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Blood pressure is defined as the measure of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. Every one of us has his blood pressure rising and falling throughout the day, but when the pressure is elevated over time, we call it high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure has no symptoms but it is a cause of concern because of the increased risk of heart disease, stroke and serious illness.


What are symptoms of high blood pressure?

As we have mentioned earlier, high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms, that is why it is called the “silent killer”, a blood pressure measurement usually is the only way to detect it.
 
Blood pressure readings:

Blood pressure guidelines
good Borderline-high risk Hypertensive patient
120/80 mmHg or lower 12/80- 139/89 mmHg 140/90mmHg or higher


 

Can I take my blood pressure reading at home?

Yes sure you can, by using a home blood pressure monitor (mercury or digital- both works), but you have to keep the following guidelines in mind:


  • Demonstrate the technique to your pharmacist to ensure that you are using the monitor correctly

  • Avoid caffeine and cigarettes for at least 30 minutes before taking a measurement.

  • Rest quietly for 5 minutes before testing.

  • Sit in an upright position with your legs and ankles are uncrossed and your back supported.

  • If you suspected a measurement wait at least 2 minutes before repeating it.


High blood pressure management

Treating High blood pressure with medications:
There are many drugs that are used to control High blood pressure, common classes are:

  • Diuretics (water pills), they get rid of the excess water and salt.

  • Beta blockers, which decrease the hearts’ need for blood and oxygen, making its work easier.

  • Vasodilators, those are the drugs that reduce High blood pressure by relaxing the vessels muscles and prevent them from constricting.

  • Drugs that reduce heart rate and widen the blood vessels.


It is worth mentioning that High blood pressure is a chronic disease and usually it is not cured, so you have to stick to your prescribed medications and follow up with your doctor regularly. Maintaining your blood pressure controlled through life style modification:

  • Using the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which concentrates on fruites, vegetables and low fat dairy foods.
  • Avoid high fat, fried and salty foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Limit alcohol intake.

Publish Date: 17/08/2011
     
Total Rates: ( 5 / 5 )
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