Blood Pressure What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the amount of force the blood exerts against the walls of the arteries as it flows through them. How is blood pressure measured? A blood pressure measurement is always expressed in two numbers. The higher (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart is beating, and the lower (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart is resting between beats. The systolic number is always stated first and the diastolic second. For example, 122/76 (122 over 76) (systolic = 122, diastolic = 76). When take your blood pressure, you’ll write down the systolic and diastolic numbers. The numbers are measured in millimeters of mercury, and, for example, often will be noted as 122/76 Hg.
Blood Pressure When is blood pressure normal or high? Blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg is considered a normal blood pressure reading for adults, although a diastolic pressure of 85 to 89 mm Hg warrants further observation. A blood pressure reading equal or greater than 140/90 mm Hg is considered elevated or high. A single elevated blood pressure reading doesn’t mean you have high blood pressure, but it’s a sign that further observation is required. Continue to check your blood pressure daily, or ask your medical provider how often you should check it. After several measurements, if the diastolic blood pressure remains at 105 to 114 mm Hg, you should mention this to your doctor or other medical care provider within two weeks. If the diastolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 115 mg Hg, get to a doctor or other source of health care as soon as possible. If you know you have high blood pressure, you should follow your prescribed treatment program and report your blood pressure readings to your medical care provider at regularly scheduled visits. Where do you get more information? The best place to get information about blood pressure and what it means to you is from your doctor or other medical care provider. You can also get advice about blood pressure from voluntary health agencies, employee health agencies, employee health programs, and public health departments.
Blood Pressure Who Gets High Blood Pressure? The exact cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension is not known. Men and women of all ages and races have hypertension. Doctors have found, however, that some people are more likely to develop hypertension than others. Risk Factors <ul><li>Individuals with a higher than normal risk of acquiring hypertension include those who: </li></ul><ul><li>are men </li></ul><ul><li>are smokers </li></ul><ul><li>are overweight </li></ul><ul><li>are under constant stress </li></ul><ul><li>eat too much salty and fatty food </li></ul><ul><li>have more than two alcoholic drinks a day </li></ul><ul><li>have close blood relative with hypertension </li></ul><ul><li>Many of these factors can be changed. If you have one or more risk factors, be sure to have your blood pressure checked. </li></ul>
Blood Pressure . <ul><li>Although there is no cure for hypertension, it can be treated and controlled by: </li></ul><ul><li>maintaining a normal body weight </li></ul><ul><li>drinking alcohol in moderation, if you drink </li></ul><ul><li>quitting smoking, if you smoke </li></ul><ul><li>taking your medications as your doctor advises </li></ul><ul><li>eating foods low in salt </li></ul><ul><li>eating foods low in fat </li></ul><ul><li>eating more fresh fruits and vegetables </li></ul><ul><li>exercising regularly every day </li></ul>control of Hypertension
Blood Pressure <ul><li>Hypertension affects almost all of the arteries in the body. </li></ul><ul><li>Long-standing high blood pressure damages artery walls and cells that form their surface lining. Such damage can result in hardening of the arteries or weakening of the artery walls. </li></ul><ul><li>Although hypertension is not the major factor responsible for angina or poor circulation, it is an important risk factor for early arteriosclerosis, which contributes to these conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic high blood pressure can lead to an enlarged heart. </li></ul><ul><li>Untreated high blood pressure can damage the filtering system of he kidneys and lead to kidney failure. </li></ul><ul><li>The blood vessel carrying blood to the brain are damaged in the same way be chronic hypertension as other vessels. </li></ul><ul><li>Many strokes and heart attacks are prevented each year as the result of better treatment of high blood pressure. </li></ul>Facts about Hypertension
Blood Pressure When you start working toward your blood pressure goal, you might be surprised to find it easier and less complicated than you thought it would be. A good way to see progress toward your goal is to keep your own record of your blood pressure measurements. After each doctor’s visit, write down your measurement on a chart and see how much closer your are getting to your goal. Remember: High blood pressure cannot be cured. You must control it for the rest of your life. Once you have reached your goal and your blood pressure is controlled, you must continue to follow your prescribed treatment. If you stop treatment, your blood pressure might rise again and increase your chances of stroke, heart disease, and kidney damage. See your doctor for regular checkups, and continue to follow his or her advice. Meet the challenge of high blood pressure control. staiyng in control
Blood Pressure Frequently Asked Questions about Hypertension and Alcohol <ul><li>Q. Does alcohol raise blood pressure? </li></ul><ul><li>An intake of large amounts of alcohol produces dilation of blood vessels, which may actually tend to reduce blood pressure. But there is also an increase in heart rate, which tends to raise blood pressure and cancel the dilation effect. Consumption of large amounts of alcohol (more than 3 to 4 ounces of 80-proof whiskey per day) will result in a slight but significant elevation of blood pressure if ingested over a long period of time. This does not occur when alcohol intake is limited to less than 1 to 1 ½ ounces per day and does not occur in all heavy drinkers. </li></ul>Q . If a person has heart disease, could drinking be dangerous? A. Yes. In some instances, and excessive amount of alcohol drunk over a short period of time, especially on an empty stomach, can produce unusual heart rhythms or a decrease in the ability of the heart to function properly. Most of the time, a drink or tow is fine.
Blood Pressure Frequently Asked Questions about Hypertension and Alcohol <ul><li>Should a person who has high blood pressure stop drinking or drastically curtail consumption? </li></ul><ul><li>A. On the basis of current information, a patient with high blood pressure can drink alcohol if he or she confines consumption to less than approximately two reasonable sized cocktails, 8 ounces of wine, or two cans of beer per day. </li></ul><ul><li>Can alcohol cause cardiac arrhythmia? </li></ul><ul><li>A. Yes. Some people, after drinking just on drink, have unusual or irregular heartbeats, probably caused by the release of adrenaline-like substances. (These are not usually serious, but can be annoying). Others, after one or two drinks, experience rapid heartbeats that might not produce serious problems, but cause discomfort or palpitations. </li></ul>
Blood Pressure Frequently Asked Questions about Hypertension and Alcohol <ul><li>Is alcohol consumption after exercise beneficial or harmful? </li></ul><ul><li>There is no reason why a moderate amount of alcohol (one to two beers or reasonably sized drinks) after exercise cannot be drunk by most people, other than those with serious heart disease or those taking medications that dilate blood vessels. (As noted, alcohol also dilates blood vessels). In a patient with an abnormal heart, intake of alcohol might cause a lowering of blood pressure, faintness, and an increase in heart rate that could be dangerous. Fortunately, this reaction is not common. Alcohol in large amounts might enhance the effect of drugs that a heart patient or a patient with high blood pressure is taking. For instance, a patient with high blood pressure who is taking a drug that dilates blood vessels might notice an increase effect if alcohol is consumed along with the drug, especially after exercise. The patient’s blood pressure could be lowered too much. </li></ul>
Blood Pressure Frequently Asked Questions about Hypertension and Alcohol <ul><li>Is there a connection between alcohol and strokes? </li></ul><ul><li>There is some information on this subject. Studies of large numbers of people observed over many years indicate that excessive alcohol intake increases blood pressure and the occurrence of strokes. It seems appropriate, therefore, that alcohol should be limited to moderate amounts (fewer than two drinks of 80-proof whisky, 8 ounces of wine, or two cans of beer daily) an that alcohol in large quantities should be avoided. </li></ul><ul><li>How much alcohol consumption a day can be considered a safe amount for a normal person, with hypertension, and for a heart-disease patient? </li></ul><ul><li>A. The answer for all three individuals is probably the same. The answer to the previous question indicates reasonable and safe amounts. The intake or small daily amounts of alcohol might be protective against heart attacks and death from heart disease, but alcohol intake in large quantities over time could actually cause some heart muscle damage. </li></ul>
TIPS FOR CONTROLLING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE Take Your Medicine You might have to take medicine every day of your life to control your high blood pressure. Pills can help you control your blood pressure, but only as long as you take them. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to take your pills and how they might affect you. Be sure to take the medicine every day, even when you feel good. If you don’t your blood pressure will go up again. If you follow your doctor’s advice and control your high blood pressure, you can live a healthy life. Control Your Weight <ul><li>If you are heavy, losing extra pounds can help to lower your blood pressure. Ask your doctor or nurse to help you find the best way to lose weight. Try these ideas to start: </li></ul><ul><li>Eat fewer fried foods. </li></ul><ul><li>Use less butter and oil in cooking. </li></ul><ul><li>Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. </li></ul><ul><li>Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. </li></ul><ul><li>Eat smaller portions at meals, and avoid second helpings. </li></ul>Also, check with your doctor or clinic about an exercise program that can help you lose weight and keep off extra pounds.
TIPS FOR CONTROLLING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE Cut Back on Salt Salt can affect your blood pressure. That’s why your doctor or nurse might ask you to use less salt. Ask them for ideas on how to cut back. Here are some ways you can start: Use less salt during cooking and at the table. Use herbs, spices and lemon juice instead of salt to flavor food. Buy few salty (high-sodium) foods, such as chips, canned soups, hotdogs, salt pork, luncheon, meats, sausage, ketchup and pickles. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Get Your Family To Help Your family needs you and wants you to be healthy and active. Be sure to tell family members about your high blood pressure so they can help you to follow your doctor’s advice. Here are some ways your family can help: Remind you to take your pills. Help you to lose weight and stay active. Serve fewer salty foods at home. You can help your family, too. Ask each family member to get his or her blood pressed checked.
Blood Pressure Facts about Sodium Salt-Sodium – What’s the Difference? Sodium is a component of salt. Salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. It is an essential mineral, which the body needs every day. Most people obtain far more than the body need for the foods eaten each day. Salt used in the diet and that added to processed foods contributes major source With a Sodium Restriction? A sodium-restricted diet is usually prescribed in conditions where excess fluid is retained or to prevent excess fluid build up. Sodium tents to hold water in the body instead of allowing it to be excreted normally. When excess fluid is retained, it places an extra burden on the body organs.
Blood Pressure Facts about Sodium <ul><li>If You’re On a Sodium Restricted Diet… </li></ul><ul><li>Salt, both in cooking and added at foods at the table, should be omitted. </li></ul><ul><li>All foods contain some natural sodium; some foods contain more sodium than others. It is important that foods be selected wisely and in amounts as specified on your diet. </li></ul><ul><li>Salt is added in the processing and preserving of food and also is present in many chemical preservations and additives. Avoid as many processed, preserved or convenience foods as possible. It is best to “cook from scratch” as often as possible to control the amount of sodium which is added to a food. </li></ul><ul><li>Some medicines such as pain relievers, alkalizers and cough remedies contain sodium. Check with your physician before using any medications. </li></ul><ul><li>Should you use a salt substitute? Check with your physician. Salt substitutes contain large quantities of potassium, which should be avoided by some individuals. Follow your physician’s recommendations. If permitted, use them sparingly at first, at the table only to become used to their taste. Avoid cooking with them, as they may develop a metallic taste. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use “lite salt” or “sea salt.” These are not salt substitutes, and do contain substantial amounts of sodium. </li></ul>
Blood Pressure Facts about Sodium <ul><li>Shopping Hints: </li></ul><ul><li>Most large supermarkets stock low sodium or “dietetic” products. Not all “dietetic” products are suitable for a sodium-restricted diet, as some are designed only for calorie-controlled diets. Read labels carefully! If a food claims to be low sodium, the label should state the number of milligrams of sodium in an average portion. </li></ul><ul><li>When buying low sodium canned meats, fish or poultry, the label should state that it contains no more than 50 mg sodium per portion. </li></ul><ul><li>Any “low sodium” canned vegetable or vegetable juice is acceptable. Most frozen vegetables are suitable, as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Buy only low sodium or “dietetic” canned soups. Low sodium broths or bouillon mixes are acceptable. Regular canned soups, dry soup mixes and regular bouillons are extremely high in sodium. </li></ul>
Blood Pressure Facts about Sodium <ul><li>“ Accent” or MSG </li></ul><ul><li>Bacon, bacon bits </li></ul><ul><li>Bouillon (power, cubes or canned) </li></ul><ul><li>Cheeses </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial soups (unless dietetic) </li></ul><ul><li>Condiments (catsup, mustard, relishes) </li></ul><ul><li>Corned Beef </li></ul><ul><li>Crackers with salted tops </li></ul><ul><li>Frankfurters </li></ul><ul><li>Frozen dinner </li></ul><ul><li>Ham </li></ul><ul><li>Lite salt </li></ul><ul><li>Luncheon meats (bologna, salami, liverwurst, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Meat tenderizers </li></ul><ul><li>Olives </li></ul><ul><li>Packaged or canned gravies, meat marinades </li></ul><ul><li>Packaged entrée mixes (“Hamburger Helper” macaroni & cheese, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Packaged rice, noodle, potato or stuffing mixes </li></ul><ul><li>Pastrami </li></ul><ul><li>Pickles </li></ul><ul><li>Potato Chips </li></ul><ul><li>Pretzels </li></ul><ul><li>Salted nuts </li></ul><ul><li>Salted popcorn and other salted snack foods </li></ul><ul><li>Sauerkraut </li></ul><ul><li>Soy Sauce (regular & salt reduced varieties) </li></ul><ul><li>Steak sauces </li></ul><ul><li>Tomato and V-8 juice (unless low sodium </li></ul><ul><li>Worcestershire sauce </li></ul>The following foods contain high quantities of sodium. It is recommended that these foods be avoided.