pressure treatment often includes diet and lifestyle changes, plus using medication. Standard high BP treatment and recommendations from your practitioner may include:
High blood pressure causes are unique for each person, and are usually a mix of factors. Common high bp causes include:
Avoid These Foods – Minimise salty and fatty foods. This helps support cardiovascular and kidney health, and minimise cholesterol. Foods to limit or avoid include table salt, pickles, potato chips, deli and cured meats, tacos, pizza, fried foods, soy sauce, anything high in trans fats.
Choose These Foods – Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins. These nutrient-rich foods help to keep the heart and arteries healthy. They also enliven the liver, which is important because liver health impacts heart health.
Supplements are a natural high bp treatment. A specific supplement regime or herbal mix can support your specific needs. Nutrients may include B-vitamins, Magnesium or coenzyme Q10. Herbals may include: Hawthorn Berry, Garlic, Turmeric.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective high bp treatment. Studies show it can even decrease the need for medication. Make sure you tell your doctor if you’re using acupuncture for high BP.
Relaxation techniques are helpful because they reduce stress hormones in your bloodstream. As stress can temporarily increase blood pressure, it’s good to know it generally returns to normal once the stress disappears. Unfortunately, blood pressure spikes (even short ones) can cause heart attacks and strokes. Try massage, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
Aerobic exercise, such as dancing, swimming, cycling, jogging, gets your heart pumping. Therefore, it’s a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve stamina and promote weight loss.
The following health experts can help with hypertension:
Here’s how to support someone with high blood pressure:
What are high blood pressure causes?
What are high blood pressure symptoms?
Many people with high blood pressure have no noticeable symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they often include:
What helps high blood pressure?