Dealing With High Blood Pressure

We’ve all heard the expression “makes my blood boil” used when we get angry or upset. However, when blood pressure actually stays high over time it, can damage the body and cause complications. High blood pressure (HBP) also know as hypertension, is a common disease in which blood flows through the blood vessels at higher pressures than normal. It is normal for blood pressures to change when we sleep, wake up, or get excited or nervous. When you are active, it is normal for your blood pressure to increase. However, once the activity stops, your blood pressure returns to your normal baseline range. Physicians diagnose high blood pressure when blood pressure readings are consistently 140/90 mmHg or above.

There are two main types of high blood pressure, primary and secondary high blood pressure. Primary, is the most common type of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure tends to develop over years as a person ages. Secondary, is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. This type usually resolves after the cause is treated or removed. Changes either from genes or the environment in the body’s normal functions may cause high blood pressure. This can also include changes to kidney fluid and salt balances, sympathetic nervous system activity, and blood vessel structure and function. Unhealthy lifestyle choices, obesity, and certain medications can play a role as well.

Chronic kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke can be signs that someone is suffering from high blood pressure. A blood pressure test is very easy to do and can be set up with your doctor’s office. it is recommended that you do not drink coffee or smoke for 30 minutes prior to the test, go to the restroom before, or sit for 5 minutes before the test. If you are diagnosed with HBP, treatment plans are available and you will need to develop healthier habits. Be sure you seek medical care and check ups on a regular basis. For a healthy future, follow your treatment plan closely and work with your health care team.

For more information from the American Heart Association on high blood pressure, click on the link below.