Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Normal blood pressure diet

Do what I did - eat a smart diet, have fun with it, and lower blood pressure naturally - then, you'll have a normal blood pressure range. The entirety of this site is how to do this.
And, you won't be alone. Our many members will be supporting your efforts and cheering your success.
Diet will be the foundation of your blood pressure health program, but we'll give you many ways to support it and make it more effective.
No doom and gloom here about a drug for this and a drug for that. We'll leave that sorry task to the medicos.
Instead, some happy news - YOU can control your blood pressure with a blood pressure diet!
That said, let's glide into the world of blood pressure with our "politically correct" mantra:
To Achieve Normal Range Blood Pressure, lower blood pressure naturally by switching to a Normal Blood Pressure Diet!
Sound like a no-brainer? Maybe. But, what is normal anyway?
Six years ago I had what is considered normal adult blood pressure - 120/80, but then, mysteriously, it began to climb. I only knew that because the Red Cross measures your blood pressure when you give blood.
I knew nothing about how to lower blood pressure naturally, so I did what anyone might do - I went to a doctor.
"Yep, you have high blood pressure," the doc said with deep concern. What followed was WARNING, WARNING, WARNING, and a drug prescription for high blood pressure.
Fortunately, my mother had been a "doctor skeptic" and had given me a healthy dose of her attitude, so I researched the side effects (they scared me) of that drug.
That was enough to get me looking into alternatives to medication.
What I found out has dropped my average blood pressure from 170/90 to 140/75 without drugs.
And the pressure's still going down!
How about you? Do you want to lower blood pressure naturally? Is controlling high blood pressure your goal?
Well, controlling blood pressure with a normal blood pressure diet is the best way to start. That's what I did.
I'm not just talking about the famous Dash Diet either. There are many other diets, some of which might be better for you.
Lowering blood pressure naturally is within your reach.
In these pages, you'll learn what makes up a diet for high blood pressure - the right foods, supplements and herbs.
Soon you will be a normal-blood-pressure-diet pro, eagerly backing up your diet with the correct exercises, lifestyle changes, formulations, devices and monitors.
I'm a chemist, attorney and life counselor. I have researched this subject thoroughly for you.
Normal blood pressure is just around the corner from where you live.
Here you'll find all you need to know to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Let's get started.

Which high blood pressure diet is right for you?

Could it be the Dash Diet? Want to run faster? Just kidding. This is your basic no fat diet.
If this diet isn't your cup of tea, take a look at the Low Sodium Diet, also known as No Salt Diet or Salt Free Diet? Now, that sounds strange because without salt your body would be a dry bag of bones, but you might dig this if you love natural flavors.
If you don't like either of these diets, try the Vegetarian Diet. No meat, no fish. A rabbit or a cow would do very well on this diet. How about you? Love your veggies?
The next one is the diet of an entire group of people, so take a look at the Mediterranean Diet. This one appeals to me because it lets you eat certain kinds of healthy fats.
For healthy Mediterranean Recipes - visit my friend David's Gazpacho Recipe page at his Great Cutting Edge Mediterranean Recipes Website.
The new kid on the block is the Blood Type Diet. The theory of this diet is that ancient peoples ate certain foods. As these groupings of people were characterized by blood type, you would eat what they ate if you shared their blood type.
Another diet you might check out is the Raw Food Diet
A diet that fascinates me is the Life Change Diet. This diet for high blood pressure is unique. Okay, I confess. I invented it. This diet changes as you grow older. Where would you show up on it?
If you don't find any of these diets compelling, you might want to invent your own from the foods, supplements, herbs and formulations covered on other pages. I'll show you how to do that.
Whichever diet you choose to help you achieve normal blood pressure, I suggest that you work into it slowly. Stick with the foods you love for as long as you can.

Finding The Best Blood Pressure Monitors

High blood pressure is a major problem today and the biggest difficulty with this serious and often life-threatening condition is that it rarely displays any symptoms at all.
For this reason, it is vital that we all have our blood pressure checked from time to time and there is no easier way to do that nowadays than by using your own home blood pressure monitor.
Modern automatic monitors are simple to use and most have large digital readouts which are also very easy to read. Many also have memory facilities which allow you to keep a record or your blood pressure readings over time and sometimes to print these out or to load them into your computer where they can be plotted into a clear graphical picture.
One big problem for many people is choosing an automatic digital blood pressure monitor which suits their need (for example with the right sized cuff) and budget and so we have looked at a number of the leading machines on sale so that you can get a factual an un-biased view of each.

Of course while monitoring your blood pressure is extremely important, it is also vital to make sure that you take your readings correctly and that you can interpret the results. What, for example, do we mean when we talk about your systolic and diastolic pressure and what is a normal blood pressure reading? For this reason we have included an article and video on both using your blood pressure monitor and understanding your blood pressure readings.
But this is not the whole picture and so we also provide a series of general articles about high blood pressure (including such things as what causes high blood pressure and how diet and exercise can help in lowering your blood pressure) and low blood pressure which is often overlooked these days. We also look at blood pressure medications. Many millions of people take some form of blood pressure medicine each day and it is good for you to understand just how these medicines work so that, together with your doctor, you can choose the medication which is right for you.

Recomended blood pressure monitors

Blood pressure monitors: which type of machine is recommended to use at home?

If you are considering buying a blood pressure monitor it is important that you make an informed purchase, it is worth investigating the quality and various types available before you buy a machine for home use. When you have decided and chosen the best monitor for you to use you can shop online at specialist medical supply merchants like Medisave where you will find excellent value for money and great discounts and offers on British Hypertension Society recommended models
Find the latest validated blood pressure monitors and save money at Medisave
Details of blood pressure monitors suitable for home use, compiled by the British Hypertension Society is a useful guide and listed below. All of the monitors on this list are digital upper arm monitors and have been through independent testing shown in research to be accurate and are currently available. Different size cuffs are available. 

Where can I buy an accurate Blood Pressure Monitor?

Medisave are leading suppliers of medical equipement to health professionals and the public in the UK.  They are the only UK stockist of all makes of British Hypertension Society validated machines from Microlife, Omron and A and D Instuments.  Make an informed purchase and trust machines that are considered accurate by the British Hypertension Society.

What is low blood pressure?

Low BP is a common problem but is often seen as somehow less important than high BP.
But hypotension causes major problems for many people

There are many reasons why your BP level might be too low. This page explores the causes of low blood pressure and provides treatment options

The words "low blood pressure" and "hypotension" mean the same thing and both are used on this page
It can be difficult to define what is meant by low blood pressure. There are clear definitions for high BP but no corresponding figure that signifies a formal diagnosis of hypotension or low BP.

So - what is a low blood pressure?

Well, if 1000 people had their BP measured we might expect to find a spread of readings ranging from as high as 200 / 120 down to as low as 80 / 50 with most people clustering around the middle of the range at around 130 / 85. The vast majority of these people would have no symptoms of any kind – no matter what their BP reading actually was.

In many countries – the UK and the USA included – a lower blood pressure in itself is regarded as a sign of excellent health. Provided of course that there is not some underlying other disease or medication that is causing the BP to drop in an abnormal way. Many “super fit” athletes develop a very low resting BP level as a result of their excellent heart fitness.
Is it normal or abnormal to have a low BP level?
The answer to whether it is normal or abnormal to have a low BP depends on what is the normal blood pressure reading for that individual.

Normal Low Blood Pressure

If you have always have low BP readings of around 90 / 50 (or even lower perhaps) for the whole of your life then without doubt you have “low blood pressure” but there is nothing wrong with you or with your low BP reading. You should be pleased that your risk of stroke or other disease will be much less than many others in the population and it is very unlikely indeed that you will experience any symptoms. Your level is normal for you and needs no investigation or treatment.
Symptoms found with “normal low BP ”?
None. This BP level may be low but it is normal for you and your body has adapted to it. There are no particular symptoms of a low BP associated with this version of the condition.
What are the causes of “normal low BP ”?
None. This low BP level is simply a reflection of the way you are made genetically and many of your family may show similar readings

Abnormal low blood pressure

If your BP is usually around 130 / 80 and suddenly or gradually drops to a level around
90 / 50 then it is very likely that you will become aware of hypotension symptoms related to this change.

As in the above example you have “low blood pressure” but in this instance it is not normal for you to have readings this low. You may need to see your doctor for tests because it is quite likely that some other disease or perhaps a medication has caused your BP to drop. Someone who develops a low BP level like this will often experience symptoms of low blood pressure such as those listed below. This is not a 
natural blood pressure level for most people.

Blood Pressure Monitors

Which type of blood pressure monitor is recommended to use at home?

High Blood Pressure affects millions of people in the UK increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
  • High blood pressure usually has no symptoms.
  • The only way for you to know if you have normal, high or low blood pressure is to have it measured
  • You can measure your blood pressure in your own home ideally with a reliable, accurate blood pressure monitor.
  • The information below is intended to help you make an informed purchase should you decide to buy a machine to use at home.
  • These machines are available to buy online at First Aid Warehouse, Medisave and Amazon
Type of Machines

For ease of use machines can be fully automatic and measure blood pressure correctly on the upper arm at heart level. The readings are given on a digital display and can be stored in the monitor's memory or printed out. There are many different types of machines available however the standards of accuracy may vary. The information on these pages will hopefully help you make an informed decision on your purchase - which machines are best, where to buy them from trusted online stores and how to use the blood pressure monitor correctly.
Sometimes your blood pressure is raised when taken in a clinical or medical environment, such as your doctor’s surgery. This is called white coat hypertension and can be caused by feeling anxious, or by being in a busy or noisy environment. Blood pressure readings taken at home are often lower than those taken at a doctor’s surgery, whether a doctor or a nurse takes them. Readings taken away from the clinic are now seen to give a more accurate picture of your normal blood pressure.
Research published in the British Medical Journal revealed that people who monitor their blood pressure at home have better blood pressure control. The paper, "Blood pressure control by home monitoring.." shows clear evidence that patient involvement in the monitoring of blood pressure brings better results than those monitored solely at their surgery or clinic.

Recommended Blood Pressure Monitors

Staff taking general enquiries at the Blood Pressure Association became aware that increasingly people are measuring their own blood pressure at home, and are keen to know what machines are recommended. There is a wide range of machines available to the public. If you are considering buying a blood pressure monitor it is important that you make an informed purchase, it is worth investigating the quality, types and check prices before you buy a machine for home use.
Details of blood pressure monitors suitable for home use, compiled by the British Hypertension Society (BHS) are available on their Web site you may find it a useful guide when you buy a blood pressure monitor. All of the monitors on this list are digital upper arm monitors and have been through independent testing shown in research to be accurate and are currently available.

Lower your blood pressure naturally

Doctors Prove That 82% Of Even Resistant Hypertensives* Can Achieve Lower Blood Pressure By Harnessing The Body's Own Natural Pressure Regulator...

High blood pressure is surely one of the most frustrating conditions you're ever going to face...
Herbs, supplements and even superfoods offer countless health benefits. I use many myself for various purposes. Unfortunately, the bulk of evidence shows that their effect on blood pressure is limited. So, despite what you may read, you are not likely to beat hypertension with these types of remedies alone.
Blood pressure is a response to complicated metabolic processes, particularly in your blood chemistry. Elevated pressure is telling you that your system is out of balance.
But beyond that, the causes of hypertension are numerous and complex, many of them still unknown. Even lifestyle, often cited as the best strategy against high blood pressure, is sometimes impotent against it. So you can have high blood pressure even with the lifestyle of a saint!

If hypertension doesn't kill you, maybe the drugs will...

Then there's the pharmaceuticals that everyone is so eager to avoid. It's not just the side effects. Many people would consider it a fair trade if the drug would just do the job on their blood pressure. But that's not a sure thing (far from it!), not even with the most powerful drugs...
Has your doctor told you that the most effective blood pressure medication - diltiazem - achieves only a 63% response rate?*
* According to a landmark survey for the Veterans' Administration that serves as a basic medical reference.
The result is that successful drug treatment often requires multiple medications, which may improve the results but also compounds the risks and side effects.
Herbs, supplements, superfoods and even powerful medications: such consumable remedies are rarely enough to beat high blood pressure on their own.

Nothing worthwhile - like controlling your blood pressure - is ever totally effortless...

Likewise, NOTHING is going to significantly impact your blood pressure instantly or with zero effort.
The only truly effective, long-term strategy to beat high blood pressure usually requires that YOU take an active role in your own health. It's a holistic approach that includes diet, physical activity, stress relief and much more... yes, in other words: it takes lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle again!

"What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Blood Pressure"
"The most important thing I want to tell you about high blood pressure is that it can almost always be lowered with lifestyle changes...
But the conventional medical wisdom is that patients won’t make lifestyle changes, and so the automatic response to high blood pressure is to prescribe a drug that will reduce it.
I believe—and there is plenty of research to support me—that these drugs have just as good a chance of killing you as the high blood pressure does, especially if you don’t really need them."
John R. Lee, M.D.
Virginia Hopkins Health Watch
That's right... and I get tired of hearing about it too! But there's no denying the importance of lifestyle to your blood pressure.
Of course not all high blood pressure is  lifestyle-related. But experts claim that up to 95% of hypertension cases could be resolved through healthy changes in the way we live.
Even if you're fit and healthy and think you have a good lifestyle, chances are there's something unseen in your life that's causing your hypertension. It's often stress or a combination of issues.
But what can we do about it?
Sure, we all want to look and feel good, but a major lifestyle makeover can be a long, hard slog. Sometimes you don't even know where the problem lies. And just as the causes of hypertension can be a mystery, the results of lifestyle changes can be unpredictable. They come with no guarantee.
For some of us the whole situation can seem next to impossible...
Isn't there another way???
YES, while a healthy lifestyle remains your best long-term strategy, a group of hypertension specialists have come up with a remarkable development. Their breakthrough can not only help you to control your blood pressure naturally but it can also help to kickstart that healthier lifestyle.

The method is a relatively easy "lifestyle technique" that uses one of the body's most powerful regulators of blood pressure...
It's your breathing. And the technique is called "slow breathing".
Now when you hear "slow breathing" you may automatically think of the expensive, computerized devices that have been heavily promoted on the Internet and in pharmacy chains.

But I'm going to show you something completely different - something that could just change your life...

That's right. If you can spare just 15 minutes a day (fifteen relaxing and enjoyable minutes) slow breathing may help you beat high blood pressure once and for all.
Let's go back to the beginning for just a moment:
April 15, 2001: The Journal of Human Hypertension announces a remarkable breakthrough by a pioneering team of hypertension specialists and medical researchers:

Their report is but the first of many to appear in medical journals, soon to be followed by the worldwide news media. You may have seen the reports yourself in newspapers, magazines or on TV news. At least 10 rigorous clinical trials document results like these:
·  Dramatic blood pressure reductions: top ten percentile of results averaging 36 points systolic and 20 points diastolic (top 10% of results)...

·  Average overall reductions of a significant 14 points systolic over 8 points diastolic...

·  Extremely high response rate: 82% of even resistant hypertensives responded to this method in a clinical trial published in the American Journal of Hypertension in June 2003...

·  Cumulative effects that continue building in both amount and duration over time. The results are significant, lasting and accumulating drops in blood pressure...

·  The means to avoid, reduce or even eliminate the need for potentially dangerous blood pressure medications and their side effects...

·  Life-enhancing related benefits like stress and anxiety relief, better sleep, increased energy and much more. In fact, this technique is often the beginning of a new and healthier lifestyle.

Are these the kind of results that would make a real difference in your life?

Surely not the 3 or 4 points systolic over a couple points diastolic like you might get with a lot of natural remedies like beetroot and chocolate (but not together!) are two foods that have made a splash in the media recently.
The good news is that these do reduce elevated blood pressure "somewhat" and so they show some good potential. Sadly, average reductions are not nearly enough for most people afflicted with hypertension. What's more, their effects are only short-lived.
No, most of us with serious blood pressure problems need double-digit drops. And those with only slightly elevated blood pressure want to catch it early and decisively.
These are surely the kind of results I was looking for... and I got them - after I had just about given up all hope of finding any natural solution.

When to Seek Medical Care

Many symptoms present gradually after years of poorly blood pressure control. Many times, the first knowledge of hypertension occurs when a patient complains of chest pain or has stroke-like symptoms. Should these occur, it is appropriate to call 911 immediately (if available) to activate emergency medical services and seek care.
You may be directed to seek medical care if blood pressure readings are elevated if done as part of a community health screening. Isolated elevated blood pressure readings do not necessarily make the diagnosis of hypertension. Blood pressure readings vary throughout the day, and your primary care provider may record a different reading than the one that was measured in a screening that sent you in for care.
There are non-specific symptoms associated with hypertension that may cause a person to seek care, including lightheadedness, dizziness, headache with or without nausea, change in vision, or lethargy and fatigue. There are many other reasons to develop these symptoms other than high blood pressure.

Types of Hypotension and how to treat them

Treatment depends on the type of hypotension (low blood pressure condition) you have and the severity of your signs and symptoms. The goal of treatment is to bring blood pressure back to normal to relieve signs and symptoms. Another goal is to manage any underlying condition causing the hypotension.
Your response to treatment depends on your age, overall health, and strength. It also depends on how easily you can stop, start, or change medicines.
In a healthy person, low blood pressure without signs or symptoms usually isn't a problem and needs no treatment.
If you have signs or symptoms of hypotension, you should sit or lie down right away. Put your feet above the level of your heart. If your signs or symptoms don't go away quickly, you should seek medical care.

Orthostatic Hypotension

Many treatments are available for orthostatic hypotension. If you have this condition, your doctor may advise making lifestyle changes, such as:
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water or sports drinks that contain nutrients like sodium and potassium.
  • Drinking little or no alcohol.
  • Standing up slowly.
  • Not crossing your legs while sitting.
  • Slowly increasing the amount of time you sit up if you've been immobile for a long time because of a medical condition. The term "immobile" refers to not being able to move around very much.
  • Eating small, low-carbohydrate meals if you have postprandial hypotension (a form of orthostatic hypotension).
Talk with your doctor about using compression stockings. These stockings apply pressure to your lower legs. The pressure helps move blood throughout your body.
If medicine is causing your low blood pressure, your doctor may change the medicine or adjust the dose you take.
Several medicines are used to treat orthostatic hypotension. These medicines, which raise blood pressure, include fludrocortisone and midodrine.

Neurally Mediated Hypotension

If you have neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), you may need to make lifestyle changes. These may include:
  • Avoiding situations that trigger symptoms, such as standing for long periods. Unpleasant, upsetting, or scary situations also can trigger symptoms.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water or sports drinks that contain nutrients like sodium and potassium.
  • Increasing your salt intake (as your doctor advises).
  • Learning to recognize symptoms that occur before fainting and taking action to raise your blood pressure. For example, sitting down and putting your head between your knees or lying down can help raise blood pressure.
If medicine is causing your hypotension, your doctor may change the medicine or adjust the dose you take. He or she also may prescribe medicine to treat NMH.
Children who have NHM often outgrow it.

Severe Hypotension Linked to Shock

Shock is a life-threatening emergency. People who have shock need prompt treatment from medical personnel. If a person has signs or symptoms of shock, call 9–1–1 right away.
The goals of treating shock are to:
  • Restore blood flow to the organs as quickly as possible to prevent organ damage
  • Find and reverse the cause of shock
Blood or special fluids are put into the bloodstream to restore blood flow to the organs. Medicines can help raise blood pressure or make the heartbeat stronger. Depending on the cause of the shock, other treatments—such as antibiotics or surgery—may be needed.

High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do to Help Lower Yours

What is high blood pressure?

Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Normal arteries are smooth and flexible, and blood flows easily through them. As the blood moves through your arteries, it puts pressure on the artery walls. This is your blood pressure. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) occurs when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal.

What do the numbers mean?

Blood pressure is really two measurements, separated by a slash when written, such as 120/80. You may also hear someone say a blood pressure is "120 over 80."

The first number is the systolic blood pressure. This is the peak blood pressure when your heart is squeezing blood out. The second number is the diastolic blood pressure. It's the pressure when your heart is filling with blood--relaxing between beats.

A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you have what is called "prehypertension," which means that if you don’t take important steps, your blood pressure can turn into high blood pressure.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

Blood pressure is measured by placing a blood pressure cuff around your arm, inflating the cuff and listening for the flow of blood. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure at more than one visit to see if you have high blood pressure.

How often should I have my blood pressure checked?

After age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years. Do it more often if you have had high blood pressure in the past.

What problems does high blood pressure cause?

Both high blood pressure and prehypertension damage your blood vessels. This in turn raises your risk of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease and heart attack.

Does it have any symptoms?

Not usually. This is why it's so important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

How is it treated?

Treatment begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease (see the box below). If these changes don't work, you may also need to take medicine.

Even if you need to take medicine, making some changes in your lifestyle can help reduce the amount of medicine you must take.

Lifestyle changes

  • Don't smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco product.
  • Lose weight if you're overweight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables and is low in fat.
  • Limit your sodium, alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Try relaxation techniques or biofeedback.

How do tobacco products affect blood pressure?

The nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products causes your blood vessels to constrict and your heart to beat faster, which temporarily raises your blood pressure. If you quit smoking or using other tobacco products, you can significantly lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack, as well as help lower your blood pressure.

What about losing weight and exercising?

If you're overweight, losing weight usually helps lower blood pressure. Regular exercise is a good way to lose weight. It also seems to lower high blood pressure by itself.

Is sodium really off limits?

Not everyone is affected by sodium, but sodium can increase blood pressure in some people. Most Americans with healthy blood pressure should limit the sodium in their diet to 2,300 mg per day. African Americans, older Americans and people with high blood pressure should limit the sodium in their diet to 1,500 mg per day. Your doctor may tell you to limit your sodium even more.

Don't add salt to your food. Check food labels for sodium. While some foods obviously have a lot of sodium, such as potato chips, you may not realize how much sodium is in food like bread, canned vegetables, soups and cheese. Also be aware that some medicines contain sodium.

Do I need to quit drinking alcohol altogether?

In some people, alcohol causes blood pressure to rise quite a lot. In other people, it doesn't. If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men. One drink is a can of beer, a glass of wine (4-5 oz.), or 1 shot (jigger) of liquor. If your blood pressure increases with alcohol, it's best not to drink any alcohol.

Does stress affect my blood pressure?

Stress may affect blood pressure. To help combat the effects of stress, try relaxation techniques or biofeedback. These things work best when used at least once a day. Ask your family doctor for advice.

What about medicine?

Many different types of medicine can be used to treat high blood pressure (see the box below). These are called antihypertensive medicines.

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels with medicine that's easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This goal can almost always be met.

If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, you'll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. You may need to take more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Don't stop taking the medicine without talking with your family doctor or you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Types of antihypertensive drugs

  • Diuretics: These drugs help your body get rid of extra sodium and fluid so that your blood vessels don't have to hold so much fluid.
  • Beta-blockers: These drugs block the effects of adrenaline.
  • Alpha-blockers: These drugs help your blood vessels stay open.
  • ACE inhibitors: These drugs prevent your blood vessels from constricting by reducing how much angiotensin II your body makes. Angiotensin II is a chemical that constricts blood vessels (makes them more narrow).
  • ARBs: These drugs work by blocking the effect of angiotensin II on cells
  • Calcium channel blockers: These drugs help prevent your blood vessels from constricting by blocking calcium from entering your cells.
  • Combinations: These drugs combine two medicines, like an ACE inhibitor or a beta-blocker plus a diuretic.

What are the possible side effects of medicine?

Different drugs have different side effects for different people. Side effects of antihypertensive drugs can include feeling dizzy when you stand up after lying down or sitting, lowered levels of potassium in your blood, problems sleeping, drowsiness, dry mouth, headaches, bloating, constipation and depression. In men, some antihypertensive drugs can cause problems with having an erection.

Talk to your family doctor about any changes you notice. If one medicine doesn't work for you or causes side effects, you have other options. Let your doctor help find the right medicine for you.

High Blood Pressure - tips to lower high BP

High blood pressure or hypertension is pretty common even among young people. When I started selling supplement from home back in year 2009 and make a living from it till today, I think…high blood pressure is the second highest inquiries that I’d received after diabetes and pcos (amount of queries receive for diabetes and pcos diseases more or less the same). So, I guess it may beneficial to some if I write some tips and natural treatment for high blood pressure.
Ok firstly, to treat high blood pressure, we need to know some of its common causes, basically from where it comes from lah…
  • Old age. As we age, our arteries sometimes stiffen, causing the heart to work harder to push the blood, which leads to high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as kidney and thyroid diseases, and even sleep apnea.
  • In women, birth control medications or hormone medications may cause slightly higher blood pressure.
  • In children, high blood pressure is usually a symptom of another underlying medical condition. Very often, doctors are unable to diagnose the exact cause of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is medically treated with prescription drugs, however, dietary and lifestyle changes often prove to be just as effective. Treating high blood pressure with supplement and natural remedies is relatively simple.
How to treat High Blood Pressure with basic nutrition supplement.?
Vitamin C Nutritional Supplements
High blood pressure has been associated with low levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C supplements are therefore taken to lower blood pressure. Additional studies are underway to determine how vitamin C prevents high blood pressure.
Calcium Nutrition Supplements
Supplements containing the mineral calcium have shown benefits for high blood pressure. Calcium is vital in the function of muscle tissue, which plays a role in maintaining the arteries and the muscles of the heart
Co-Enzyme 10 (CoQ-10) Supplements
Another supplement to consider for treating high blood pressure is called coenzyme Q10. CoQ-10 is a compound in the body. It is believed that CoQ-10 deficiency may be a cause of high blood pressure. Early studies show that persons who take supplemental CoQ-10 can often discontinue prescription medications for high blood pressure.
Fish Oil Nutrition Supplements
Fish oil supplements are made with the oil processed from the fatty tissues of fish such as salmon or tuna. Fish oil capsules are often consumed as a source of omega fatty acids. According to an August 2002 medical study published in the Journal of Hypertension, individuals with high blood pressure should take fish oil capsules because they may reduce the health risks and symptoms associated with high blood pressure.

Hypotension - low blood pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, occurs when blood pressure during and after each heartbeat is much lower than usual. This means the heart, brain, and other parts of the body do not get enough blood.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Blood pressure that is borderline low for one person may be normal for another. Most normal blood pressures fall in the range of 90/60 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) to 130/80 mm Hg. But a significant drop, even as little as 20 mm Hg, can cause problems for some people.
There are three main types of hypotension:
  • Orthostatic hypotension, including postprandial orthostatic hypotension
  • Neurally mediated hypotension (NMH)
  • Severe hypotension brought on by a sudden loss of blood (shock), infection, or severe allergic reaction
Orthostatic hypotension is brought on by a sudden change in body position, most often when shifting from lying down to standing. This type of hypotension usually lasts only a few seconds or minutes. If this type of hypotension occurs after eating, it is called postprandial orthostatic hypotension. This form most commonly affects older adults, those with high blood pressure, and persons with Parkinson's disease.
NMH most often affects young adults and children. It occurs when a person has been standing for a long time. Children usually outgrow this type of hypotension.
Low blood pressure is commonly caused by drugs such as:
  • Alcohol
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Certain antidepressants
  • Diuretics
  • Heart medicines, including those used to treat high blood pressure and coronary heart disease
  • Medications used for surgery
  • Painkillers
Other causes of low blood pressure include:
  • Advanced diabetes
  • Anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic response)
  • Changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
  • Dehydration
  • Fainting
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Shock (from severe infection, stroke, anaphylaxis, blood loss, or heart attack)


Symptoms may include:
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Light-headedness
  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness

Signs and tests

The health care provider will examine you and try to determine what is causing the low blood pressure. Your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure) will be checked frequently. You may need to stay in the hospital for a while.
The doctor will ask questions, including:
  • What is your normal blood pressure?
  • What medications do you take?
  • Have you been eating and drinking normally?
  • Have you had any recent illness, accident, or injury?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Did you faint or become less alert?
  • Do you feel dizzy or light-headed when standing or sitting after lying down?
The following tests may be done:
  • Basic metabolic panel
  • Blood cultures to check for infection
  • Complete blood count (CBC), including blood differential
  • ECG
  • Urinalysis
  • X-ray of the abdomen
  • X-ray of the chest


Hypotension in a healthy person that does not cause any problems usually doesn't require treatment.
If you have signs or symptoms of low blood pressure, you may need treatment. Treatment depends on the cause of your low blood pressure. Severe hypotension caused by shock is a medical emergency. You may be given blood through a needle (IV), medicines to increase blood pressure and improve heart strength, and other medicines, such as antibiotics. For more details, see the article on shock.
If you have orthostatic hypotension caused by medicines, your doctor may change the dose or switch you to a different drug. DO NOT stop taking any medicine before talking to your doctor. Other treatments for orthostatic hypotension include increasing fluids to treat dehydration or wearing elastic hose to boost blood pressure in the lower part of the body.
Those with NMH should avoid triggers, such as standing for a long period of time. Other treatments involve drinking plenty of fluids and increasing the amount of salt in your diet. (Ask your doctor about specific recommendations.) In severe cases, medicines such as fludrocortisone may be prescribed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Low blood pressure can usually be treated with success.


  • Shock
  • Injury from falls due to fainting
Falls are particularly dangerous for older adults. Fall-related injuries, such as a broken hip, can dramatically impact a person's quality of life.
Severe hypotension starves your body of oxygen, which can damage the heart, brain, and other organs. This type of hypotension can be life threatening if not immediately treated.

Calling your health care provider

When you have symptoms from a drop in blood pressure, you should immediately sit or lie down and raise your feet above heart level.
If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out (become unconscious), seek immediate medical treatment or call the local emergency number (such as 911). If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Black or maroon stools
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
Also call your doctor if you have:
  • Burning with urination or other urinary symptoms
  • Cough with phlegm
  • Inability to eat or drink
  • Prolonged diarrhea or vomiting


If you have low blood pressure, your doctor may recommend certain steps to prevent or reduce your symptoms. This may include:
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding standing for a long time (if you have NMH)
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Getting up slowly after sitting or lying down
  • Using compression stockings to increase blood pressure in the legs

How is low blood pressure treated?

Low blood pressure in healthy subjects without symptoms or organ damage needs no treatment. However, all patients with symptoms possibly due to low blood pressure should be evaluated by a doctor. (Patients who have had a major drop in blood pressure from their usual levels even without the development of symptoms also should be evaluated.) The doctor needs to identify the cause of the low blood pressure; remedies will depend on the cause. For example, if a medication is causing the low blood pressure, the dose of medication may have to be reduced or the medication stopped, though only after consulting the doctor. Self-adjustment of medication should not be done.
  • Dehydration is treated with fluids and minerals (electrolytes). Mild dehydration without nausea and vomiting can be treated with oral fluids and electrolytes. Moderate to severe dehydration usually is treated in the hospital or emergency room with intravenous fluids and electrolytes.
  • Blood loss can be treated with intravenous fluids and blood transfusions. Continuous and severe bleeding needs to be treated immediately.
  • Septic shock is an emergency and is treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
  • Blood pressure medications or diuretics are adjusted, changed, or stopped by the doctor if they are causing low blood pressure symptoms.
  • Bradycardia may be due to a medication. The doctor may reduce, change or stop the medication. Bradycardia due to sick sinus syndrome or heart block is treated with an implantable pacemaker.
  • Tachycardia is treated depending on the nature of the tachycardia. Atrial fibrillation can be treated with oral medications, electrical cardioversion, or a catheterization procedure called pulmonary vein isolation. Ventricular tachycardia can be controlled with medications or with an implantable defibrillator.
  • Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis is treated with blood thinners, intravenous initially with heparin, and oral warfarin (Coumadin) later.
  • Pericardial fluid can be removed by a procedure called pericardiocentesis.
  • Postural hypotension can be treated with changes in diet such as increasing water and salt intake*, increasing intake of caffeinated beverages (because caffeine constricts blood vessels), using compression stockings to compress the leg veins and reduce the pooling of blood in the leg veins, and in some patients, the use of a medication called midodrine (ProAmatine). The problem with ProAmatine is that while it increases blood pressure in the upright position, the supine blood pressure may become too high, thus increasing the risk of strokes. Mayo Clinic researchers found that a medication used to treat muscle weakness in myasthenia gravis called pyridostigmine (Mestinon) increases upright blood pressure but not supine blood pressure. Mestinon, an anticholinesterase medication, works on the autonomic nervous system, especially when a person is standing up. Side effects include minor abdominal cramping or increased frequency of bowel movements. *Note: Increasing salt intake can lead to heart failure in patients with existing heart disease and should not be undertaken without consulting a doctor.
  • Postprandial hypotension refers to low blood pressure occurring after meals. Ibuprofen (Motrin) or indomethacin (Indocin) may be beneficial.
  • Vasovagal Syncope can be treated with several types of drugs such as beta blockers [for example, propanolol (Inderal, Inderal LA)], selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), fluvoxamine (Luvox)], fludrocortisone (Florinef) (a drug that prevents dehydration by causing the kidney(s) to retaining water). A pacemaker can also be helpful when a patient fails drug therapy.

Is low blood pressure bad for your health?

People who have lower blood pressures have a lower risk of stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease. Athletes, people who exercise regularly, people who maintain ideal body weight, and non-smokers tend to have lower blood pressures. Therefore, low blood pressure is desirable as long as it is not low enough to cause symptoms and damage to the organs in the body.

What are low blood pressure signs and symptoms?

When blood pressure is not sufficient to deliver enough blood to the organs of the body, the organs do not work properly and can be temporarily or permanently damaged. For example, if insufficient blood flows to the brain, brain cells do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, and a person can feel lightheaded, dizzy, or even faint.
Going from a sitting or lying position to a standing position often brings out symptoms of low blood pressure. This occurs because standing causes blood to "settle" in the veins of the lower body, and this can lower the blood pressure. If the blood pressure is already low, standing can make the low pressure worse, to the point of causing symptoms. The development of lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting upon standing caused by low blood pressure is called orthostatic hypotension. Normal individuals are able to compensate rapidly for the low pressure created by standing with the responses discussed previously and do not develop orthostatic hypotension.
When there is insufficient blood pressure to deliver blood to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart's muscle), a person may develop chest pain (a symptom of angina) or even a heart attack.
When insufficient blood is delivered to the kidneys, the kidneys fail to eliminate wastes from the body, for example, urea (BUN) and creatinine, and increases in their levels in the blood occur.
Shock is a life-threatening condition where persistently low blood pressure causes organs such as kidney(s), liver, heart, lung, and brain to fail rapidly.

Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. It constitutes one of the critically important signs of life or vital signs which include heart beat, breathing, and temperature. Blood pressure is generated by the heart pumping blood into the arteries modified by the response of the arteries to the flow of blood.
An individual's blood pressure is expressed as systolic/diastolic blood pressure, for example, 120/80.The systolic blood pressure (the top number) represents the pressure in the arteries as the muscle of the heart contracts and pumps blood into them. The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) represents the pressure in the arteries as the muscle of the heart relaxes following its contraction. Blood pressure always is higher when the heart is pumping (squeezing) than when it is relaxing.
The range of systolic blood pressure for most healthy adults falls between 90 and 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal diastolic blood pressure ranges between 60 and 80 mm Hg. Current guidelines define normal blood pressure range as lower than 120/80. Blood pressures over 130/80 are considered high. High blood pressure increases the risk of developing:
  • heart disease,
  • kidney disease,
  • hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis),
  • eye damage, and
  • stroke.
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is pressure so low it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidney, the organs do not function normally and may be temporarily or permanently damaged.
Unlike high blood pressure, low blood pressure is defined primarily by signs and symptoms of low blood flow and not by a specific blood pressure number. Some individuals routinely may have blood pressures of 90/50 with no symptoms and therefore do not have low blood pressure. However, others who normally have higher blood pressures may develop symptoms of low blood pressure if their blood pressure drops to 100/60.

Blood Pressure Chart

The 1st Number: Systolic pressure is the pressure generated when the heart contracts.The 2nd Number: Diastolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart is relaxed.

What is Normal Blood Pressure? Buy and use an automatic blood pressure monitor. Compare your BP reading with the numbers on the chart above. Draw a line from your systolic pressure to your diastolic pressure. Is the slope of the line about the same as shown on the chart? Where do YOU fit in? What are your risk factors?
Are your blood pressure readings within the normal blood pressure range?
Should you take anti-hypertension medication to lower your blood pressure?

Normal human daily Blood Pressure Range can vary widely, so any single blood pressure monitor reading is not reliable. BP monitor readings must be taken at different times of day, to determine AVERAGE blood pressure levels over time.
What is important is your AVERAGE BP, or MAP (Mean Arterial Pressure) over time.
Or, where are those numbers sitting MOST of the time?
Normal MAP is about 93 mm of mercury.

Blood pressure - the definition

Put simply, blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries  - the tubes that carry your blood from your heart to your brain and the rest of your body. You need a certain amount of pressure to get the blood round your body.
The pressure of blood flowing through your arteries varies due to your heart pumping. When your heart pumps blood out of your heart into your arteries, the pressure in your arteries will be at its highest. When your heart is relaxing before it pumps again the pressure in your arteries will be at its lowest.

What do the numbers mean?

When we do get our blood pressure tested, the numbers our doctor or nurse gives us when taking our blood pressure can mean little to us.
Every blood pressure reading consists of two numbers or levels. They are shown as one number on top of the other and measured in mmHg, which means millimetres of mercury.  If your reading is 120/80mmHg, you might hear your doctor or nurse saying your blood pressure is "120 over 80".
  • The first (or top) number represents the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats and pumps blood into your arteries - your systolic blood pressure. An example might be 130mmHg.
  • The second (or bottom) numbert represents the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats - your diastolic blood pressure. An example might be 75mmHg.
You should have your blood pressure measured so that you know what your target is. Normally your target is to have a blood pressure below 140/85mmHg.
However, if you have heart or circulatory disease, including being told you have coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack or stroke, have diabetes or kidney disease, then your blood pressure should be below 130/80mmHg.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure – or hypertension – means that your blood pressure is constantly higher than the levels above. High blood pressure is not usually something that you can feel or notice, but over time your heart may become abnormally large and beat less effectively.
Having high blood pressure increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. If left untreated it puts extra strain on your heart muscle which can lead to heart failure.
There isn’t always an explanation for the cause of high blood pressure, but these can play a part:
  • not doing enough physical activity
  • being overweight or obese
  • too much salt in your diet
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • not eating enough fruit and vegetables or,
  • having a family history of high blood pressure.
Even if you don't have high blood pressure, making simple lifestyle changes may help prevent you developing it in the future.

What can I do to reduce my blood pressure?

If your doctor or nurse says you have high blood pressure, he/she is likely to encourage you to make some lifestyle changes to help reduce it. This may include increasing your physical activity, losing weight, reducing the salt in your diet, cutting down on alcohol and eating a balanced, healthy diet.
If your blood pressure is very high or these lifestyle changes do not reduce it enough, your doctor is likely to prescribe you medication to control it and to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

High blood pressure (hypertension)

The heart is a pump designed to force blood through our body. Blood is pumped from the heart through the arteries out to our muscles and organs.
Pumps work by generating pressure. Put simply, too much pressure puts a strain on the arteries and on the heart itself. This can cause an artery to rupture or the heart to fail under the strain – in the worst case stopping altogether.
Blood pressure depends on a combination of two factors:
  • how forcefully the heart pumps blood around the body
  • how narrowed or relaxed your arteries are.
Hypertension occurs when blood is forced through the arteries at an increased pressure.
Around 10 million people in the UK have high blood pressure – that's one in five of us.

What is normal blood pressure?

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. An example of this could be 'the blood pressure is 120 over 80', which is written as '120/80mmHg'.
  • The first figure is the systolic blood pressure – the maximum pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts (beats) and pushes blood out into the body.
  • The second figure is the diastolic blood pressure. This is the minimum pressure in the arteries between beats when the heart relaxes to fill with blood.
Because the height of a mercury column is used in blood pressure gauges, standard blood pressure readings are always written as so many ‘millimetres of mercury’, which is abbreviated to ‘mmHg’.
The systolic pressure is always listed first, then the diastolic pressure. A typical normal blood pressure reading would be 120/80 mmHg.

What's classed as high?

There is a natural tendency for blood pressure to rise with age due to the reduced elasticity of the arterial system. Age is therefore one of the factors that needs to be taken into account in deciding whether a person's blood pressure is too high.
In general terms, people with a systolic blood pressure consistently above 140mmHg and/or a diastolic pressure over 85mmHg need treatment to lower their blood pressure.
People with slightly lower blood pressures (130 to140mmHg systolic or 80 to 85mmHg diastolic) may also need treatment if they have a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, eg stroke or angina (chest pains).

What are the symptoms?

One of the big problems with high blood pressure is that it hardly ever causes symptoms.
This means it may go unnoticed until it causes one of its later complications, such as a stroke or heart attack.
Despite the popularity of such ideas, nosebleeds and ruddy complexions are hardly ever caused by high blood pressure.
Severe hypertension can cause symptoms such as:
  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • confusion
  • coma.

What complications are caused by high blood pressure?

  • Atherosclerosis: narrowing of the arteries.
  • Stroke: haemorrhage or blood clot in the brain.
  • Aneurysm: dangerous expansion of the main artery either in the chest or the abdomen, which becomes weakened and may rupture.
  • Heart attack.
  • Heart failure: reduced pumping ability.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Eye damage.

What causes hypertension?

For more than 95 per cent of people with high blood pressure, the cause is unknown. This is called 'primary' or 'essential hypertension'.
In the remaining 5 per cent or so, there is an underlying cause. This is called 'secondary hypertension'.
Some of the main causes for secondary hypertension are:
  • chronic kidney diseases
  • diseases in the arteries supplying the kidneys
  • chronic alcohol abuse
  • hormonal disturbances
  • endocrine tumours.

What factors increase the risk of hypertension?

Anyone can suffer from high blood pressure, but certain factors can seriously aggravate hypertension and increase the risk of complications:
  • a tendency in the family to suffer hypertension
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • diabetes Type 1 or Type 2
  • kidney diseases
  • high alcohol intake
  • excessive salt intake
  • lack of exercise
  • certain medicines, such as steroids.

What can I do?

Every adult near or past middle age should ‘know their numbers’ – ie your height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
You should also have regular blood pressure tests if there is a family tendency for hypertension. This way, treatment can be started before any complications arise.
Change your lifestyle:
  • stop smoking
  • lose weight
  • exercise regularly – as a minimum, 20 minute sessions, three times a week, sufficiently intense to induce some breathlessness
  • cut down on alcohol – aiming for less than 21 units a week for men, 14 units a week for women
  • eat a varied diet
  • avoid all salt in food
  • reduce stress by trying different relaxation techniques or by avoiding stressful situations.
These changes will lower blood pressure – to reduce your risk of developing the condition in the first place or to treat hypertension.
If your blood pressure requires medical treatment, you will probably have to take medicine on a regular basis.
If so, never stop taking it without consulting your GP, even if you feel fine. Hypertension can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

What can your doctor do?

  • Pinpoint risk factors and help you change your lifestyle to reduce blood pressure.
  • Offer medication for the reduction of blood pressure and arrange regular monitoring. Sometimes blood pressure control is not straightforward. Many people require more than one drug on a regular basis to get their blood pressure under good control.
  • Your GP may wish to seek the advice of an expert in hypertension if your blood pressure seems particularly difficult to control.

What are the treatment targets?

Diabetes considerably increases the risk of cardiovascular disease if hypertension is also present, so the targets for blood pressure control in diabetes are tighter.
For people who don't have diabetes, the treatment goals for blood pressure for are:
  • systolic pressure of less than 140mmHg
  • diastolic pressure of less than 85mmHg.
For people with diabetes, the goals are:
  • systolic pressure of less than 130mmHg
  • diastolic pressure of less than 80mmHg.

Which medicines are used to treat hypertension?

  • ACE inhibitors stop the production of a hormone called angiotensin II that makes the blood vessels narrow. As a result, the vessels expand, improving blood flow. Tension in the circulation is also lowered by the kidneys filtering more fluid from the blood vessels into urine. This also helps reduce blood pressure. If your blood pressure is not easily controlled on simple medication, your doctor will probably use a medicine of this type.
  • Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists work in a similar way to ACE inhibitors. But instead of stopping the production of angiotensin II, they block its action. This allows the blood vessels to expand, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
  • Beta-blockers block the effect of the hormone adrenaline and the sympathetic nervous system on the body. This relaxes the heart so that it beats more slowly, lowering the blood pressure.
  • Alpha-blockers cause the blood vessels to relax and widen. Combining them with beta-blockers has a greater effect on the resistance in the circulation.
  • Calcium-channel blockers reduce muscle tension in the arteries, expanding them and creating more room for the blood flow. In addition, they slightly relax the heart muscle so it beats more slowly, reducing blood pressure.
  • Diuretics help the body get rid of excess salt and fluids via the kidneys. In certain cases, they relax blood vessels, reducing the strain on your circulation.
The following medicines are used less frequently.
  • Indapamide (eg Natrilix) is a mildly diuretic preparation that also relaxes the peripheral arteries.
  • Hydralazine (eg Apresoline) relaxes the vascular walls in the peripheral arteries thereby reducing the blood pressure.
  • Methyldopa (eg Aldomet) stimulates the alpha receptors in the brain that relax the blood vessels, causing the blood pressure to drop.
  • Moxonidine (eg Physiotens) is another medicine that acts on receptors in the involuntary part of the brain, causing blood pressure to decrease.
  • Minoxidil (Loniten) relaxes the small arteries so that blood pressure drops. It must be used in combination with other hypertension medicines.


An important factor in determining the danger of high blood pressure is your cholesterol – a high cholesterol increases the sensitivity of the arteries to high blood pressure and makes them more likely to be damaged.
This means that when treating blood pressure, it's crucial to know what the cholesterol is – and if it is raised, to bring it down.
While diet, exercise, ideal weight and regular exercise are all important in reducing cholesterol, most people with high blood pressure and normal or high cholesterol also need a cholesterol lowering drug, such as a statin.

In the long term

By treating hypertension well, complications can be avoided and average life expectancy will remain almost normal.
Without treatment, life expectancy may well be reduced due to the risk of developing complications such as heart failure or stroke.

How blood pressure is regulated

Some appreciation of the complex ways in which blood pressure is controlled may be helpful in understanding how the different classes of blood pressure lowering medications work. A useful analogy for understanding the basics of blood pressure regulation is a garden hose. The water pressure can be increased in two ways- either by opening the faucet and pumping more water through, or by tightening the nozzle and increasing the resistance to the outflow of water. In exactly the same way, the blood pressure is dependent on two factors, the amount of blood being pumped by the heart (the cardiac output) and the resistance to flow (the peripheral resistance). The latter is regulated largely by the caliber of the small arteries (arterioles), which have muscle fibers in their walls, and like the nozzle on the garden hose can constrict and dilate. This means that when your blood pressure goes up it can do so in three ways, either by an increase in the cardiac output or by constriction of the arterioles, or by a combination of the two. When you exercise, your pressure goes up because of an increased cardiac output, because the muscles need a greater flow of blood. If you put your hand in iced water your pressure also goes up, but in this case it's purely from constriction of the arterioles.
The brain plays a major role in the regulation of the circulation, through two sets of nerves, which act as the yin and yang of circulatory control. One, the sympathetic nervous system, causes the heart to speed up, while the other, the parasympathetic system, makes it slow down. This dual control system allows for very fine-tuning of the heart. Both systems are normally switched on: when our heart rate starts to go up at the beginning of exercise it does so by a combination of decreased parasympathetic and increased sympathetic nerve activity. The parasympathetic nerves are mainly involved in the regulation of the heart, while the sympathetic nervous system also controls the tone of the blood vessels, and mediates the 'fight and flight response' characterized by an increased cardiac output and blood pressure. This is something we all recognize, and is experienced as pounding of the heart, sweating, and anxiety. In evolutionary terms this was the appropriate preparation for vigorous physical exercise, whether it be fighting or fleeing from a foe. In modern times our threats are more often psychological rather than physical, and this pattern of response may be less appropriate for dealing with them.
The sympathetic nerves transmit their message to the muscle cells of the heart and arteries by releasing a chemical called norepinephrine from the nerve terminals, which rest on the surface of the muscle cells of the heart and arterioles. The norepinephrine molecules latch on to specific receptor sites on the membrane of the muscle cells, which then send a chemical signal to the inside of the cell to initiate the process of contraction. These receptors are called adrenergic receptors (in Europe norepinephrine is called noradrenaline, hence adrenergic), and are of two sorts- alpha and beta. The alpha-receptors are mainly situated on the muscle cells in the walls of the arterioles, and when stimulated cause the muscle to contract, and hence the arteriole to constrict. Beta receptors are located in several different sites, the most important ones being in the heart, where they stimulate both the strength and speed of contraction, and in the kidney, where they stimulate the release of renin, which is also important in the regulation of blood pressure, as described below.
The adrenergic receptors are the targets for two classes of blood pressure lowering medications, the alpha and beta blocking agents. Both types work on the same general principle: they have some structural similarity to norepinephrine, which enables them to bind to the adrenergic receptors, but unlike norepinephrine, they do not stimulate the receptor to trigger muscle contraction, and they also prevent the norepinephrine from stimulating the receptors. Hence the term blocking agents. The net effect of both alpha and beta blockers is to lower blood pressure, alpha blockers by dilating the arterioles, and beta blockers by lowering cardiac output and shutting off renin release.
The muscle cells in the arterioles are structurally and functionally different from the heart muscle and the muscles in the rest of our body, and are referred to as smooth muscle cells. Their contraction depends on the amount of calcium inside the cell, and in fact the contractile process is triggered by a small amount of calcium passing into the cell through minute pores called calcium channels. The entrance to these channels can be blocked by another group of agents, the calcium channel blockers, which effectively paralyze the smooth muscle cells. Another major mechanism for controlling blood pressure is the renin-angiotensin system. Renin is a chemical which is secreted by the kidney, and circulates in the blood. It has no effects on blood pressure itself, but it leads to the formation of another inert chemical -- Angiotensin One. As it circulates through the lung angiotensin one is converted into angiotensin two by angiotensin converting enzyme. Angiotensin two exerts a very powerful constrictor effect on the arterioles, and thus can raise the blood pressure. It has a second effect, however, which makes it even more potent. It acts on the adrenal gland to release a hormone called aldosterone, which in turn acts on the kidney and causes it to retain sodium. This also tends to raise the blood pressure. One of the normal functions of the renin-angiotensin system is as a defense mechanism to maintain the blood pressure in situations such as hemorrhage or extreme salt depletion. A low blood pressure and a low amount of salt passing through the kidney are two of the three factors which stimulate the kidney to release renin, the third being the sympathetic nervous system.

Nearly 1 in 5 younger adults has high blood pressure

Almost one in five younger adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, according to a new study.
But only half of those adults, who were ages 24 to 32, have been told by a doctor that they are hypertensive, which shows that not everyone may be aware that they have the symptomless disease, said study researcher Dr. Eric Whitsel, an assistant professor in medicine and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
If a younger adult goes to a doctor for a checkup, the doctor will likely screen for high blood pressure. But “if people aren’t visiting health care professionals and aren’t measuring their blood pressure at home using inexpensive monitors, then they won't capture their illness," Whitsel told MyHealthNewsDaily.
Diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure are important because, if left untreated, it can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
The new study was published online on the May 25 in the journal Epidemiology.

Who has high blood pressure?
Researchers analyzed health data from 14,000 men and women ages 24 to 32 who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, also known as the Add Health study.

They found that of those people, 19 percent had high blood pressure — that is, they had a blood pressure reading of 140/90 millimeters of mercury or higher.
"And we found the results across every demographic: age, race, ethnicity, gender and level of obesity," Whitsel said. "So it didn’t seem like it was concentrated within a particular group of individuals."

However, some trends did emerge. Researchers found that men were more likely than women to have hypertension (27 percent of men, versus 11 percent of women).
College-educated adults were less likely to have high blood pressure than people who have only a high school diploma (22 percent of college-educated people, versus 17 percent of high school-educated people), according to the study.
The results were surprising because a previous study, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, also conducted around 2008, showed that only 4 percent of young adults had hypertension, said study researcher Kathleen Mullan Harris, interim director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Possible reasons for some of the discrepancy in the findings are differing characteristics of the study participants and the accuracy of the blood pressure readings, she said. But researchers found that none of these reasons could possibly account for such a large discrepancy in both studies' results, Harris said.

How to keep blood pressure down

High blood pressure is caused by a mix of social, behavioral and biological factors, Harris said. However, the study makes it clear that high blood pressure in young adulthood is the manifestation of an unhealthy lifestyle, she said.
"This stage of early adulthood is when young people move out of the house, get into regular lifestyle choices and develop habits that will last into adulthood," Harris told MyHealthNewsDaily. "So we think this is an important time of the life course to bring attention to their health and screen for such conditions like high blood pressure that are asymptomatic."
Whitsel offered four ways to keep high blood pressure from getting too high:
1. Eat a balanced and healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables.
2. Reduce intake of sodium, which has a prominent effect on blood pressure levels, to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
3. Limit daily alcohol consumption to two drinks or less for men and one drink or less for women.
4. Make sure you exercise regularly. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are also a number of drugs that can treat high blood pressure, including beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

Pass it on: High blood pressure doesn't have any symptoms, so it's important to get screened by a doctor to make sure your blood pressure isn't too high.

Understanding Blood Pressure Numbers

The two numbers that measure your blood pressure are written like a fraction: one number on top and one on the bottom.
Two numbers constitute a single blood pressure reading and are expressed in the form of a fraction, with one number on top of another. For instance, if the blood pressure of an individual is 128/82, the number on top is the systolic pressure and indicates the pressure inside the blood vessel during the instant the heart beats. Similarly, the bottom number is called the diastolic pressure and is indicative of the pressure inside the blood vessel when the heart is at rest, i.e. in between heartbeats.

Blood pressure of an individual is never a fixed number. On the contrary, it is prone to changes during the course of the day and can even show variation during the span of a few minutes. It generally fluctuates within a certain range on a day-to-day basis with there being several factors that contributes to this variation, like:
  • Posture maintained
  • Level of exercise undertaken
  • Tension
  • Use of nicotine, to mention just a few.
Hence, it’s always recommended to take multiple blood pressure readings, preferably each reading on a different day, the average of which should be your correct blood pressure.
Also, before comparing your blood pressure to what is considered as normal, it’s important to look into factors like:
  • Food habit
  • Overall health
  • Family history
  • Lifestyle followed
This is because the above mentioned factors can have an impact on your blood pressure and can cause it to deviate significantly from the normal range.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Your blood pressure can be termed as normal if it’s below 120/80. However, extremely low blood pressure too can be a serious health concern. Again if the average blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89, then the condition is termed as ‘prehypertension’ while anything above 140/90 is high blood pressure. But then again, one reading of 140/90 should not be an indication of you suffering from hypertension, though your doctor will surely like to keep an eye on it for some time to determine if it’s a one-time figure or whether it stays there. You are also likely to have high average blood pressure if any one of your readings is too high.
Table of Blood Pressure Numbers
Presented below is a table that mentions the different categories of blood pressure for adults based on numbers.

Blood Pressure Level (mmHg)
Category Systolic Diastolic
Normal < 120 and < 80
Prehypertension 120-139 or 80-89
High Blood Pressure
Stage 1 hypertension 140-159 or 90-99
Stage 2 hypertension 160 or 100

If the systolic and diastolic pressures can be classified into different categories, the convention followed is to use the higher category in order to classify the blood pressure level. As for instance, a pressure reading of 160/80 mmHg should be seen as Stage 2 hypertension or high blood pressure.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors of High blood pressure

Many factors can affect blood pressure, including:
  • How much water and salt you have in your body
  • The condition of your kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels
  • The levels of different body hormones
You are more likely to be told your blood pressure is too high as you get older. This is because your blood vessels become stiffer as you age. When that happens, your blood pressure goes up. High blood pressure increases your chance of having a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and early death.
You have a higher risk of high blood pressure if you:
  • Are African American
  • Are obese
  • Are often stressed or anxious
  • Eat too much salt in your diet
  • Have a family history of high blood pressure
  • Have diabetes
  • Smoke
Most of the time, no cause is identified. This is called essential hypertension.
High blood pressure that is caused by another medical condition or medication is called secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension may be due to:
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autoimmune disorders such as periarteritis nodosa
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Cocaine use
  • Diabetes (if it causes kidney damage)
  • Endocrine disorders, such as adrenal tumors (pheochromocytoma, aldosteronism), thyroid disorders, and Cushing syndrome
  • Medications
    • Appetite suppressants
    • Birth control pills
    • Certain cold medications
    • Corticosteroids
    • Migraine medications
  • Renal artery stenosis


Most of the time, there are no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur include:
  • Confusion
  • Ear noise or buzzing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nosebleed
  • Vision changes
If you have a severe headache or any of the symptoms above, see your doctor right away. These may be signs of a complication or dangerously high blood pressure called malignant hypertension.

Signs and tests

Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and check your blood pressure. If the measurement is high, your health care provider may think you have high blood pressure. The measurements need to be repeated over time, so that the diagnosis can be confirmed.
If you monitor your blood pressure at home, you may be asked the following questions:
  • What was your most recent blood pressure reading?
  • What was the previous blood pressure reading?
  • What is the average systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) reading?
  • Has your blood pressure increased recently?
Other tests may be done to look for blood in the urine or heart failure. Your doctor will look for signs of complications in your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs in your body.
These tests may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Urinalysis
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys


The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. You and your health care provider should set a blood pressure goal for you.
There are many different medicines that can be used to treat high blood pressure, including:
  • Alpha blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Central alpha agonists
  • Diuretics
  • Renin inhibitors, including aliskiren (Tekturna)
  • Vasodilators
Your health care provider may also tell you to exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet. If you have pre-hypertension, your health care provider will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may need to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications prescribed to you. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication.
In addition to taking medicine, you can do many things to help control your blood pressure, including:
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, including potassium and fiber, and drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise regularly -- at least 30 minutes a day.
  • If you smoke, quit -- find a program that will help you stop.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink -- 1 drink a day for women, 2 a day for men.
  • Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat -- aim for less than 1,500 mg per day.
  • Reduce stress -- try to avoid things that cause stress for you. You can also try meditation or yoga.
  • Stay at a healthy body weight -- find a weight-loss program to help you, if you need it.
Your health care provider can help you find programs for losing weight, stopping smoking, and exercising. You can also get a referral from your doctor to a dietitian, who can help you plan a diet that is healthy for you.
Your health care provider may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. Make sure you get a good quality, well-fitting home device. It will probably have a cuff with a stethoscope or a digital readout. Practice with your health care provider or nurse to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most of the time, high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.


  • Aortic dissection
  • Blood vessel damage (arteriosclerosis)
  • Brain damage
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertensive heart disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Stroke
  • Vision loss

Calling your health care provider

If you have high blood pressure, you will have regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor.
Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to have your blood pressure checked during your yearly check-up, especially if someone in your family has or had high blood pressure.
Call your health care provider right away if home monitoring shows that your blood pressure remains high or you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Significant sweating
  • Vision changes


Adults over 18 should have their blood pressure checked routinely.
Lifestyle changes may help control your blood pressure:
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Do not consume more than 1 drink a day for women, 2 a day for men.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while reducing total and saturated fat intake (the DASH diet is one way of achieving this kind of dietary plan).
  • Exercise regularly. If possible, exercise for 30 minutes on most days.
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Excess weight adds to strain on the heart. In some cases, weight loss may be the only treatment needed.
  • Try to manage your stress.
Follow your health care provider's recommendations to modify, treat, or control possible causes of secondary hypertension.