Prehypertension

1 What is Prehypertension?

Prehypertension is the slightly elevated blood pressure and usually this will turn onto a high blood pressure (hypertension) if you do not make lifestyle changes such as eating healthier foods and regularly exercising.

This can lead to heart failure, heart attack and stroke. There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading. The upper number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure) and the lower measures the pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure).

In prehypertsnsion, the diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg and systolic pressure form 120 to 139 mm Hg.

To control your prehypertension you must need to make lifestyle changes such as exercising.

2 Symptoms

There are no signs and symptoms associated with prehypertension.

Keeping track of your blood pressure is the only way to detect if you have prehypertension.

You can ask your doctor to check it every two years starting at age 18 or you can do this at home with a blood pressure monitoring device.

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3 Causes

Sometimes an underlying condition or atherosclerosis causes prehypertension.

The possible causes or conditions that can lead to prehypertension are:

  • obstructive sleep apnea,
  • atherosclerosis,
  • adrenal disease,
  • kidney disease,
  • thyroid disease,
  • certain medications such as cold remedies,
  • birth control pills and pain relievers,
  • and illegal drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine.

4 Making a Diagnosis

To diagnose prehypertension, you'll have a blood pressure test.

Consult a physician if you think you have a hypertension.

Try to avoid caffeine before your visit to the clinic and use the toilet before he measures your blood pressure.

Bring the list of medications, supplements and vitamins that you are taking because some drugs can cause blood pressure to rise so your doctor can check it. Tell your doctor if you had shortness of breath or chest pain and if you have a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, heart disease or the recent changes and major stresses in your life.

Some of the questions that you can ask your doctor include

  • What tests do I need?
  • What medications do I need?
  • Are there any restrictions to food and physical activity?
  • How often should I have my blood pressure check?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • What websites do you recommend visiting?

Your doctor will also ask you questions such as

  • Do you have a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease or high cholesterol?
  • What are your exercise habits?
  • What is your diet?
  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • Do you smoke?
  • When did you last check your blood pressure?
  • What is the measurement?

To avoid hypertension, have a healthy lifestyle like

  • eating healthy foods,
  • avoid smoking
  • and exercise regularly.

There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading. The upper number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure) and the lower measures the pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure). If it is below 120/80 mm Hg it is considered normal. Other blood pressure measurements are categorized as:

Prehypertension

a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg or a systolic pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg;

  • stage 1 hypertension – a systolic pressure of 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure of 90 to 99 mm Hg;
  • stage 2 hypertension – a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher, or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.

The basis of prehypertension is the average of two or more blood pressure readings that will be taken on separate occasions because blood pressure tends to fluctuate and it should be measured in both arms. An ambulatory blood pressure monitoring will be recommended by your doctor. This will test your blood pressure at regular intervals of 24-hour period and can provide more accurate measurement but this device is not available in all hospitals.

5 Treatment

Lifestyle changes and blood pressure medication are the main treatments for prehypertension.

Some of the lifestyle changes are:

  • eating a healthy and low-salt diet;
  • maintaining a healthy weight;
  • exercising regularly;
  • if you are overweight, you need to lose weight;
  • suit smoking;
  • limit the amount of alcohol intake.

6 Prevention

You can prevent high blood pressure by making a lifestyle changes just like in prehypertension such as:

  • limit your salt intake;
  • eat healthy foods;
  • stay physically active;
  • maintain a healthy weight;
  • avoid smoking;
  • and limit your alcohol intake.

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies will be based upon the cause of prehypertension.

Prehypertension or a raise in your blood pressure is a sign of an underlying disorder.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Follow some of these healthy lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of prehypertension or cardiovascular disease:

Eat healthy foods

Eat:

  • vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • poultry,
  • fish,
  • whole grain,
  • and low-fat dairy foods

or you can try the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH. Eat less trans fat and saturated fat and get plenty of potassium;

Maintain a healthy weight

You can also lose weight if you are obese or overweight losing 5 pounds;

Use less salt

Limit your sodium less than 2,300 mg a day according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 1,500 mg a day of salt for people who are 51 years of age or older and those who have diabetes or chronic kidney disease is recommended. You should also check the amount of salt in the processed foods that you are buying;

Increase physical activity

Exercising regularly to manage stress and lower blood pressure. At least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity is recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services;

Do not smoke

The arteries in your body will be hardened and will injure the blood vessel wall;

Limit your alcohol intake

Only one drink a day for men older than 65 and women of all ages, and two drinks a day for men 65 and younger;

Manage your stress

You should know how to cope with stress, have coping techniques such as muscle relaxation or meditation, and get plenty of sleep. 

9 Risks and Complications

The risk factors for prehypertension include:

  • age – younger adults are common to get this than older adults because older adults have progressed to high blood pressure,
  • obese or overweight – the greater your body mass, the more you need blood to supply nutrients and oxygen,
  • race – this is mostly common in blacks that will develop in their early age,
  • sex – mostly common in men than women. Women will develop high blood pressure when they reach the age of 65 and men at the age of 45,
  • if you are not active – this can increase your risk of being overweight,
  • if you have a family history of high blood pressure – mostly if you have a first degree relative because this tends to run in families,
  • if you have a low potassium or have a diet high in salt – you are most likely to develop prehypertension,
  • use of tobacco – chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes or even being a second hand smoke can increase your blood pressure,
  • too much alcohol intake - only one drink a day for men older than 65 and women of all ages, and two drinks a day for men 65 and younger, one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 liquor,
  • certain chronic conditions – such as diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea. If a child has high blood pressure, it is because of the problems in the heart or kidney or poor lifestyle habits such as lack of exercise and unhealthy diet.

Prehypertension does not have complications. It will just develop to high blood pressure or hypertension. You have to make healthy lifestyle habits if you are diagnosed with prehypertension or if you have other conditions such as diabetes. If you do not manage your high blood pressure, it can lead to stroke, heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure and aneurysms.

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