Trying to lower and stabilize high blood pressure is always a good idea, but not in every case. This practice might be harmful to older people. This is a very interesting conclusion that comes from a scientific study which involved more than 2000 senior citizens. The study was published on the Internet and you can find it in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Let’s be clear – high blood pressure is always risky when it comes to human health. Hypertension can damage the arteries located in our heart and kidneys and the final result can be devastating – heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke and many other life-threatening conditions. This is the reason why many scientists and doctors advise taking drastic measure to lower high blood pressure.
However, the recent findings have made people more aware of this condition and we can now say that there is no single approach that works for all people. In other words, following a practice that will enable us to control and regulate blood pressure when we are 40 won’t be effective in people that are over 80 years old.
How is Hypertension Diagnosed?
Taking notes about your blood pressure is one of the basic things that healthcare providers do. They measure this pressure and keep the records in order to compare them. The American Heart Association suggests that people should start regular blood pressure screening when they turn 20. Starting at this age they should screen their blood pressure when they have regular health care examinations and at least once every two years when their blood pressure is lower than 120 / 80 mmHg.
The blood pressure increases with every heartbeat and drops when the heart relaxes between these beats. The fact is that our blood pressure changes all the time because the heartbeat is different when we exercise, sleep, sit etc. However, the blood pressure should be less than 120 / 80 mmHg for people over the age of 20. According to some statistics, more than 30% of Americans that are older than 20 have high blood pressure.
In case you have blood pressure findings that are higher than normal your healthcare provider may ask you for few other examinations in a short period of time and in addition, they will advise you to monitor the blood pressure at home before they finally diagnosing you with hypertension.
Keep in mind that one high-pressure reading doesn’t mean that you are suffering from hypertension. But, in case the readings are permanent and you have blood pressure that is about 140/90 mmHg or higher, your health care provider will probably ask you to start following certain therapy. These therapies usually include specific changes in the lifestyle and certain medications.
In case you get a systolic reading that is higher than 180 mmHg and/or a diastolic reading that is above 110 mm HG, while checking the blood pressure, take a break (few minutes) and do it again. In case the reading is the same, you must ask for emergency medical assistance because you are in a hypertensive crisis. In case you can’t get emergency help, ask someone to drive you to the nearest hospital.
If your blood pressure is fine, this doesn’t mean that you can do and eat whatever you want. Make sure to prevent the occurrence of high blood pressure.