High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. This is why visiting your doctor to get your blood pressure checAked is so important.
When it comes to your blood pressure, what you don’t know can harm your health. High blood pressure rarely has any noticeable symptoms. So often people don’t realise they have high blood pressure. What’s more, many of us are not aware of how the things we do in our daily lives can contribute to raising our blood pressure.
During Heart Week 2017 we are talking about the importance of knowing and managing your blood pressure.
What is blood pressure?
Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood into your body’s organs and tissues. Blood is pumped out of the left side of your heart into the arteries – the blood vessels that carry the blood’s oxygen and nutrients to your body. As the blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries, it pushes against the artery walls. Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure of the blood in the artery.
Blood pressure peaks when the heart muscle contracts and pumps blood, a cycle called systole. It falls when the heart relaxes and refills with blood, a cycle called diastole. Systole is the top number and diastole is the bottom number. It is displayed as two numbers, e.g 120/80 mmHg.
What is normal blood pressure
Arterial blood pressure is referred as the pressure of blood, exerted on the walls of blood vessels. When heart contracts it pushes the blood, increasing the blood pressure. After that the heart relaxes for a while, getting filled with blood, thereby reducing the blood pressure in arteries. This process goes on throughout the whole life of a human.
Two values are used to measure the blood pressure. The first value stands for a systolic blood pressure, which defines the heart contraction. The second value stands for diastolic blood pressure, which is fixed at the moment of heart relaxation. These two parameters define the levels of blood pressure.
An optimal blood pressure level is a reading under 120/80 mmHg. Readings over 120/80mmHg and up to 139/89mmHg are in the normal to high range. Your doctor will advise what your ideal blood pressure should be based on your circumstances.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure over 140/90mmHg is generally considered to be high. When your blood pressure is high your heart and arteries can become overloaded. High blood pressure can accelerate the build-up of plaque on the artery walls (atherosclerosis), clogging blood flow to your heart muscle, putting you at risk of heart attack. It also weakens the walls of arteries in your brain which can cause stroke. It can affect arteries to other parts of your body too, such as the eyes, kidneys and legs. Long term high blood pressure is known as hypertension and is one of the main risk factors for heart disease.
What causes high blood pressure?
Blood pressure goes up and down throughout the day. It depends on the time of day, the amount of fluid in your body, the medicines in your system and what you are doing. Your blood pressure can also be affected by things like your breathing, your emotions, exercise and sleep. These temporary rises are completely natural and your blood pressure will generally return to normal when you rest.
The exact cause of high blood pressure is often not clear. However, various lifestyle conditions and behaviours have been known to significantly contribute to high blood pressure:
- Being overweight
- Not getting enough physical activity
- Drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day
- Old age
- Family history of high blood pressure
Prolonged high blood pressure is known as hypertension. Left undiagnosed, hypertension can lead to several health issues, coronary heart disease (CHD) among them.
How to control high blood pressure
The good news is you can control (and even help prevent) high blood pressure by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include:
- Following a healthy diet; reducing saltand fat intake and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting your alcohol intake
- Stopping smoking
Sometimes changes in your lifestyle alone may not be enough. Many people will also need medication to help reduce their blood pressure. If you need to take medication to lower your blood pressure your doctor will discuss this with you
How do I know if my blood pressure is healthy?
You should ask your doctor to check your blood pressure regularly. It’s easy and quick to do.
If you haven’t had your blood pressure checked lately – make an appointment to get it checked.
For more information on important lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your blood pressure levels please visit our keep your heart healthy page.
If you haven’t had your blood pressure checked lately – make an appointment to get it checked. Download and print our handy blood pressure recording card, and keep it with you to keep track of your numbers.
What determines the level of blood pressure?
* total amount of blood in the body;
* density of blood, concentration of hormones and other regulating components in it;
* the blood vessels tone in the central and peripheral nervous system;
* strength of the heart, pushing out the blood into the arteries;
* elasticity of the blood vessels that resist the blood flow;
* physical activity of a person;
* psychoemotional state of a person.
Because blood pressure depends on many factors, its levels changes all the time. For instance, stress and physical activity make the blood pressure to increase, while if person is resting the blood pressure goes down. Thus even healthy person with normal blood pressure may have high blood pressure for a while.
Normal blood pressure
Normal blood pressure can change slightly throughout a day. The acceptable difference between the blood pressure values on the right and left arm is 5 mmHg maximum. Perfect blood pressure is considered 120 / 80 mmHg. Still normal blood pressure index may vary depending on the age, gender and chronic diseases of a person.
Blood pressure chart for age
* The age of 1 year: normal blood pressure is 96 over 66 mmHg;
* Age 10 years: normal blood pressure is 103 over 69 mmHg;
* Age 20 to 30 years: normal blood pressure is 124 over 77 mmHg;
* Age 40 years: normal blood pressure index is 129 over 81 mmHg;
* Age 50 years: normal blood pressure is 135 over 83 mmHg;
* At the age of 60 and older, normal blood pressure ranges between 143 and 145 over 85 and 78 mmHg.
While in teenagers the minimum norm of the blood pressure is 100 over 70 mmHg, the same index in elderly people may indicate the failure of cardiovascular system.
When determining the normal blood pressure, it is also important to consider general health. If patient feels no discomfort, then probably low blood pressure is his normal state.
Why do we need blood pressure control?
Chronic increase of the blood pressure is one of the risk factors for health. Every time when the blood pressure goes up by 10 mmHg it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%. People with high blood pressure often suffer from strokes, coronary artery disease, lesion of the blood vessels of extremities and renal insufficiency. Thus one must pay attention on the following symptoms of high blood pressure: headache, fatigue, noise in ears, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and chest pain.
Regular blood pressure control is a must for elderly people, as well as those who have any of the cardiovascular diseases.
Medication to cure high blood pressure
There are several types of medications for the treatment of high blood pressure:
Calcium channel blockers
• Combination medicines
• ACE inhibitors
• Renin inhibitors
• Angiotension II antagonists
• Diuretics (sometimes called “water pills”)
• Beta blockers
• Peripherally acting alpha-adrenergic blockers
• Centrally-acting alpha adrenergics
All these drugs belong to different pharmacological groups and have different mechanism of action. For instance, ACE inhibitors (Captopril, Lotensin, Prinivil and Vasotec) provide the dilation of peripheral blood vessels. This achieves the decrease of blood pressure and load on the heart, improvement of the pulmonary circulation and circulation in kidneys, as well as increase of the efficiency of breathing. ACE inhibitors are prescribed for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. However, they may cause such side effects as insomnia, cough and headache.
Beta blockers (Lopressor, Inderal, Trandate, Corgard) provide hypotensive, antiarrhythmic and antianginal effect. They can also reduce the frequency of heart contractions and cardiac output, reducing the oxygen need of myocardium. Beta blockers may cause side effects: indigestion and nausea.
Calcium Channel blockers (Isoptin, Cardizem, Procardia, Plendil) reduce the tone of peripheral blood vessels. Also they provide coronary vasodilation and improve the circulation in the heart muscle. Calcium channel blockers act by reducing the arterial blood pressure and frequency of heart rate. They may provoke side effects: ankle swelling, feeling of drowsiness.
Combination medicines for the treatment of high blood pressure contain two or even three active substances. Such drugs are: Diovan HCT (hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan), Vaseretic (enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide) and Tarka (verapamil and trandolapril).
Active substances of Combination medicines belong to different pharmaceutical groups. In particular, Diovan HCT it is vasodilator + Angiotension II antagonist; Vaseretic is vasodilator + ACE inhibitor; Tarka is Calcium channel blocker + ACE inhibitor. The combination of substances from two different pharmacological groups allows to get optimal clinical response.
If you are prescribed drug therapy to restore normal blood pressure but drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure are expensive at urban pharmacies, then you can order their shipping online. Here on our online pharmacy, you can buy drugs to recover your normal blood pressure online, from any country of the globe. Before ordering drugs for normalization of blood pressure online, you always have the opportunity to get professional consultation of our pharmacist.
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