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High Blood Pressure – The 14 Most Frequently Asked Questions

Contributed by: Rachana Arya

 

Introduction

The term “blood pressure” refers to the pressure blood exerts against the vessel walls as it moves the blood through the vessels. Normal blood pressure is a vital body function that everyone needs in order for blood to reach all of the body’s organs. But how much blood pressure is enough? And how much is actually too much? 

Let’s find out. 

 

FAQ #1: What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure, the force that moves blood through your blood vessels, is consistently too high. High blood pressure is also referred to as HBP or hypertension.

 

FAQ #2: Why is high blood pressure termed the silent killer?

High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause symptoms. When left untreated, high blood pressure causes substantial damage to your circulatory system and is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke, and other health threats.

 

FAQ #3: What symptoms do you feel when your blood pressure is too high?

If your blood pressure is extremely elevated, there may be certain obvious symptoms like:

 

    • Severe headaches
    • Pounding in chest, neck, or ears
    • Nosebleed
    • Fatigue or confusion
    • Vision problems
    • Chest pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Blood in the urine

 

FAQ #4: What are the factors that trigger high blood pressure?

While the cause of high blood pressure in most people remains unclear, yet some common factors that can contribute to the development of hypertension include:

 

 

FAQ #5: How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is measured and benchmarked by two numbers, 120/80, which is considered to be normal. The first number (systolic blood pressure) represents the amount of force applied by the heart when it beats.  The second number (diastolic blood pressure) represents the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. High blood pressure is characterized as pressures that are consistently higher than 140/90 over an extended period of time.

A systolic pressure of 120–139 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or a diastolic pressure of 80–89 mm Hg is considered prehypertension. Because blood pressure fluctuates so much, your health care practitioner will check it on numerous days before determining whether it is normal.

 

FAQ #6: What is dangerously high blood pressure?

If your blood pressure is 130/80, it is considered high (stage 1). A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher is indicative of stage 2 hypertension. If your blood pressure readings are consistently 180/110 or higher, it is recommended that you should visit a doctor immediately. This level of hypertension is referred to as a ‘hypertensive crisis.’

 

FAQ #7: How can I lower my elevated blood pressure within a few minutes?

If your blood pressure is elevated and you want to lower it within a few minutes, you should be in a quiet place and follow slow, deep breathing techniques. You may train your body to react calmly when faced with obstacles at work or at home by taking a moment to breathe deeply in stressful circumstances. Take deep breaths to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers blood pressure through lowering heart rate and dilation of blood vessels.

 

FAQ #8: What is stroke level blood pressure?

Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are regarded as stroke-level, dangerously high, and call for immediate medical intervention.

 

FAQ #9: What are the best drinks for lowering high blood pressure?

 

    • Tomato juice
    • Beet juice
    • Prune juice
    • Pomegranate juice
    • Berry juice
    • Skim milk
    • Tea

 

FAQ #10: What are the 5 warning signs of a stroke?

 

    • Weakness/numbness on one side of the body
    • Difficulty in speaking/understanding speech
    • Trouble seeing in one/both eyes
    • Dizziness
    • Trouble walking/loss of balance 
    • Severe headache

 

FAQ #11: Should I worry if hypertension runs in my family?

You won’t require medical treatment if your blood pressure is within normal limits; however, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight to avoid developing hypertension. If hypertension runs in your family, you should definitely be even more vigilant about your lifestyle.

 

FAQ #12: What should I do if I have high blood pressure?

Here’s what you can do::

    • Make healthier food choices
    • Decrease the intake of salt (sodium)
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Increase your physical activity
    • Limit alcohol consumption
    • Refrain from smoking
    • Manage stress levels
    • Monitor your blood pressure at home

FAQ #13: Can high blood pressure be treated?

By incorporating lifestyle and dietary changes, you can protect your brain as well as your heart health and manage your blood pressure effectively. 

 

FAQ #14: Can Ayurvedic herbs treat hypertension?

Here are 6 Ayurvedic herbs for lowering blood pressure:

    • Amla or Indian Gooseberry 
    • Gotu Kola, also known as Indian Pennywort 
    • Ashwagandha
    • Garlic
    • Honey
    • Basil

 

Final thoughts

Just 30-minutes of exercise may be as beneficial as medication at decreasing blood pressure. Exercise reduces blood vessel stiffness, allowing blood to flow more freely, which decreases blood pressure. If you’ve been inactive for a while, add a brief daily walk to your routine and get regular health screenings to keep your heart in good working order.

 

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