Are You In The Right Blood Pressure Range?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on November 8th, 2007

High blood pressure is like many health conditions; each person will be able tolerate different ranges of blood pressure levels and they will have differing effects on each persons body. There are some guidelines that can help the medical community apply a standard approach dependent upon the blood pressure range they fit within.

This can be a bit of a blunt approach to the problem, as the point where elevated blood pressure becomes a problem is different for each person.  But in general, as these guidelines are based on the average readings across a large population they can be considered as relatively accurate.

Interestingly, the numerical ranges that are used in different countries vary and are set by the medical community in each region.  This is generally because some races have different tolerance and research has shown in those regions what is an acceptable risk.

In the US for people to be considered as having a “normal” blood pressure reading they would need to have a reading of 120 mm Hg or less for their systolic blood pressure and 80 mm Hg or less for their diastolic blood pressure. 

It is worth noting that blood pressure levels can be naturally lower in children.

To clarify, the systolic reading is derived from the contraction of the heart and is a measure of the maximum pressure on the arteries during the time when the left ventricle of the heart contracts.

The diastolic reading is the measure of the blood pressure taken after the contraction has occurred.  It should be the lowest arterial pressure reading during the cardiac cycle.

The mmHg references the way that blood pressure has historically been taken, and refers to millimetres of Mercury (chemical symbol Hg).  A person’s blood pressure has historically been measured through the use of a sphygmomanometer, which often has a glass, or plastic tube that contains mercury, which rises and falls dependent upon the arterial blood pressure. Now electronic equipment is replacing the mercury filled devices, although the measurements used as still based around the older mercury system.

Normally a doctor will only diagnose a person suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) after they have a number of readings that are elevated, as there are a number of factors that can influence blood pressure readings, including medication, general health, exercise, coffee and tea and anxiety and stress.  Therefore it is important to get a “true” reading over some time.

“White Coat” hypertension is one example of a condition when a faulty or skewed reading must be eliminated if there is going to be an accurate blood pressure reading.  This is when a person feels natural anxiety when visiting a surgery or the doctor, which has the effect of raising blood pressure temporarily.

There are a number of stages of hypertension, which can be identified as following.

Normal blood pressure levels - indicated by a systolic reading up to 120mmHg, and a diastolic reading up to 80mmHg.

A person is Pre-Hypertentive when they have a systolic blood pressure reading of between 120mmHg – 139mmHg OR a diastolic reading of between 80mmHg – 89mmHg.

Stage 1 Hypertension is when a person has a systolic blood pressure reading of between 140mmHg – 159mmHg OR a diastolic reading of between 90mmHg – 99mmHg

Stage 2 Hypertension is when a person has a systolic blood pressure reading of between 160mmHg – 179mmHg OR a diastolic reading of between 100mmHg – 109mmHg

And stage 3 Hypertension is when a person has a systolic blood pressure reading of 190mmHg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 110mmHg or higher.

Obviously the higher the blood pressure range you are within, the more risk there is of a serious complications like stroke, heart attack or kidney problems.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find other ways to lower blood pressure along with more information on how to ensure you stay within the correct blood pressure range.

 

 

 

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Are You at Risk for This Potential High Blood Pressure Complication?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on November 1st, 2007

There are millions of women around the world who are using birth control pills as an effective way of avoiding becoming pregnant.  Also some women and young girls who take the birth control pill do so as a way to help with irregular periods or deal with other health problems they may have such as acne or endometriosis. But it is important that every woman understand the high blood pressure risk and birth control pill connection to ensure they manage the potential dangers of hypertension.

First lets cover a little bit about birth control pills and how they work.  The most commonly used birth control pills are made from a synthetic mixture of two hormones (estrogen and progesterone).  However there is one particular type of birth control pill, which contains just the synthetic hormone progesterone and this is more commonly known as the mini pill. 

The pill works by fooling the body into thinking it is pregnant and so suppressing the hormones that trigger ovulation. They also reduce the development of the uterus lining and increase the amount of mucous in the cervix, making it harder to sperm to navigate its way to its target.

The hormones in the contraceptive pill that do a great job at stopping ovulation are synthetic replicas of our own hormones, and can increase the risk of a women having high blood pressure.

Studies that have been carried out in the past show that contraceptive pills can elevate blood pressure levels, but since many of those studies were completed the levels of hormones used in contraceptive pills have been reduced. 

However, there is still a greater risk of hypertension for those that take contraceptive pills compared to women who don’t. This is why a doctor will take certain precautions when prescribing them.

The level of increase in blood pressure of someone who takes the contraceptive pill can range from nothing/ mild, to severe with only a few factors that have been identified as potentially increasing the risk; these include:

- Having a family history of high blood pressure especially on the female side
- Having a history of high blood pressure during pregnancy
- Having a heart or blood vessel condition

Also, the risk of elevated blood pressure seems to increase with age, length of usage and body mass.

When a women first decides to start taking a contraceptive pill she will usually have a baseline blood pressure reading taken.  This is so if there are marked changes to the blood pressure levels they can be identified when future readings are taken.  To be sure there are no adverse effects the doctor is likely to request a new user to revisit every few weeks to initially monitor any potential impacts on blood pressure.

When requesting a repeat prescription a doctor or nurse will again take blood pressure measurements to ensure there is no abnormality in blood pressure readings.

If blood pressure levels have risen then there are a few options available to the doctor, including;

- Allowing continuation with the contraceptive pill alongside close monitoring
- Discontinue the use of the contraceptive pill and try another contraceptive option
- Switch to another contraceptive pill and monitor the reaction.

Although there is a recognized high blood pressure birth control pill link, there have been few recent studies that allow for an understanding of the complete risk.  All that is known is that each person may react differently to taking contraceptive pills and close monitoring of blood pressure is required initially, followed by regular blood pressure checks throughout the course duration.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find other ways to lower blood pressure along with more information on other potential complications like the high blood pressure birth control pills risk.

 

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Is There a Natural Medicine High Blood Pressure Can Be Relieved By?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on September 6th, 2007

High blood pressure is often not identified by the person who has it.  It is usually during a routine examination that the signs are diagnosed. Dependent upon the severity of the case, the doctor may prescribe medication in order to reduce high blood pressure.  However, there are many people today who would prefer to use alternative treatments to relieve hypertension in the belief that they cause little of no side effects when applied.  So, is there a natural medicine high blood pressure can be relieved with?

Blood pressure is often elevated when the blood vessels in the body become clogged or excessively constricted.  Unfortunately, this in turn can cause stress to be placed on a person’s heart, which means that it has to work much harder to pump the blood around the body.  If high blood pressure is left untreated it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke or even kidney failure.

It is now claimed that 1 in 3 people across the world will have high blood pressure by the year 2025.  This would a large increase on the current number – an uplift of 60% and would lead to a total of 1.56 billion people suffering with the condition.

Although medication will often be prescribed to reduce blood pressure to an acceptable level rapidly, to alleviate more damage being caused, those with hypertension are usually also instructed to make some lifestyle changes including amending their diets.

Firstly it is recommended that high blood pressure sufferers reduce the foods they eat which are rich in sodium. This is especially important if you happen to be sensitive to this particular mineral. People in industrialized countries are consuming a greater volume of processed food, which is believed to account for around 80% of the sodium that a person has in a typical diet.

It is often recommended that along with reducing the amount of salt in the diet, there should be an increase in the amount of potassium, calcium and magnesium consumed.  Most fruits and vegetables are very rich in potassium.  Whilst broccoli and vegetables, which have dark green leaves, are full of both magnesium and calcium.

Some studies have been carried out on natural plant and animal extracts which have shown promise and been concluded to help in relieving high blood pressure.  Although it is important that you consult with your doctor before taking any food supplements to ensure there is not interactions with other medication and that they will be beneficial in reducing your symptoms.

Here are a few natural options that have been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing high blood pressure:

Garlic – A meta-analysis or 7 randomized trials that looked into the benefits of garlic supplement showed that there was a significant lowering of systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  The researchers involved in the analysis surmised that garlic powder may have a clinical use in people with mild hypertension.

It is important to note that garlic is a blood thinner, and may interact with other medication that you have been prescribed by the doctor.  This is why people are generally warned not to take garlic supplements when they are going to have surgery in the next 7 days.  So, it is important that a conversation is held with your doctor to ensure that they are aware that garlic is being considered.  
 
Hawthorn Extract – Practitioners of traditional herbal medicine have suggested hawthorn for various conditions for many years.

However, it was only until relatively recently after a study in Reading in the UK that it was found to be beneficial for lowering blood pressure.

A randomized controlled trial on 79 patients with type 2 diabetes received either 1200 mg of hawthorn extract every day or placebo. The trial lasted for 16 weeks and in 71 % of the patients medication was being taken for high blood pressure already.

When the trial has finished, it was found that the people who where given the Hawthorn extract showed a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure, and no interactions with the blood pressure drugs where reported.

Also a number of preliminary studies carried out indicate that fish oil can also lower high blood pressure, although further studies need to conducted.

There is really no single natural medicine high blood pressure can be relieved by.  Many aspects of a person’s life can effect blood pressure, and each of these needs to be considered when developing a sensible approach to relieving the condition.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find other ways to lower blood pressure along with more information on other natural medicine high blood pressure options.

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So What Vegetables Help to Lower Blood Pressure?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on August 30th, 2007

There is a common belief that changing our diets if we are diagnosed with high blood pressure can help.  Some people have suggested that having a diet that includes more vegetables can help.  But is this true and if so, what vegetables help to lower blood pressure?

The number of people being diagnosed with high blood pressure is on the rise each year.  This increase is being blamed on the many unhealthy lifestyle options that are available to those in industrialized nations, and the concern is that as other countries become more “westernized” they too will suffer with the same growth in high blood pressure.

It is believed that by the year 2025 there will be approximately 1.56 billion people who have high blood pressure.  Many of them will not know they have the condition, as there are no symptoms unless the condition is acute (this is why it is often referred to as the silent killer).

The diagnosis of high blood pressure is actually very simple for a doctor.  It takes only a couple of minutes to conduct a blood pressure check in the surgery, or there are home blood pressure monitors that are available that can be used.

Once the doctor has reached a diagnosis of hypertension or pre hypertension, then dependent upon the severity of the symptoms, they will suggest a combination of medication, dietary and lifestyle changes.

Some of the lifestyle changes that are often recommend include:

- Stop smoking – it can injure blood vessels and increase the speed at which arteries harden.
- Reduce or stop drinking alcohol – People who drink excessive alcohol have an increased risk of high blood pressure, and the risk increases with the more alcohol that is consumed.
- Stop drinking coffee – Coffee has a mild impact on blood pressure, raising it slightly.  However, if a person suffers with high blood pressure then anything that raises blood pressure further should be avoided.
- Lose weight – if a person is overweight, then losing weight helps to lower blood pressure
- Exercise – whether a person is overweight or not can reduce blood pressure levels.

As well as the above, a diet specifically tailored to lower blood pressure has shown to be enormously beneficial, especially in those people who are overweight.  It normally consists of a diet that restricts sodium and high fat foods, relying more on fresh fruits, vegetables and high starch/ carbohydrate foods (although not sugary foods).

Also, foods that contain potassium have shown to be beneficial, as potassium helps regulate blood pressure. A study carried out on 17,000 adults showed that appropriate levels of potassium from vegetables and fruit can help lower blood pressure.  Foods, which are rich in potassium, include potatoes, avocados and bananas.

Also it is important that you eat as little processed food as possible as these often contain high amounts of hidden sodium which can exacerbate a person’s high blood pressure rather than lowering it. 

Also, a small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that nitrates which are contained in many vegetables lower blood pressure.  Vegetables that are rich in nitrates include spinach and lettuce.

Other vegetables considered as helpful as part of a diet to lower blood pressure include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, artichokes as well as zucchini (courgette), lima beans and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils. These particular vegetables contain high levels of potassium and magnesium.  Both of which are essential to the human body and which help to lower blood pressure.

So when looking at what vegetables help to lower high blood pressure there should perhaps be a bias to those that contain high levels of potassium or magnesium or both. Talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find other ways to lower blood pressure along with more information on what vegetables help to lower high blood pressure.

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Discover All About CoQ10 in Treatment of Hypertension

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on August 23rd, 2007

A number of studies have pointed to the fact that the addition of a simple supplement to the diet may go some way to alleviating high blood pressure.  So, is there a place for CoQ10 in treatment of hypertension?

Hypertension is one of the leading causes of disability or death in many “industrialized” nations, including the US, UK and Western Europe.  The complications from untreated hypertension can include a stroke, heart attack or kidneys failure. Currently around $10 billion each year in the US is being spent on the detection and treatment of hypertension.

The cost of medical treatment and the increasing interest in being responsible for our own health, and in some part the distrust we have for prescription medication and their potential side effects, has led a lot of people to look for more natural alternatives.

CoQ10 is a substance that naturally resides in our cells, found in the mitochondria, which is the part of the cell that is responsible for producing the energy the cell requires to function.  CoQ10 is involved in the creation of ATP, which is an important molecule and serves as the cells major energy source, and controls a number of functions like muscle contractions and protein production.

Normally the human body contains around 500-1500mg of Coq10 but as we grow older this amount slowly begins to decrease.  C0Q10 is also an antioxidant, which sweeps up free radicals in the body, which can damage cells and tamper with DNA, and also cause cell death.
 
CoQ10 was discovered over 40 years ago, and since that time a number of studies have been carried out to identify how it can be beneficial to our health.

During more recent research it was found that those people who have either suffered heart failure, are obese or have some kind of gum disease can often have insufficient Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in their bodies. 

Plus a CoQ10 deficiency has been implicated as being a potential cause for people with hypertension, those who have heart attacks or strokes or people suffering with muscular dystrophy – although further research is required to confirm this.

One of the more compelling studies is a 12 week, placebo controlled trial, which concluded that after the 12 weeks had elapsed those that took 60mg of CoQ10 twice per day had a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure.

In another study, which involved 78 people with type 2 diabetes, the findings concluded that CoQ10 significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and that coQ10 was well tolerated and did not interfere with the medication being taken for hyperglycaemia.

There seems to be compelling evidence that CoQ10, in treatment of hypertension, can be beneficial.  However, there needs to be more research to better understand if this is because there is a deficiency in CoQ10 which is causing the elevated blood pressure, or it helps reduce blood pressure even in those that are not deficient. Talk to you doctor before starting any supplement regime.

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Why Diuretic for High Blood Pressure Treatment Works

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on August 16th, 2007

Treatment with a diuretic for high blood pressure relief works by increasing the amount of water and sodium excreted by the kidneys.

There are various different types of diuretics available and each one works differently, with each diuretic interacting with the kidneys to increase the rate of urine discharge.

Diuretics have become one of the more common medications prescribed for treating high blood pressure.  They are often used in conjunction with other blood pressure medication to amply the effect and bring the blood pressure back to normal levels.

They are also prescribing to patients who have suffered heart failure, or suffer from edema (swelling of the legs due to water retention). 

Diuretics work by encouraging the kidneys to expel water from the blood.  This means that less pressure is being placed on the artery walls, which results in the blood pressure levels reducing.

There are three main types of diuretics and they are generally used in different circumstances, and each one has its own strengths and side effects.

There are also some natural diuretics that are often used by nutritionists, homeopaths and dieticians that have been shown to help people with mild hypertension. Dandelion root, Dried corn silk and parsley are three options often recommended. However, it is important to seek the advice of your doctor to ensure that any natural or alternative treatments being taken do not interfere with medication you may have been prescribed.

Irrespective of the diuretic used, it is important that the medication does not mask the important step of finding out the root cause of your high blood pressure.

There can be a number of reasons for high blood pressure, including a persons lifestyle, their diet, habits (like smoking), and any medication they may be taking.

There are also certain illnesses that can cause hypertension, especially kidney disease, endocrine disease and heart disease.

Also, there has been shown to be a genetic link to blood pressure.  The family history of a sufferer is often investigated to see if any close relatives have suffered from high blood pressure previously.

Identifying the cause of the blood pressure will allow for sensible changes to be introduced to reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

Although taking a diuretic for high blood pressure relief, along with other medicine that you may be prescribed can bring high blood pressure under control, dealing with the root cause of the problem should be your top priority.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find other ways to lower blood pressure including more diuretic for high blood pressure options.

 

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The Top 6 High Blood Pressure Herb Preparation Options

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on August 2nd, 2007

As people become more aware of the dangers of a “westernised” lifestyle they are educating themselves about natural herbal methods to complement traditional treatment plans for high blood pressure. So, is there a high blood pressure herb preparation that can be used in the fight to reduce high blood pressure?

The use of herbs or supplements to lower blood pressure should only be embarked upon after discussing your choices with your doctor or specialist. Even though herbs are natural products, they can still interact with other treatments and can sometimes impact adversely on medical conditions a person may have.

Here are some herbs that have been found to be useful and help reduce high blood pressure. Discuss the use of these further with your doctor:

Danshen

Danshen is a herb, similar to sage. Extracts from its root have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and for thousands of years have been used to help with heart disease, circulatory problems and high blood pressure.

In studies carried out recently on animals it was found that the active ingredient in Danshen helped to reduce their high blood pressure levels by widening their blood vessels.

Crataegus Oxycantha (Hawthorn)

The Hawthorn is a small shrub.  This member of the Rose family was often hung over the door of medieval houses to ward off evil spirits.

Even thought the effects of Hawthorn extract have not been specifically studied in people with hypertension, there is considerable evidence that supports this plant extract can bring benefits to those with cardiovascular problems. 

In a study involving patients with type 2 diabetes, those that took hawthorn extract for 16 weeks had a reduction in their blood pressure levels, when compared to those who took the a placebo during the same period.

These studies also indicated that Hawthorn did not interact with the other medication that was being taken by test subjects, and so can likely be taken safely with other blood pressure medication.

Viscum Album (European Mistletoe)

The European Mistletoe has been used for millennia, as it is believed to have healing properties.  As far back as the ancient druids who called it “All Heal” people have been using it to treat many ailments.

It has many names including Bird Lime, Devil’s Fuge, Golden Bough and Mistal, and should not be confused with the American Mistletoe with is generally considered toxic.

Studies that have suggested that mistletoe can improve the immune function and can be an effective preparation to fight against certain cancers.  It is widely used in Europe for this reason, however these studies have not been proven in clinical trials.

The chemicals that are present in Eurpoean Mistletoe can effect the heart and low doses can help lower heart rate and blood pressure.

Rauwolfia

The root of the Rauwolfia serpentina has been used for hundreds of years in India to treat many ailment and conditions.

In 1952 the active ingredient of Rauwolfia, an alkaloid called reserpine, was extracted and has been used since by doctors to help treat hypertension.

It should be noted that this may only taken in very small doses but because of its potency it is still extremely effective.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

This is an extremely effective herb for treating high blood pressure. It contains a chemical known as valerenic acid which acts as an inhibitor on the enzymes that break down gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), and therefore helps control a person’s blood pressure levels.  It is believed that this particular herb also works to control a person’s blood pressure levels because of its sedative properties.

However if the decision is made to adopt any of the above high blood pressure herb preparations, either in isolation or as part of a combined preparations, then it should be done only under the supervision of your doctor.  This way impacts on existing medications or side effects can be identified and treated rapidly.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find out about other high blood pressure herb options.

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5 Top Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on July 26th, 2007

Although there are a number of prescription and over the counter medications a doctor can prescribe to someone with high blood pressure, they have in the past seemed to be reluctant to offer natural blood pressure reduction options to patients.  This may be partly responsible for the current backlash, with more people seeking to lower blood pressure naturally.

It is estimated that the number of people who will suffer with hypertension by the year 2025 will be 1.56billion.  This huge number and growth seems to be due to the further “westernization” of developing counties, and the adoption of poor diets and sedentary lifestyles.

Even in the industrialized nations the number of cases of high blood pressure are growing, and it is estimated that about a third of the people who have elevated blood pressure are not aware and go undiagnosed.  Of those who are diagnosed, it is estimated that about 50% of them do not take the blood pressure medication as prescribed.

The complications of high blood pressure are grave, increasing the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

So, what can a person with hypertension do to lower high blood pressure?

Firstly, it is worth noting that natural methods to relieve high blood pressure, although effective, should not replace the prescribed medication given by a doctor.  Generally, if medication has been prescribed it is because the blood pressure is too high and needs to be reduced as quickly as possible to lower the risk of complications.

That being said, there are a number of complementary supplements and dietary options that can help lower blood pressure.  Just be sure to speak with the doctor to ensure they are aware of your actions and can warn of any potential interactions that may take place with conventional medication.

Some of the foods that have been studied and been shown to help alleviate high blood pressure include, garlic, fish oil as well as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). 

In a meta analysis of 7 trials which tested the usefulness of garlic supplements to help reduce blood pressure, the researchers concluded that Garlic powder supplements may be of use for patients with hypertension.  The study found that 3 trials revealed a reduction in systolic blood pressure and 4 reported a reduction in diastolic blood pressure.

CoQ10 showed itself to be a natural blood pressure reliever after a 12-week trial involving 83 people with systolic high blood pressure who were given CoQ10 supplements twice per day.  They showed a significant reduction in blood pressure once the 12 weeks had elapsed.

There have also been some studies that preliminarily show fish oil may have a modest impact on reducing blood pressure.  The active ingredient is thought to be docohexaenoic acid (DHA), which is believed to have the effect of lowering blood pressure levels.

There has also been excellent research carried out that shows a controlled diet which increases the volume of fresh fruit and vegetables and removes foods high in fat or sodium can have as much of an impact on reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure medication.

Exercise is an important factor in high blood pressure reduction and prevention.  Compared to 20 years ago the lives we lead now are much more sedentary and so the need to exercise in order to ensure weight is controlled and we have a healthy cardiovascular system is more important than it previously was.

Even a small amount of exercise daily can make a big difference to blood pressure levels.  However, if a person is overweight, then they should speak to their doctor before throwing him or herself into exercise.

New methods to lower blood pressure naturally are being studied each day, so make sure that you keep abreast of the latest information by signing up to our regular newsletter below.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find other ways to lower high blood pressure naturally.

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Is There a High Blood Pressure Headache Connection?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on July 19th, 2007

There is a high blood pressure headache link right?  Well, if you believe that then read on – you may be surprised.

Generally, most people believe that one of the symptoms of high blood pressure is a persistent headache.  However there have been a number of studies that contradict this.

Hypertension is known as the “silent killer”, as in the large majority of suffers there are no symptoms to indicate they have elevated blood pressure.

The number of cases of high blood pressure are increasing, with the world-wide number of those with high blood pressure estimated in one study to reach 1.56 billion people by 2025.  This increase has largely been associated with the “western” lifestyle of poor dietary choices and inactivity.

Many people do not have any idea they have high blood pressure until they get their blood pressure measured, and of those that have been diagnosed it is believed that about 50% stop taking their medication.

The link between high blood pressure and headaches has been documented, and it seems to stem from the fact that many people who have high blood pressure also suffer from headaches.  So, the conclusion seems to be that elevated blood pressure increases the chance of having headaches.

However, there have been a number of studies carried out that seem to contradict this theory. 

One example is a study that was carried out by the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.  They surveyed over 22000 adults about the frequency of their headaches and to get a baseline of their blood pressure.  11 years later they surveyed the group again to establish links between blood pressure and headaches.

They found that around 28% of the respondents suffered from repeated headaches. They also found that those with higher blood pressure readings actually had a reduced likelihood of suffering from headaches compared to those with lower blood pressure.

The study went on to identify that those with higher blood pressure and suffered with headaches also experienced less severe headache pain.

So, the results show no link that suggests that headaches are caused by high blood pressure.  In fact, they show that the opposite is true in those surveyed.

Although this study and others do not seem to have swayed the medical community, there are some good reasons that headaches may go hand in had with high blood pressure, even if these reasons are not physiological.

It may be that those that suffer with frequent headaches are more likely to go to the doctor’s surgery for a check up, and so have their blood pressure measured, creating a causal link to be erroneously established.  Most people know that there are proportions of the population whose blood pressure will elevate when it is measured in the doctor’s surgery.  The “white coat” effect on blood pressure is well documented.

Also, those that suffer from more headaches may well share some of the factors that are also indicative of a higher risk of having elevated blood pressure, like being overweight, eating foods high in fat and sodium, having a relatively sedentary lifestyle etc.  So the headaches are perhaps not caused by the high blood pressure, but by the lifestyle choices made by the person.

There may also be a link between those that have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and those that have headaches through the fact that they are more likely to be anxious and concerned about their health by being diagnosed as being hypertensive.

So, the high blood pressure headache link is not as clear we all would like.  However, if a person is having persistent headaches then they should definitely pay a visit to their doctors to identify if there are any factors that may be causing it.  And if it is the lifestyle or dietary choices that are being made, then changing these can help the headaches and reduce blood pressure levels too.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find out about other alternative medicine high blood pressure resources.

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Measuring Blood Pressure Prevention Is Better Than a Cure

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on July 12th, 2007

When measuring high blood pressure, generally your doctor will use a sphygmomanometer or an automatic monitoring machine. Do not be surprised if your blood pressure is taken on most visits to the doctors, especially if you have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

The prevention or early treatment of high blood pressure has been the focus of attention, as it is a condition that can be treated successfully with little or no damage being caused to the patient.  But the longer the blood pressure is abnormally elevated the greater the risk of complications.

The diagnosis of high blood pressure is easy through the use of special equipment like a sphygmomanometer, but there are usually no symptoms of elevated blood pressure so patient will not normally go to the doctors to have the condition looked at.  This is why high blood pressure has been tagged as the “silent killer”.

It is believed that about 30% of the world’s population currently die from cardiovascular disease, and this number is set to rise.  A recent study suggested that there would be approximately 1.56bn people in the world with high blood pressure by 2025.  The main reason for this incredible growth has been attributed to more developing countries adopting a “westernized” lifestyle.

Inactivity, a diet rich in sodium and high in fat, and a stressful lifestyle have all been considered as contributory factors in the increase in numbers of people with elevated blood pressure.

So, blood pressure should be checked on a regular basis to allow the sufferer to take the relevant actions if it is elevated. It is recommended that a person should have their blood pressure measured regularly, with the interval dependent upon some the following risk factors:

  • Age – those over 35 are at a greater risk of having high blood pressure
  • Family history – whether the family has a history of related diseases or conditions, like cardiovascular disease
  • Own medical history – whether they have had previously elevated blood pressure, or had kidney or heart conditions
  • Lifestyle – They are overweight, smoke, have a diet high in sodium or high in fat, whether they do little exercise.
  • Whether the person is pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill.

There are now a number of excellent blood pressure monitors available to use at home, and these can be used to monitor progress as part of any treatment, or just to check blood pressure on a regular basis.

When a doctor looks at a blood pressure reading he will generally categorize the patient into three categories, they are “normal” prehypertentive, and hypertentive.

Someone with normal blood pressure will have a reading of close to 120/80 mmHg. However, it is thought that the lower the blood pressure the better, unless there are complication with low blood pressure symptoms.

Someone who is considered prehypertentive will have a reading of between 120-139 for the top number and 80- 89 for the bottom number.  Both numbers are important and if either one of them shows an elevated figure then it could be a cause for a concern.

The risk of later suffering from hypertension is increased when someone is prehypertentive, so preventative action is generally prescribed at this stage.

If someone shows a persistent reading over 140/90 mmHg then they would be diagnosed as having high blood pressure, or hypertension. Again, both the numbers are important, and if either of them go over the figures shown then there is likely cause for concern.

As long as high blood pressure is caught early, the impacts on the body can be minimized.

Have a browse through the rest of the blog to discover how natural methods along with Measuring Blood Pressure readings can be used to relieve high blood pressure symptoms.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the free Relieve Blood Pressure Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage high blood pressure. In the newsletter you’ll also find out other measuring blood pressure resources.

 

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