Tagged: blood pressure control


“I’m sweating a lot these days. I’m losing my temper in no time. Perhaps my BP needs to be checked”!
These are common notions and you must have experienced such thoughts at some point of time or the other. BP (blood pressure) checking is one of the first steps taken by your doctor while he or she examines you for some health complaints that you have made! Before discussing the common and the lesser-known causes of abnormally high blood pressure, let’s start with what blood pressure (BP) is?

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the flowing blood on the walls of the arteries. The numbers look like a fraction where the ‘numerator’ figure is known as systolic pressure and the ‘denominator’ figure called the diastolic pressure. What do these numbers denote?

The systolic pressure is a higher figure and is a measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heartbeats, the diastolic one is when the heart rests in between two beats. Normal blood pressure reads – 120/80mmHg. A figure that is abnormally and consistently higher than this denotes hypertension (or high blood pressure).

Normally, a patient with high blood pressure is advised to consume fewer amounts of sugar, kept on medication, and sometimes prescribed to take low cholesterol foods (if cholesterol on the artery walls increases the pressure). However, some lesser-known factors might lead to Hypertension. They have been elucidated here in this article.

Some lesser-known causes of Hypertension

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Years of repeated interrupted breathing causes the nervous system to release certain chemicals that consequently raises the blood pressure. Interrupted breathing also results in lesser oxygen in the body that adversely affects the blood vessel walls!

Low potassium profile
Our kidneys are responsible for maintaining a balance of sodium and potassium in our bodies. Suppose, you are on a low-salt diet and you rest assured that the blood pressure level in your body will remain unaffected. That's not the case! You could still have high blood pressure if there is an insufficient intake of fruits, veggies, fish, and dairy. Bananas, broccoli, spinach, etc. are good sources of potassium.

The use of NSAID
NSAIDs are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen and other pain killers used in large quantities and over longer periods often damages kidney functioning. Like I already said, your kidneys are responsible for maintaining the sodium balance. This balance keeps the functioning of the blood vessels intact. When the balance is disrupted some amount of vasoconstriction could possibly raise the BP of your body.

Anxiety or the “doctor’s chamber” effect
A rise of up to 10 points for systolic and 5 points for diastolic pressure is a common phenomenon when the patient is inside the doctor’s chamber and is being examined. This is simply due to the anxiety that makes the blood run faster through the vessels. This raises both the pulse and the BP!

The use of decongestants
Decongestants squeeze the blood vessels. When the same amount of blood has to pass through a narrower passage, blood pressure is raised. Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are drugs that are responsible for such a condition. Sinus and congestion problems due to cold have other over-the-counter solutions for high BP individuals.

Lack of water supply to the cells of your body results in tightening up the blood vessels. That raises your BP. Why does this happen? Actually, the brain sends some signals to the pituitary gland to release certain hormones. This chemical results in the shrinking of the vessels. The kidneys release a lesser amount of pee to retain the remaining water that the body possesses. This again triggers the vessels of the heart to squeeze more!

The list is quite a long one - Overuse of antidepressants, consumption of too much sugar, and several other factors may be responsible for a raised blood pressure level!
However here is a quick read on common FAQs about Sphygmomanometers


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  • Diabetes is closely associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Heart attack and stroke cause premature death in people with diabetes
  • People living with type-2 diabetes can prevent or slow the onset of CVD
  • Lower CVD risk by exercising, eating healthily, controlling your weight, and giving up smoking
Diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Diabetes is treatable, but people with diabetes have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) than people who do not have diabetes. Indeed, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. The reason for this is because people with diabetes, particularly type-2 diabetes (T2DM), may have specific conditions that contribute to their risk of developing CVD. These include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides, obesity, physical inactivity, high and poorly controlled blood sugars, and smoking.

Keeping your diabetes under control by managing the risk factors will help protect your heart health. Most people with T2DM are prone to accelerated atherosclerosis, and could ultimately die of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many will die prematurely. Overall, the incidence of CVD is declining, but for people with diabetes it is increasing.

Much of diabetes care is the prevention of CVD by modifying blood pressure, blood glucose, and lipids, and this involves both medical therapies, and lifestyle changes, as Dr Roni Sharvanu SahaConsultant in Acute Medicine, Diabetes and Endocrinology at St George's Hospital, London, explains:

Blood pressure and glycaemic control

Blood pressure and glycaemic control often require multiple drug therapies, which are less likely to produce side effects than a signal agent. Glycaemic control is important for controlling both macro and micro vascular disease. The former includes myocardial infarction and stroke; the prime causes of excess mortality in diabetes. Preventing microvascular complications is important to reduce the risk of retinopathy, and nephropathy. 
Insulin therapy

Increasing numbers of people with T2DM are using insulin therapy to achieve tight glycaemic control. The challenge is to reconcile reduced HbA1c with the risk of hypoglycaemia. There is an important debate between tight and adequate glycaemic control.  A 2014 Australian study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that there is no evidence that tight glucose control leads to long-term benefits with respect to mortality or macrovascular events. 
Antihypertensive medication
The majority of people with T2DM whose blood pressure is not within the 140/80-range will require antihypertensive medication, which is usually an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. If the target blood pressure is not achieved, a calcium channel blocker or diuretic can be taken in combination. ACE inhibitors are inappropriate for pregnant women, and may be a less effective alternative for those of Afro Caribbean descent where a calcium channel blocker may be more effective.
Lipid lowering
Lipids are fat-like substances in the blood, and cholesterol is one type of lipid. In order for lipids to travel in the blood they must be coated with protein: lipoprotein. Excess cholesterol is detected by measuring lipoprotein. High cholesterol is a major controllable risk factor for CVD. As blood cholesterol rises, so does the risk of CVD. Recommended targets for cholesterol lowering in diabetes are total cholesterol bad cholesterol,

People with high cholesterol may be prescribed a statin, which is a group of medications that can lower bad cholesterol, and thereby reduce the risk of CVD, as Professor Olaf Wendler,Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at King’s College Hospital and  Professor of Cardiac Surgery at King’s College London explains :

However, high cholesterol is just one risk, and statins are usually offered to people who have been diagnosed with a form of CVD, or whose personal and family medical histories suggest they are likely to develop CVD at some point over the next 10 years.
Side effects

Statins are tablets to be taken at the same time once a day, and in most cases, will need to continue for life, as stopping the medication will cause high cholesterol levels to return within a few weeks.
There are significant risks associated with mixing statins and grapefruit, which include muscle breakdown, liver damage and kidney failure. Statins also carry other risks, such as digestive problems, increased blood sugar and neurological side effects, including confusion and memory loss.

In addition to drugs, people with T2DM experiencing hypertension, and high cholesterol are encouraged to eat a healthy diet low in saturated fats, exercise regularly, stop smoking, and reduce salt and alcohol. Smoking is particularly harmful for people with diabetes since it increases the risk of macrovascular disease and microvascular complications.

Diabetes is closely associated with CVD. Heart attack and stroke are the major causes of premature death in people with diabetes. With the rising prevalence of diabetes, especially in developed countries, the double jeopardy of diabetes and CVD is set to result in an explosion unless preventive action is taken.
Managing T2DM involves a combination of drugs and lifestyle. Self-management is enhanced by increased knowledge of the condition. People living with T2DM can either prevent or slow the onset of CVD by increasing their physical exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet, controlling their weight, and giving up smoking.
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