High blood pressure or hypertension is a serious problem.
Depending on data from the American Heart Association or Stroke centers from Mayo Clinic, the fact remains that it is still a silent killer. By the time a person presents with his/her first heart attack they have elevate blood pressure or by the time a person presents with his/her first stroke ( ischemic , transit, hemorrhagic) they have a history of elevated blood pressure .
The definitions of what is an elevated blood pressure, pre hypertension , stages 1 or 2 has change at least 5 times since I have finish medical school! Needless to say the one thing that has been consistent is the goal of trying to have your blood pressure equal too or less than 120/80 mmHg.
So, what is the top number, 120mmHg?
This is the pressure in which your heart muscle contracts. It is called systolic. The bottom number ,80 mmHg, is the pressure when your heart muscle relaxes. It is called diastolic. You have 4 heart valves that allows blood to pass from one chamber to the next during this contraction and relaxing phase. But for simplicity sake measuring one’s blood pressure is like looking into what the heart has to push against in order to release the blood to the rest of your body. Hence why learning the proper technique in measuring your blood pressure is reviewed.
People who have hypertension tend to have some chronic kidney disease. This can be manifested by having an elevated creatinine. Also protein and sometimes blood can be present in their urine ( indicates chronic inflammation of these specialized kidney arteries).
Your kidneys control blood pressure
Your kidneys control blood pressure via a chemical called renin. This helps balance the sodium/water/potassium channels in your kidney tubules by making aldosterone. It also constricts arteries in your kidneys to maintain the filtration pressure so substances can pass from the artery to the tubules and be eliminated as waste products called urine.
In addition to understanding why your kidney is an important organ in maintaining a normal blood pressure we need to review what is low blood pressure known as ‘hypotension’.
So, what is low?
Anything that causes you to feel dizzy or light-headed when going from a sitting to standing position. In my experience it is usually a systolic <100 mmHg. Yes some people run even lower systolic blood pressures and feel perfectly fine.
Customization of a person’s diet, safely reducing medications is a trained skill practiced here in the RMD clinic. There is not plant leaf nor herb that takes the place of medications. Medications are design to handle certain chemical steps in the blood pressure regulation. I just alluded to: sodium balance, water balance, constriction of arteries…so do not think ginger tea or garlic alone is the key. It is a complete balance diet and lifestyle that eliminates the factors that triggers arterial inflammation or interfere with the normal chemical processes that take place in our body.
There is a correct way and an incorrect to check your blood pressure.
Techniques on how to check your blood pressure at home, in your doctors office and scientific articles will be reviewed. And you will understand why certain blood pressure monitors like a wrist monitor are not very accurate.
We will discuss the significance of mask hypertension, white coat hypertension, blood pressure variability and more.
- The complications of high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, a heart attacks or kidney failure requiring dialysis.
- There are no symptoms of high blood pressure until it is too late.
- So please buy a blood pressure monitor! And use it to check your blood pressure.