This health problem occurs when the flow of blood causes too much pressure on the walls of arteries. This condition is also called hypertension.
High blood pressure occurs when the flow of blood causes too much pressure on the walls of arteries. It is also called hypertension. When your blood pressure is measured, the top number indicates the pressure when your heart is contracting (known as systolic). The bottom number indicates the pressure when your heart is relaxed (known as diastolic). The Seventh Joint National Committee (JNC7) previously listed the following classifications for hypertension.
These classifications are typically based on a series of blood pressure readings (two or more readings during two or more visits) and not a single measurement. Recently these classifications have been updated (see below about JNC8.)
In February 2014 The Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) published new guidelines for the management of high blood pressure.
The numbers above do not imply that these blood pressures are either “normal” or desirable. Most healthcare providers would say that it is desirable to have lower blood pressure than the numbers identified above. These guidelines are to decide when blood pressure should be monitored and when treatment should be considered. They also have some new medication recommendations. However, lifestyle interventions are still strongly recommended throughout treatment. Lifestyle interventions include:
In most cases, high blood pressure does not cause any symptoms and is often found during a routine physical examination. Because there are no symptoms, people can get complications from high blood pressure before they know they have the condition. Symptoms more often occur when the blood pressure is very high. Some of these signs and symptoms could include:
If it you have high blood pressure, here are some things you should know:
Be an active participant in your healthcare by having preventive care visits with your healthcare provider.
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