Treatment of High Blood Pressure

At one time the treatment of high blood pressure (Hypertension), followed a very rigid approach. Nowadays doctors are much more relaxed about the way they approach the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure in their patients, preferring a much more patient centred approach.

It is recognised that those people who have pre-existing conditions such as cardiovascular damage, kidney disease or stroke present with their own set of individual problems which all need treating on an individual basis; therefore it’s important that any medical or drug treatment is carefully tailored around them.

The first treatment of choice for those suffering with high blood pressure is usually a lifestyle change. For those who are overweight, smoke, lead very stressful lives or don’t exercise, sometimes this is the only wake up call they need. Once they make the lifestyle modifications required, they will often find their blood pressure will lower itself too a more normal limit.

As long as they keep these lifestyle changes, there shouldn’t really be any reason why they need to worry about their blood pressure later though of course it should be carefully monitored on a regular basis.

Causes Of Hypertension

There is little doubt that there are probably thousands of people walking the streets today who have a dangerously high blood pressure, yet they are completely unaware of it.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure leads to many different medical problems such as

    Stroke
    Coronary Disease
    Kidney disease

Different factors for causing high blood pressure include

    Excess alcohol
    Excess salt
    Excess sodium
    Stress (Up to a point)

The problem with high blood pressure (or hypertension, to give it it’s proper name) is that very often people are unaware they are suffering from it until they start suffering the side effects. This is one of the reasons why it is called the “silent killer”

There is little doubt that salt intake has a direct effect on blood pressure. Both this and the ingestion of dietary potassium have been found to have adverse effects on a person’s health.
Obesity
is another major problem. Overweight people are more liable to have a higher blood pressure than their slim counterpart. The heart and other vital organs have to work harder which leads to added strain.

Alcohol also plays a direct part in hypertension. It has been found in several studies, that the higher the alcohol consumption, the higher the blood pressure. However similar studies have also shown that moderate drinkers appear to have a lower blood pressure than non drinkers. This probably bears out the old assumption a little of what you fancy does you good!

Blood Pressure and Anxiety

There are many variables to consider when assessing blood pressure in people from moment to moment and these can include

    Emotion
    Exercise
    Respiration
    Heavy meal
    Smoking
    Alcohol intake
    Temperature
    Pain
    Bladder problems
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    Age
    Gender
    Race

When having their blood pressure taken, the person should be relaxed and if possible sat in a quiet room with the temperature set at a comfortable degree. If possible the person should have had a period of relaxation before their blood pressure is taken. If these optimum conditions cannot be maintained, it should be realised if the blood pressure is raised that the conditions in which it was taken were not ideal.

Anxiety can raise the blood pressure by as much as 30mm Hg. The fight or flight automatic response to danger is manifested in a raised blood pressure, so if the person is anxious etc, it will then be reflected in their blood pressure being raised.

Lots of reassurance for the individual having their blood pressure checked is often needed, and the person checking their blood pressure should ensure they give that individual the assurance they need that they are very capable.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure is a condition where a person’s blood pressure is much lower than usual. This can cause symptoms such as dizziness lightheadedness or even collapse. When the blood pressure is too low, this means there is not enough blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs of the body.

Its actually quite difficult to judge what a normal blood pressure is, because something that is normal for one person may well be abnormal for another. Therefore it is important that if there is a suspicion someones blood pressure may be causing them a problem it is investigated very carefully as even small changes in their blood pressure may cause them adverse medical problems

A classic text book blood pressure reading is normally about 120/80 mmHg. If you repeatedly feel faint and light headed during the day, its probably a good idea to check with your doctor as to whether you are suffering with low blood pressure or not.

High Blood Pressure and Pre-eclampsia in Pregnancy

High blood pressure can be serious as it can cause adverse affects to most of the organs in the body if left untreated.

Even if you’ve never been told you have high blood pressure, it’s always a good idea to have it checked at least once a year. Early detection of high blood pressure and its subsequent control is the key to preventing damage and untoward effects on organs such as the heart and kidneys. The kidneys play an important part in the control of blood pressure regulation.

If you are considering becoming pregnant it is also a good idea to have your blood pressure checked. It gives a good baseline to work with when you do become pregnant and there are any changes. Blood pressure usually reduces slightly in pregnancy so any rise, gives cause for concern.

Any rise in blood pressure in pregnancy can be an indication of pre-eclampsia which is a serious life threatening problem which needs immediate medical attention. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is undesirable as this also predisposes to high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition that can manifest after the 20th week of pregnancy. If high blood pressure and protein in the mother’s urine sample is observed at the same time, it can cause great concern to the midwives and obstetricians caring for the mother and foetus.

Blood Pressure

There are no hard and fast figures which represent a normal blood pressure. And very often doctors and other experts cannot even decide between them what an ideal blood pressure range is for an adult.

However it is usually agreed that somewhere between 110/70 and 125/80 is considered to be an average blood pressure for a grown person, though someone with naturally low blood pressure may be closer to a range of 100/60

A blood pressure of 140/90 is considered to be high, though as a person gets older, this falls into the more normal range for people.

Blood doesn’t circulate in an even stream around the body, but travels in a constant series of spurts. Therefore the pressure peaks in the blood vessels just after a heart beat and then ebbs until the next one. This is a continuous process.

The two blood pressure figures represent the pressures when the forces are at their peak and at their lowest ebb. The stronger the arteries are, the more they resist the force of the blood and the lower the blood pressure.

As a person gets older, and the elasticity of their arteries weakens, the figures tend to rise. However the lower figure should still be under 90 until that person at least reaches their sixties.

Arthritis Organization Resources

Turn to worldwide, federal, state and local associations to stay informed about arthritis.

Get on their mailing lists and stay tuned to the latest information about new treatments, drug therapies, OTC medication, surgeries and other pain relief and prevention solutions. Keep their information handy in a file cabinet and online in your computer for quick, handy reference in times of pain and stress.

Here are some places to begin gathering information from:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
6300 North River Road Rosemont
Illinois 60018-4262
Phone (847) 823-7186 or (800) 346-AAOS
Fax (847) 823-8125
The AAOS offers educational and facility management services for orthopedic surgeons and allied health professionals. This organization, with over 16,000 members, also serves as an advocate for improved patient care. And they educate the general public about orthopedic science. Check out their “Public Education” area online for public service announcements, educational and other opportunities.

American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
1800 Century Place, Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30345-4300

Yoga for Arthritis

Yoga has helped arthritic patients with improving confidence, mood, self-awareness, range of motion, relaxation, blood circulation, concentration, stress and pain reduction, health of bones, tendons, muscles and joint ligaments.

Classes and instruction are often offered at health and fitness centers; check out public library resources, too (books, videos, audio cassettes, DVDs, etc.) Not much is required to begin: pillows and a mat, some type of blanket or carpet piece for padding and comfort.

“Let’s Do Yoga,” an article by Christina DiMartino published in Arthritis Today, mentions six basic yoga positions that offer a wide range of benefits (don’t perform any that cause strain and remember to confirm with healthcare provider):

Mountain Pose – This position is for helping develop posture. With feet a comfortable distance apart, legs and knees straight, stand and distribute weight evenly, tightening thigh muscles. Keep pelvis in a neutral position, not arching the back, not leaning forward, and expand ribcage by opening chest and shoulders. Hold head comfortably straight with arms loosely hanging at your sides, body vertically aligned.

Child Pose – This position is for help with stretching the back and neck, and for stomach stress, for improving digestion. Begin by sitting in a chair, draping your torso over your knees. After strength and endurance build over time, gradually extend this position by