DASH is recommended by the American Dietetic Association's Evidence Analysis Library for the fight against high blood pressure because it isn't only great for keeping sodium consumption within recommended levels - DASH also helps individuals eat enough potassium (important for counteracting the effect of sodium on blood vessels) and meet food group goals. That said, take note that certain individuals may be sensitive to sudden changes in potassium. We are living in an age, where mostly people are suffering from diverse kinds of diseases, and heart disease is one of them.
While our body’s daily requirement of sodium is 500 mg, we feed our body more than 4000 mg in a day.
Low sodium diet can turn out to be boon for people suffering from kidney disease, heart problem, and high blood pressure. Low sodium diet plan is the most realistic and practical diet plan prevalent in today’s time. Prepare their salad and sprinkle various herbs and spices over them to enhance their flavor. There are many canned and processed foods available in the market, which are not salty in taste but their sodium content is very high.
You might feel amazed to know; even low sodium foods have 2000-2500 mg of sodium content, which is almost one teaspoon of salt. Try to refrain from processed foods because these foods are the main culprits responsible for adding surplus sodium in your meals.
In addition to that, look at the content of bottled water because water softeners used in water often remove calcium and add sodium into water.
There are myriad food items including canned vegetables, salads, and beans etc., which are topped with salt. Let’s have a look at some food items which you should eliminate from your diet regime to stay away from the ill effects of sodium. Forbid consumption of ham, cured, smoked or salted fish, meat or poultry, sausage, caviar, sardines, anchovies, bacon, frozen breaded meats and dinner, salted nuts, cold cuts etc.
Swap these food items with eggs, dray peas, low-sodium peanut butter, frozen lamb, beef, poultry, fish, pork, oil-packed canned fish or poultry etc. Avoid consumption of processed or regular cheese, sauces, cheese spreads, cottage cheese, buttermilk etc. Swap these food items with ice cream, milk, yogurt, ice milk, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, low sodium cheese, mozzarella etc. Refrain from the consumption of self-rising flour, biscuits, waffle mixes, pancakes, salted crackers, croutons, pizza, bread rolls with salted tops and processed mixes for rice, pasta, potato and stuffing. Swap these food items with muffins, ready to eat cereals, corn, flour tortillas, noodles, unsalted chips, popcorns, pretzels, low sodium breadsticks, crackers etc. Avoid consuming bottled salad dressings, salted butter, soy sauce, instant pudding or cake, mustard and large portions of ketchup.
Swap these food items with mayonnaise, vegetable oils, vinegar, mayonnaise, unsalted butter, and desserts without salt. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH diet is designed to bring down the blood pressure level naturally.
The diet plan, which primarily emphasized on low sodium balanced meals, not only reduces the risk of heart diseases and stroke resulting from high blood pressure, but several studies suggest that DASH diet could minimize the risk of kidney stones, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer. In the standard version of DASH diet, dieters are recommended to limit their daily sodium consumption to 2,300mg per day. A 2000-calorie a day DASH diet plan includes six to eight servings of whole grain products, four to five servings of vegetables, four to five servings of fruits, two to three servings of low fat dairy, not more than six servings of fish, lean meat and poultry and two to three servings of fats and oils. Although the DASH diet does not say anything about caffeine consumption, it is advisable to limit caffeine consumption if you are already diagnosed with high blood pressure. The body's smaller blood vessels (known as the arterioles) narrow, so that blood flow exerts more pressure against the vessels' walls. Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. Although the body can tolerate increased blood pressure for months and even years, eventually the heart may enlarge (a condition called hypertrophy), which is a major factor in heart failure.
Such pressure can also injure blood vessels in the heart, kidneys, the brain, and the eyes. Two numbers are used to describe blood pressure: the systolic pressure (the higher and first number) and the diastolic pressure (the lower and second number). Some studies suggest that in people over 45 years old, every 10 mm Hg increase in pulse pressure increases the risk for stroke rises by 11%, cardiovascular disease by 10%, and overall mortality by 16%. High blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg (systolic) or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg (diastolic).
Blood pressure readings in the prehypertension category (120 -139 systolic or 80 - 89 diastolic) indicate an increased risk for developing hypertension. Current guidelines for children are based on percentile ranges for a child’s body size. Pre-hypertension in children is diagnosed when average systolic or diastolic blood pressure levels are at least in the 90th percentile but less than the 95th percentile.
Note: If one of the measurements is in a higher category than the other, the higher measurement is usually used to determine the stage.
An inflatable cuff with a meter attached is placed around the patient's arm over the artery while the patient is seated, their back is supported, and the arm being used is around the level of the heart. The first pumping sound your health care provider hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure. If a first blood pressure reading is above normal, the health professional may take two or more measurements separated by 2 minutes with the patient sitting or lying down. To measure blood pressure, your doctor uses an instrument called a "sphygmomanometer," more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. Although this test has been used for more than 90 years, it is not completely accurate or sensitive.
Office blood pressure readings taken by a doctor are more likely to be higher than readings measured at home.
Doctors may ask some patients to use special ambulatory monitoring device for a 24-hour period. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that all patients with high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure at home on a regular basis. Take two or three readings at a sitting, 1 minute apart, while resting in a seated position. If blood pressure is elevated, the doctor will check the patient's pulse rate, examine the back of the eye, examine the neck for distended veins or an enlarged thyroid gland, check the heart for enlargement and murmurs, and examine the abdomen and check the leg pulses.
A family and personal medical history, especially incidence of high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including tobacco use, salt intake, obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Any symptom that might indicate so-called secondary hypertension (that is, caused by another disorder). If a physical examination indicates hypertension, additional tests may help determine whether it is secondary hypertension caused by another medical disorder) and whether organ damage is present. An exercise stress test may be needed for patients who also have symptoms of coronary artery disease.
An echocardiogram is needed when it would help the doctor decide whether to start treatment. A Doppler or duplex test may be performed to see whether one of the arteries supplying blood to the kidney is narrowed, a condition called renal artery stenosis. Hypertension is referred to as essential (primary) when the doctor is unable to identify a specific cause. Genes under intense study are those that regulate a group of hormones known collectively as the angiotensin-renin-aldosterone system. Studies suggest that some people with essential hypertension may inherit abnormalities of the sympathetic nervous system. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition or other factor (such as medications) that elevates blood pressure. Cold medicine decongestants containing pseudoephedrine can increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, although they appear to pose no danger for those with normal blood pressure. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) increase the risk for high blood pressure, particularly in women who are older than 35 years, obese, smokers, have strong family history of hypertension, or some combination of these factors. Compared to Caucasians and other ethnic groups, African-Americans are much more likely to have high blood pressure.
People with parents or other close relatives who have high blood pressure have an increased risk of developing it themselves.
Obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing halts briefly but repeatedly during sleep, is present in many patients with hypertension.
Risk of complications or rapid progression of hypertension become more likely in the presence of other risk factors, including significant elevation of blood pressure, increasing age , smoking, abnormal cholesterol, family history of premature heart disease, obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and other evidence of vascular disease. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for hypertensive heart disease, the leading cause of illness and death from high blood pressure. High blood pressure can injure the blood vessels in the eye's retina, causing a condition called retinopathy.
Sexual dysfunction is more common and more severe in men with hypertension and in smokers than it is in the general population.
Many women who are likely to develop hypertension when they are older have their first elevated blood pressure readings during pregnancy. Severe, sudden high blood pressure in pregnant women is one component of a condition called preeclampsia (commonly called toxemia) that can be very serious for both mother and child. The reduced supply of blood to the placenta can cause low birth weight and eye or brain damage in the fetus. In rare cases (fewer than 1% of all patients with hypertension), the blood pressure rises quickly (with diastolic pressure usually rising to 130 mm Hg or higher), resulting in malignant or accelerated hypertension.
It is not always clear when drugs should be started, particularly for people with prehypertension or mild high blood pressure.
Have at least one risk factor for heart disease* (excluding diabetes) but have no target organ damage (such as in the kidneys, eyes, or heart, or existing heart disease). Have diabetes with or without target organ damage and existing heart disease (with or without risk factors for heart disease).
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitorsreduce the production of angiotensin, a chemical that causes arteries to narrow. Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) block angiotensin, another chemical that constricts the arteries. Some patients are unable to meet target blood pressure goals despite consistently following a treatment plan that includes three or more medications. Children with high blood pressure should first be treated with lifestyle changes, including weight reduction, increased physical activity, and diet modification.
Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while reducing total and saturated fat intake.
The salt-restrictive DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is proven to help lower blood pressure, and may have additional benefits for preventing heart disease and stroke. A diet that is effective in lowering blood pressure is called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). Limit sodium (salt) intake to no more than 2,300 mg a day (a maximum intake of 1,500 mg a day is an even better goal). Reduce saturated fat to no more than 6% of daily calories and total fat to 27% of daily calories. Other daily nutrient goals in the DASH diet include limiting carbohydrates to 55% of daily calories and dietary cholesterol to 150 mg. Even modest weight loss in overweight people, particularly in the abdominal area, can immediately lower blood pressure. Regular exercise helps keep arteries elastic, even in older people, which in turn ensures blood flow and normal blood pressure.
High-intensity exercise may not lower blood pressure as effectively as moderate intensity exercise and may be dangerous in people with hypertension. Results of a major long-term study have suggested that diuretics work just as well as newer drugs in lowering blood pressure and are more effective in preventing heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Loop and thiazide diuretics reduce the body's supply of potassium, which, if left untreated, increases the risk for arrhythmias. Potassium-sparing drugs have their own risks, which include dangerously high levels of potassium in people with existing elevated levels of potassium or in those with damaged kidneys. These drugs can hide warning signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with diabetes.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors widen blood vessels and decrease the workload of the heart. Patients with heart failure or an enlarged left ventricle, previous heart attack, diabetes, or kidney disease are considered particularly good candidates for ACE inhibitors as part of treatment for high blood pressure. Aspirin is recommended for preventing death in patients with heart disease, and can safely be used in combination with ACE inhibitors, particularly at lower dosages of aspirin (75 - 81 mg). ACE inhibitors can increase potassium levels, particularly in patients with kidney disease. ACE inhibitors protect against kidney disease, but they may also increase potassium retention by the kidneys.
A rare but severe side effect is granulocytopenia, an extreme reduction in infection-fighting white blood cells.

In very rare cases, patients suffer a sudden and severe allergic reaction, called angioedema that causes swelling in the eyes and mouth and may close off the throat. Patients who have difficulty tolerating ACE inhibitor side effects are usually switched to an angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB). ARBs, also known as angiotensin II receptor antagonists, are similar to ACE inhibitors in their ability to widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Alpha blockers such as doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), and terazosin (Hytrin) help widen small blood vessels.
Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists' Collaboration, Turnbull F, Neal B, Ninomiya T, Algert C, Arima H, et al Effects of different regimens to lower blood pressure on major cardiovascular events in older and younger adults: meta-analysis of randomised trials. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
Plus, studies show a DASH meal plan can reduce blood pressure within 14 days for individuals with moderately high blood pressure. Low sodium diet plan is an exclusive diet plan, which intends to bring down your blood pressure, and save you from several other heart troubles by neutralizing your sodium or salt intake. The diet program being completely based on scientific facts and theories has no room for gimmicks. For instance, should you practice intense workouts on daily basis, your sodium consumption in a day should not be more than 3000 mg, and if you are victim of heart disease, you shall restrain your salt consumption to 2000 mg in a day. Since the plan offers healthy diet, you can go along with the plan to stay healthy and fit forever, even if you are not a victim of heart disease and your blood pressure too is normal. You just need to have little control on your taste buds, and you can beat your cravings for salty foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables being rich in several essential nutrients nourish your body better than any other food can.
If you are audacious enough to take the first step and skip the use of salt for three to four weeks, your cravings would naturally come under your control.
Taste the food and add only that much salt in prepared meals, which can make the food eatable for you. Although this diet is recommended primary for people diagnosed with hypertension or pre-hypertension, any person regardless of age could follow this diet plan to enhance the quality of life. DASH diet encourages dieters to increase consumption of magnesium, potassium and calcium – nutrients that can bring down the blood pressure level naturally. BackgroundHigh blood pressure, also called hypertension, is elevated pressure of the blood in the arteries. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries. Health dangers from blood pressure may vary among different age groups and depending on whether systolic or diastolic pressure (or both) is elevated.
The systolic pressure (the first and higher number) is the force that blood exerts on the artery walls as the heart contracts to pump out the blood. The diastolic pressure (the second and lower number) is the measurement of force as the heart relaxes to allow the blood to flow into the heart. Elevated systolic pressure may pose a significant danger for heart problems and stroke even when diastolic is normal -- a condition called isolated systolic hypertension. According to current adult guidelines, blood pressure is categorized as normal, prehypertensive, and hypertensive (which is further divided into Stage 1 and 2, according to severity).
Hypertension is defined as average systolic and diastolic readings that are greater than the 95th percentile for gender, age, and height on at least three occasions. For example, if systolic pressure is 165 (Stage 2) and diastolic is 92 (Stage 1), the patient would still be diagnosed with Stage 2 hypertension.
Measurements are given as units of mercury, which has filled the central column in standard sphygmomanometers for years.
The inflated cuff briefly interrupts the flow of blood in the artery, which then resumes as the cuff is slowly deflated. The cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to stop the flow of blood in your artery. This can be caused by "white coat hypertension," which is blood pressure that is only elevated during a doctor's office visit. The device checks blood pressure about every 15 - 30 minutes during the day and night and provides a read-out of blood pressure measurements for the doctor.
In addition to other benefits, home monitoring can help show if blood pressure medications are working.
Your arm should be supported, with the upper arm at heart level and feet on floor (back supported, legs uncrossed). Some people (particularly postmenopausal women) have a condition called nondipper hypertension, in which blood pressure does not fall at night. In people with severe high blood pressure, this is the highest risk period for heart attack and stroke.
Such symptoms include headache, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, muscle cramps or weakness, or excessive urination. These tests are performed to check for a number of factors, including potassium levels, cholesterol, blood sugar (to screen for diabetes), infection, kidney function, and other possible problems. Most of the time this test is not necessary for patients who have only hypertension and no other symptoms.
A number of genetic factors or interactions between genes play a major role in essential hypertension.
This system influences all aspects of blood pressure control, including blood vessel contraction, sodium and water balance, and cell development in the heart. This is the part of the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate, blood pressure, and the diameter of the blood vessels. Kidney disease is the most common cause of secondary hypertension, particularly in older people.
Coarctation of the aorta is a birth defect that causes narrowing of the aorta, the main artery of the heart. Adrenal tumors (pheochromocytoma, aldosteronism), thyroid disorders, and Cushing syndrome can all cause secondary hypertension. Many different prescription and over-the-counter drugs can temporarily raise blood pressure or worsen existing high blood pressure.
Risk FactorsDuring the last decade, the number of Americans with high blood pressure has increased by 30%. Blood pressure increases with age in both men and women, and, in fact, the lifetime risk for hypertension is nearly 90%. Even moderately obese adults have double the risk of hypertension than people with normal weights.
The relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension has been thought to be largely due to obesity, but studies are finding a higher rate of hypertension in people with sleep apnea regardless of their weight.
Eating too much salt (sodium) can increase the risk for developing high blood pressure in some people. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity can increase the risk of becoming overweight.
It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. High blood pressure contributes to the thickening of the blood vessel walls, which can cause or worsen atherosclerosis (accumulated deposits of cholesterol in the blood vessels). High blood pressure increases the risk for cardiac arrhythmias (disturbances and irregularities in heartbeats). Hypertensive people have up to 10 times the normal risk of stroke, depending on the severity of the blood pressure in the presence of other risk factors.
High blood pressure, and some of the medications used to treat it, can increase the risk for developing diabetes.
High blood pressure causes 30% of all cases of end-stage kidney disease (medically referred to as end-stage renal disease, or ESRD). Although older drugs used to treat hypertension caused erectile dysfunction as a side effect, more recent evidence suggests that the disease process that causes hypertension is itself the major cause of erectile dysfunction. Elevated blood pressure readings generally show up early in pregnancy, before 16 - 20 weeks.
Preeclampsia occurs in up to 10% of all pregnancies, usually in the third trimester of a first pregnancy, and resolves immediately after delivery. Severe cases of preeclampsia can cause kidney damage, convulsion, and coma in the mother and can be lethal to both mother and child. TreatmentPatients with hypertension should work with their doctors to set blood pressure goals based on individual risk factors. One of the most difficult issues that patients face, is that the treatment may make them feel worse than the disease, which usually has no symptoms. Patients whose blood pressure has been well-controlled and who are able to maintain a healthy life style may be able to withdraw from medications. Factors that contribute to resistant hypertension include older age (especially age 75 or older), high baseline blood pressure, and medical conditions such as obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.
If blood pressure is not controlled with lifestyle changes, drug treatment may be required. Many of these foods are rich in potassium, fiber, or both, possibly helping lower blood pressure. Some sodium (salt) is necessary for health, but the amount is vastly lower than that found in the average American diet. Dash, (which contain mixtures of potassium, sodium, and magnesium) are available, but they can be risky for people with kidney disease or those who take blood pressure medication that causes potassium retention.
However, people who take medications that limit the kidney's ability to excrete potassium, such as ACE inhibitors, dogixin or potassium-sparing diuretics, should not take potassium supplements and should be aware of excess potassium in their diet.
Weight loss, especially when accompanied by salt restriction, may allow patients with mild hypertension to safely reduce or go off medications.
Older people and those with uncontrolled hypertension or other serious medical conditions should check with their doctors before starting an exercise program. Even chronic, insufficient sleep may raise blood pressure in patients with hypertension, placing them at increased risk of heart disease and death. They are the mainstays of anti-hypertensive therapy and are often the first drug selected for most people with hypertension. These include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Hygroton), indapamide (Lozol), hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, HydroDiuril), bendroflumethiazide (Naturen), methylclothiazide, (Edduran), and metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn). Because loop diuretics act faster than other diuretics it is important to avoid dehydration and potassium loss.
They are usually used in combination with other drugs such as ACE inhibitors and diuretics.
Propranolol Propranolol (Inderal), acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Kerlone), carteolol (Cartrol), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), pindolol (Visken), carvedilol (Coreg), timolol (Blocadren), and nebivolol (Bystolic).
The sudden withdrawal of beta blockers can rapidly increase heart rate and blood pressure and potentially cause angina or heart attack. Non-selective beta blockers, such as carvedilol and propranolol, may sometimes narrow bronchial airways. ACE inhibitors include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), quinapril (Accupril), benazepril (Lotensin), ramipril (Altace), perindopril (Aceon), and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril). Women who become pregnant should change from ACE inhibitors to another type of blood pressure drug as soon as possible.
If potassium levels become extremely high, they can cause the heart to stop beating (cardiac arrest). They may have fewer or less-severe side effects than ACE inhibitors, especially coughing, and are sometimes prescribed as an alternative to ACE inhibitors. Losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar), olmesartan (Benicar) candesartan (Atacand), telmisartan (Micardis), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), and valsartan (Diovan). Along with diuretics, CCBs may work better than other drug classes for lowering blood pressure in African-Americans.
Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor), amlodipine (Norvasc), felodipine (Plendil), isradipine (DynaCirc), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), nisoldipine (Sular), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), lercanidipine (Zanidip), lacidipine (Motens), and nitrendipine (Nitrepin). They are generally not used as first-line drugs for high blood pressure, but are prescribed if other drugs do not work or as add-on medication.
Fasting glucose levels and incident diabetes mellitus in older nondiabetic adults randomized to receive 3 different classes of antihypertensive treatment: a report from the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT). Pre-eclampsia and risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer in later life: systematic review and meta-analysis. Joint effects of sodium and potassium intake on subsequent cardiovascular disease: the Trials of Hypertension Prevention follow-up study.
Incidence of cardiovascular events in white-coat, masked and sustained hypertension versus true normotension: a meta-analysis. Prepregnancy cardiovascular risk factors as predictors of pre-eclampsia: population based cohort study. Systematic review: comparative effectiveness of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers for treating essential hypertension. Call to action on use and reimbursement for home blood pressure monitoring: a joint scientific statement from the American Heart Association, American Society Of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. By understanding the best meal plan at your disposal you are better equipped to take the first step toward treating and reducing your risk for high blood pressure.

There is an overall eating plan with proven results - the "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)" Eating Plan. Picking foods according to these recommendations could contribute 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium and 2,300 mg of sodium to one's daily meal plan. Let’s have a look at some easy to follow eating habits which you can follow in your day to day life. Even when you go to restaurants for having your dinner, lunch or snacks, order separate onion, lettuce etc. Best thing you can do before going for shopping is, make a list of high sodium content items which can be replaced with low sodium items. If you wish to trim your salt consumption, you can try eating your meals without adding salt in them for some days. Practice eating your meals while cutting back the consumption of salt in foods like this, for several days.
You can add more water than is prescribed in the recipe for preparing these soups and can mix ample vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, celery, carrots etc. According to the lower sodium version of the DASH diet, people prone to hypertension should consume not more than 1,500mg of sodium each day.
According to the DASH diet, men should consume not more than two drinks a day and women should limit their daily alcohol intake to one drink a day. High systolic pressure is now known to be a greater risk factor than diastolic pressure for brain, heart, kidney, and circulatory complications and for death, particularly in middle-aged and elderly adults. Increasing rates of childhood obesity have led to increasing rates of hypertension and pre-hypertension among children and adolescents. A high systolic pressure compared to a normal or low diastolic pressure should be a major focus of concern in most adults. Patients should not smoke, exercise, or drink caffeinated beverages within 30 minutes before their blood pressure measurement. If the measurements are still elevated, your health care provider should take blood pressure readings from both arms.
As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery. Ambulatory monitoring may be used for patients who have borderline high blood pressure or for those who have had difficulty keeping their blood pressure under control.
Measuring blood levels of the protein creatinine, for example, is important for all hypertensive patients in order to determine kidney damage. Kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) is generally the cause of high blood pressure in people with diabetes. In addition to diabetic nephropathy, many other types of kidney diseases can cause hypertension. More than 73 million Americans age 20 years and older (1 in 3 adults) now have high blood pressure, and this condition affects close to 1 billion people worldwide.
Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for high blood pressure when they reach adulthood.
Similarly, a diet that is too low in potassium can make the body accumulate too much sodium. The end result is coronary artery disease (CAD), also called ischemic heart disease, which increases the risk for angina (chest pain), heart attack, stroke, and death. Arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, and ventricular tachycardia. Hypertension is also an important cause of so-called silent cerebral infarcts, or blockages, in the blood vessels in the brain (mini-strokes) that may predict major stroke or progress to dementia over time. There are strong biologic links between insulin resistance (with or without diabetes) and hypertension. Oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, such as sildenafil (Viagra), do not appear to pose a risk for most men who have both high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction.
Other symptoms and signs of preeclampsia include protein in the urine, severe headaches, and swollen ankles.
Women at risk for preeclampsia (particularly those with existing hypertension) are monitored carefully for its presence. People with uncontrolled hypertension or a history of heart failure are at increased risk for this crisis. Lifestyle changes are important for everyone, and patients should routinely monitor their blood pressure at home. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has created categories (groups A, B, and C) according to a patient's risk factors for heart disease. Each drug has specific benefits, but their effects may vary depending on the individual patient.
Whatever the difficulties, compliance with a drug and lifestyle program is worth the effort.
Results of studies evaluating outcomes of children with hypertension suggest that early abnormalities, including enlarged heart and abnormalities in the kidney and eyes, may occur even in children with mild hypertension.
Low-fat dairy products appear to be especially beneficial for lowering systolic blood pressure).
For people without risks for potassium excess, potassium-rich foods can help offset dietary salt intake.
Studies indicate that they may have specific benefits for many medical conditions, including heart disease and hypertension.
Studies have found that people who have sufficient dietary calcium have lower blood pressure than those who do not.
Stress hormone levels increase with sleeplessness, which can activate the sympathetic nervous system, a strong player in hypertension. They are also especially helpful for treating patients with heart failure, patients with isolated systolic hypertension, the elderly, and African-Americans. In most cases, thiazides are preferred to other diruetics for treatment of high blood pressure.
Loop diuretics include bumetanide (Bumex), furosemide (Lasix), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), and torsemide (Demadex). In these cases, doctors will prescribe lower doses of the current diuretic, recommend potassium supplements, or use potassium-sparing diuretics either alone or in combination with a thiazide.
Beta blockers are more likely to be used to treat hypertension in patients with angina, previous heart attack, arrhythmias with fast heart rates, or migraine headaches.
If you need to stop your beta blocker, the doctor may want you to slowly decrease the dose before stopping completely. Women of child-bearing age who are considering becoming pregnant should also discuss other medications with their doctors.
In general they are prescribed to patients who cannot tolerate or did not respond to ACE inhibitors. A combination medication containing candesartan and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (Diovan HCT, Atacand HCT) is also available. Recent research indicates that newer types of drugs (CCBs, ACE inhibitors) may be a better treatment option for some patients than older drugs (especially beta blockers). For patients who have both high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Caduet combines in one pill amlodipine and the statin drug atorvastatin.
Aliskiren can be taken either alone or in combination with other blood pressure medication.
Besides neutralizing sodium content of soups, these vegetables will enhance their nutrient content.
The wider the spread between the systolic and diastolic measurements, the greater the danger. The greater the difference between systolic and diastolic numbers, the stiffer and more injured the vessels are thought to be. The causes of essential hypertension are unknown but are based on complex processes in all major organs and systems, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, hormones, and the kidneys. Although more children are having high blood pressure, recent studies indicate that pediatric hypertension is frequently underdiagnosed.
Renal artery stenosis involves the narrowing of the renal artery and is usually caused by atherosclerosis. High blood pressure tends to start at a younger age among African-Americans, is often more severe, and causes greater risks for premature death from heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure.
ComplicationsHypertension places stress on several organs (called target organs), including the kidneys, eyes, and heart, causing them to deteriorate over time. As the heart pumps against elevated pressure in the blood vessels, the left ventricle becomes enlarged and the amount of blood pumped by the heart each minute (cardiac output) goes down, a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).
Patients with diabetes and hypertension need to be monitored very closely for the development of kidney disease.
However, men who have uncontrolled or unstable hypertension should not take erectile dysfunction pills. Applying these categories to the severity of hypertension helps determine whether lifestyle changes alone or medications are needed.
Patients should be sure to adhere to lifestyle changes (weight loss and dietary changes) and may require modifications to their drug regimens.
Children and adolescents with hypertension should be monitored and evaluated for any early organ damage. It is a good idea for everyone to restrict their salt intake to less than 2,300 mg (about 1 teaspoon) a day.
These foods include bananas, oranges, pears, prunes, cantaloupes, tomatoes, dried peas and beans, nuts, potatoes, and avocados. Patients who have chronic insomnia or other severe sleep disturbances (particularly sleep apnea) may want to consult a sleep expert.
Because of this risk, ACE inhibitors are not usually used in combination with potassium-sparing diuretics or potassium supplements.
Vasodilators include hydralazine (Apresoline), clonidine (Catapres), and Minoxidil (Loniten).
Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common form of hypertension in people older than age 50.
The first pumping sound your doctor hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure. Ambulatory monitoring can also be helpful for diagnosing children with suspected high blood pressure. Other types of kidney disease associated with hypertension are polycystic kidney disease and renal parenchymal disease. About 30% of patients with hypertension are not treated at all, and less than 50% have adequately controlled blood pressure. If current blood pressure drugs are causing uncomfortable side effects, the doctor may adjust dosages or combinations. The highest success rates are more likely in those who lose weight and reduce sodium intake, in patients who have been treated with a single drug, and in those who have maintained lower systolic blood pressure during treatment.
Patients with severe resistant hypertension should consider seeking a consultation with a doctor who specializes in treating high blood pressure. Some people over age 50, or who have high blood pressure, may need to reduce sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg daily. For people without risk factors for excess potassium levels, the recommended daily intake of potassium is 3,500 mg a day. Fatty acids are also available in supplements, but their long-term effects on blood pressure are unknown. The effects of extra calcium on blood pressure, however, are mixed, with some even showing higher pressure. Patients with hypertension who are habitually poor sleepers should consider long-acting blood pressure medications to help counteract the increase in blood pressure that occurs in the early morning hours. Some of these drugs should be used with caution or not at all in people who have angina or who have had a heart attack.
People over 75 years old may have more trouble than younger adults in maintaining normal blood pressure after withdrawal.
Lifestyle ChangesHealthy lifestyle changes are an important first step for lowering blood pressure. This lowering of blood pressure may also help protect against heart failure and heart disease.
Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. SymptomsHypertension has aptly been called the "silent killer" because it usually produces no symptoms. It is particularly important for anyone with risk factors to have their blood pressure checked regularly and to make appropriate lifestyle changes.
Such recommendations are especially important for individuals who have prehypertension or hypertension, a family history of hypertension, are overweight, or are over age 40.

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