High Blood Pressure - Your Blood Pressure too High

High blood pressure is a condition that has being the silent killer of many for years. It is a health condition that gives a pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or above when diagnosed. Statistics revealed that there are at least one out of every three adult person in the United States that has this condition. Worldwide, these stats increase tremendously. Unfortunately once you develop hypertension, it usually remains with you for the rest of your life.

Your hypertension can be treated but it means that you will be on blood pressure medications for the rest of you life. I know many of us don't want to become walking pharmacies but for the sake of our health, many of us don't usually have a choice.

High blood pressure is considered the silent killer in the medical world, simple because it usually does not show any signs or symptoms.

If you have this condition, you may not know that that it exist until it is to late. This is usually indicated when you begin experiencing problems with your heart, kidneys, or brain.

Potential health problems due to hypertension

High blood pressure can cause a number of other health problems. This is especially true for diabetics like us as well as non-diabetics. These health issues can become very serious, if your blood pressure problem goes undetected or untreated. Some of these health problems that we may encounter are as follows...

  • Enlargement of the heart muscle. This can eventually lead to heart failure.
  • Aneurysms. These are normally small bulges that form in the walls of the main arteries that lead from the heart, legs, and intestines.
  • Kidney failure. This could occur because the blood vessels in the kidneys become too narrow because of high blood pressure.

  • Faster hardening of the arteries throughout the body. This will eventually lead to heart attacks, strokes, failure of the kidneys as well as amputation.
  • Vision problems. This can occur as result of ruptured blood vessels in the eyes which will lead to bleeding in the eyes.

    Hypertension, is also a condition that can developed because an individual has glaucoma eye disease.

Medical speaking... Your blood pressure is!

Considered the force by which the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. With every beat of your heart, blood is forced into your arteries. However the pressure of the blood is only at the highest during the beats of the heart.

Our blood pressure measurements are usually given in two numbers. The first is called the systolic pressure. This is the pressure that occurs during each of our heart. The second number represents the diastolic pressure.

This is the pressure that is measured when our hearts are at rest or between beats. Whenever we have our high blood pressure checked, it is always given as two numbers with the first number representing the systolic pressure and the second number representing the diastolic pressure. The results are usually written in this manner 120/80 or 120 over 80.

As I mentioned earlier, high blood pressure is a condition where your pressure is 140/90 mmHg or above. If this number stays constantly high, as a diabetic or non-diabetic person, your heart will work harder than normal. During this time, considerable strain is placed on your arteries which increases your chances of having...

  • heart attacks.
  • Strokes.
  • kidney failures.

Then what is normal blood pressure?

A pressure reading that is 120/80 mmHg is considered normal. It can get lower than this...but we have to be very careful here because a blood pressure that is abnormally low, is an indication that you may have hypotension. Hypertension is indicated by a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mmHg.

Statistics reveal that a blood pressure that is less than 140/90 mmHg (high) have been documented as either above normal or pre-hypertensive. We are considered pre-hypertensive when our blood pressure readings are between 120 and 139 for the systolic pressure and between 80 and 89 for the diastolic pressure.

Stages of hypertension or high blood pressure

High blood pressure comes in two stages. If we look at the chart below, we can get a good break down of the different blood pressure readings for adults when taken.

Readings Systolic Pressure Diastolic Pressure
Normal pressure Less than 120 Less than 80
Pre-hypertensive 120 - 139 80 - 89
Stage 1 140 - 159 90 - 99
Stage 2 160 and over Over 100

The causes of high blood pressure

Many Americans over the age of 59, have hypertension problems. According to medical statistics, this condition is more commonly diagnosed in African Americans. The reasons for this are as follows...

  • African Americans get high blood pressure problems much earlier in life.
  • High blood pressure is more severe in African Americans. They either have stage 1 or stage 2.
  • The death rate among this ethnic group is extremely high. This is due to illnesses such as kidney disease, strokes, and coronary heart disease.

Diabetics and non-diabetics are at greater risks for high blood pressure development for these reasons. If they are...

  • Overweight.
  • Men over the age 45.
  • Women over the age of 55.
  • A part of a family that have a history of hypertension.
  • Pre-hypertensive. That is, their blood pressure readings are between 120 - 139 over 80 - 89 mmHg.
  • Eating a regular diet that is rich in salt.
  • Consuming to much alcohol beverages.
  • Not supplementing their diets with enough potassium.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle (not getting enough exercise).
  • Using certain medications that can cause a rise in their blood pressure.
  • Are in a stressful environment for long periods of time.
  • Are constant smokers.

The truth about high blood pressure or hypertension

For years we have been saying that the salt content found in our diets is responsible for the development of hypertension. The truth of the matter is...salt is not the problem but how our bodies respond or manage it. It also have to do with how salt is proportioned to the other minerals found in our bodies. Some of these minerals are potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Click on the e-book link to the right to uncover the truth about this silent killer.

Recognizing the signs of high blood pressure!

There are many of us out there, who could be walking around with high blood pressure and don't realize it. We may only begin to worry when we begin to experience other health problems...brought on by this condition. The only way to tell if we have hypertension is through a blood pressure test.

High blood pressure and diabetes

If you have have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to develop blood pressure problems than those without the disease. When diabetics develop high blood pressure, they must get treatment for it right away.

If they don't, the problem could cause complications that are associated with diabetes mellitus, to be more severe. High blood pressure affects over 59% of all people diagnosed with diabetes.

Blood pressure measurements for many of us will vary; however, our blood pressure readings should not exceed 130 (systolic pressure) over 80 (diastolic pressure). When it comes to good diabetes management, maintaining your blood pressure at the required level is just as important as maintaining control over your blood glucose level.

Treatment for high blood pressure or hypertension

In spite of a few lifestyle changes, there are times when the blood pressure of diabetics and non-diabetics still remain too high. When this happens, your health care provider may have to prescribe certain medications that are use for treating high blood pressure.

Unfortunately for us these medications are only treatments and not cures. So what does this means?

This means that diabetics that have hypertension or blood pressure problems may have to take these medications for the rest of their lives.

Some key points to remember about these medications though! They all do not work in the same manner.

There are occasions when you may require a combination of two or more of these medications as a patient. This is done to effectively treat your illness. High Blood pressure medications work in one of three ways.

These include treating or lowering the blood pressure by getting rid of any excess fluids and salt in the body, reducing the heart beat of the individual so that it pumps less, causing the blood vessels to become more relaxed and widened.

Medications used in high blood pressure treatment

Listed below are the medications that are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat hypertension.

  • Calcium channel blockers. These medications forces the blood vessels to become relaxed by preventing any calcium from entering into the cells of the heart muscle. By achieving this, the blood pressure of the patient is reduced.
  • Alpha blockers. These medications treat high blood pressure problems by reducing any nerve impulses that cause the blood vessels to become tightened. When this happens, the blood can pass freely; thus, causing a reduction in pressure.
  • Alpha-beta-blockers. This particular treatment works in the same manner as the alpha blockers do; however, it will also cause a reduction in the heart beat of the patient as well.
  • Nervous system inhibitors. These are medications that forces your blood vessels to relax by handling the impulses of the nerves that stem from your brain. By doing so, your blood vessels are forced to open or widened. This causes a reduction in the blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
  • Vasodilators. These are medications that relax the walls of your blood vessels directly. This causes your blood vessels to widen, allowing better blood and oxygen flow which causes reduction in your high blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers. These drugs are new to the market; however, they treat hypertension by protecting the patient's blood vessels from a hormone called angiotensin II. As a result of this, the patient's blood vessels become more relaxed and open wider allowing for better blood flow.
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme. These are also known as ACE inhibitors. These medications prevent narrowing of the blood vessels by preventing the production of the hormone angiotensin II by the body. This hormone will cause narrowing of the blood vessels.
  • Beta blockers. These high blood pressure medications, reduce the force put on the patient's heart and they cause a reduction in the number of beats. Because of this, less blood is pumped through your blood vessels which eventually reduces your blood pressure.
  • Diuretics. This form of blood pressure treatment, is used in the fitness arena as well. Whenever a bodybuilder or fitness model wants to shed some excess water weight, they would use diuretics to help.

    It is commonly referred to as the water pill and it is normally used by people that are on some kind of weight loss program..

    However this particular medication is prescribed by doctors for blood pressure treatment because it forces the kidney to remove any excess water and salt from the body. Therefore causing a reduction in the fluids and salt contents present in the body.

    This type of medication, can be found in different forms and it could be used in combination with other high blood pressure treatments.

    Some key points to remember

    As a diabetic or non-diabetic person, it is extremely important that you take your hypertension medications as prescribed by your doctor/s. It is also very important that you administer your treatment at the same time every day so that you maintain proper control over your illness.

    This will help you to avoid skipping any days. For those of us who like to short change or reduce our medications ( no matter what they are for) by cutting them in half, stop doing it this. Your condition is not being effectively treated this way .

    Remember you only have one health so don't make your heart muscle work any harder or become any larger because you want to save a few pennies. I will only end up spending even more money in the long run because of other health problems. Properly treat your high blood pressure.

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