|All information on high blood pressure (hypertension) blood pressure measuring blood pressure causes of high blood pressure high blood pressure level white coat syndrome symptoms of high blood pressure diagnosis of high blood pressure isolated systolic hypertension causes of isolated systolic hypertension white coat hypertension borderline hypertension malignant hypertension labile hypertension pulmonary hypertension renovascular hypertension high blood pressure risk factors complications of high blood pressure body weight and hypertension treatment options for high blood pressure high blood pressure medications lifestyle for hypertension high blood pressure diet
Which lifestyle modifications are beneficial in treating hypertension?
Lifestyle modifications refer to certain specific recommendations for changes in diet and exercise. These modifications can lower the blood pressure as well as improve the patient's response to blood pressure medications. Dietary modifications include restricting salt and alcohol and reducing weight if the individual is overweight. The American Heart Association recommends that the consumption of dietary salt be less than 6 grams of salt per day in the general population and a lower level (for example, less than 4 grams) for people with hypertension. To achieve a diet containing less than 4 grams of salt, a person should not add salt to their food or cooking. Also, the amount of natural salt in the diet can be reasonably estimated from the labeling information provided with most purchased foods.
Obesity is common among hypertensive patients and its prevalence increases with age. In fact, obesity may be what determines the increased incidence of high blood pressure with age. Obesity can contribute to hypertension in several possible ways. For one thing, obesity leads to a greater output of blood because the heart has to pump out more blood to supply the excess tissue. The increased cardiac output then can raise the blood pressure. For another thing, obese hypertensive individuals have a greater stiffness (resistance) in their peripheral arteries throughout the body. Finally, obesity may be associated with a tendency for the kidneys to retain salt. Weight loss may help reverse problems related to obesity while also lowering the blood pressure. It has been estimated that the blood pressure can be decreased 0.32 mm Hg for every 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of weight lost.
Some obese people, especially if they are very obese, have a syndrome called sleep apnea. This syndrome is characterized by the periodic interruption of normal breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea may contribute to the development of hypertension in this subgroup of obese individuals. This happens because the repeated episodes of apnea cause a lack of oxygen (hypoxia). The hypoxia then causes the adrenal gland to release adrenalin and related substances. Finally, the adrenalin and related substances cause a rise in the blood pressure.
A regular exercise program may help lower blood pressure over the long term. For example, activities such as jogging, bicycle riding, or swimming for 30 to 45 minutes daily may ultimately lower blood pressure by as much as 5 to15 mm Hg. Moreover, there appears to be a relationship between the amount of exercise and the degree to which the blood pressure is lowered. Thus, the more you exercise (up to a point), the more you lower the blood pressure. The beneficial response of the blood pressure to exercise occurs only with aerobic (vigorous and sustained) exercise programs. Therefore, any exercise program must be recommended or approved by an individual's physician.
More information on high blood pressure
What is blood pressure? - Blood pressure or arterial blood pressure is the pressure (force per unit area) exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels.
What is high blood pressure (hypertension)? - High blood pressure or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. High blood pressure is generally defined as a level exceeding 140/90 mm Hg that has been confirmed on multiple occasions.
How to measure blood pressure? - Arterial blood pressure is usually measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) using a sphygmomanometer.
What causes high blood pressure? - High blood pressure is far more common in families where other members have this condition. There are also many other factors which are related to high blood pressure.
At what level is blood pressure too high? - Blood pressure is generally felt to be abnormally high at a level of 140/90, and some sort of definitive therapy and follow-up should be started at this level.
What is "white coat syndrome"? - "White coat syndrome" is a situation where patients have high blood pressure in the doctor's office but nowhere else.
What're the symptoms of high blood pressure? - High blood pressure usually causes no symptoms. Sometimes people with high blood pressure have symptoms including headache, dizziness, blurred vision and nausea.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed? - The diagnosis of high blood pressure is made on the basis of many blood pressure readings. It is diagnosed if several readings show a systolic blood pressure greater than 140 or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 90.
What is isolated systolic hypertension? - Isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) is defined as elevated systolic blood pressure in conjunction with normal diastolic blood pressure (<90 mm Hg).
Why and how isolated systolic hypertension (ISH ) develops? - Factors that may play a role in the high prevalence of ISH seen in Western societies include increased body fat, sedentary lifestyle, and increased sodium intake.
What is white coat hypertension? - White coat hypertension should be considered when blood pressure readings are significantly elevated in the absence of target-organ damage.
What is borderline hypertension? - Borderline hypertension is a blood pressure level which is in the 'gray zone' between normal and high (for example, someone with an average pressure of about 140/90 mmHg).
What is malignant hypertension (arteriolar nephrosclerosis)? - Malignant hypertension is an acute emergency requiring immediate treatment in hospital.
What is labile hypertension? - 'Labile' means variable, and just about everyone with hypertension has 'lablie hypertension.'
What is pulmonary hypertension? - Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation (the arteries which go to the lungs). The blood pressure in the arms and the rest of the body is normal or low.
What is renovascular hypertension? - Renovascular hypertension is a secondary form of high blood pressure caused by a narrowing of the renal artery.
What're the risk factors for high blood pressure? - Controllable factors contribute to high blood pressure include sodium (salt) sensitivity, obesity and overweight, heavy alcohol consumption, use of oral contraceptives and some other medications, and sedentary or inactive lifestyle.
What're the complications of high blood pressure? - Blood vessels can narrow due to high blood pressure and the accumulation of cholesterol. Blockage of arteries in the brain can lead to stroke. Blockage of blood vessels in the kidneys can lead to kidney failure.
How does body weight affect hypertension? - Studies have shown that body weight, changes in body weight over time, and skinfold thickness are related to changes in blood pressure levels.
What're the treatment options for high blood pressure? - The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure to a level where there is decreased risk of complications. Treatment may occur at home with close supervision by the health care provider, or may occur in the hospital.
What medications are available for high blood pressure? - Medications may include diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), or alpha blockers.
Which lifestyle modifications are beneficial in treating hypertension? - Lifestyle modifications refer to certain specific recommendations for changes in diet and exercise.
What is a good high blood pressure diet? - A good high blood pressure diet is not only rich in important nutrients and fiber but also includes foods that contain far more electrolytes, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, than are found in the average American diet.