Know the basics
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a common disease in which blood flows through blood vessels (arteries) at higher than normal pressures. Your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90, or higher, over a number of weeks.
How common is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
People who have hypertension usually do not experience any symptoms and feel fine. Most people find out about this condition when they go for the routine check-up with the doctor. However, symptoms of very severe high blood pressure include a severe headache and/ or blurry vision.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
Seek immediate medical treatment if you experience these symptoms.
Know the causes
What causes high blood pressure?
The exact causes of high blood pressure are still not fully understood. However, these following things show association with the condition:
- Drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day for men or more than 1 alcoholic drink a day for women;
- Eating a lot of sodium (salt);
- Being overweight or obese;
- Being under a lot of stress;
- Eating a diet low in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for high blood pressure?
There are many risk factors for high blood pressure, such as:
- A family history of high blood pressure;
- Lack of exercise or physical activity;
- Race: African Americans are more likely to get high blood pressure;
- Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing;
- Long-term use of pain medicines like NSAIDs; for example, naproxen (such as Aleve) or ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil) or COX-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib (Celebrex).
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
You will be asked to measure your blood pressure. Blood pressure reading is measured with a blood pressure cuff or medically known as a sphygmomanometer. The inflatable cuff will be wrapped around the upper arm, and inflated to a pressure higher than your known systolic blood pressure. As the cuff deflates, the first sound indicates the systolic blood pressure. When the sound fades away completely, it is the diastolic blood pressure. If your reading is high, follow-up visits are required to confirm your condition.
Do note that some patients experience high blood pressure only when they are at the doctor’s office. This is known as white-coat hypertension. Your doctor might require you to measure your blood pressure at home to eliminate this possibility.
How is high blood pressure treated?
Depending on your body’s condition, your doctor will recommend various treatment plan, which can include medication, lifestyle change and other complementary activities:
- Medication: medication choice can include Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers, direct renin inhibitors. Other medicines for high blood pressure, including alpha-blockers and vasodilators. Your doctor will usually opt for a low dose of medication first. If not effective, an increase in dose or a combination treatment can be used.
- Lifestyle changes: this can include a healthy diet and schedule of exercise.
- Complementary activities: acupuncture, biofeedback, device-guided breathing, meditation, stress management and relaxation, do yoga.
Lifestyle changes & Home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage high blood pressure?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with high blood pressure:
- Healthy diet: opt for a healthy diet that is rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetable, low-fat products and lean meat. Limit your sodium, fats, and oil intake.
- Drink wisely: avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Exercise regularly: try to do some physical-intense activity every day, for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Stay happy.
- Regular check-up: self-monitoring your blood pressure at home and attend your regular check-up at the hospitals. A full check-up of the body can help you identify any risk factors early and accurately.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Description of High Blood Pressure. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp. Accessed September 21, 2016.
What is high blood pressure? http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Thebasics/Whatishigh. Accessed September 21, 2016.
High Blood Pressure. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/tc/high-blood-pressure-hypertension-overview#1. Accessed September 21, 2016.
Review Date: September 29, 2016 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019