What Should You Know About Stroke Level Blood Pressure?

May 19, 2022

Blood Pressure and Hypertension

What Should You Know About Stroke Level Blood Pressure?

While stroke occurs due to reduced or interrupted blood supply to the brain, high blood pressure can also cause it. Hypertensive crisis or extremely high blood pressure (above 180/120 mmHg) can weaken arteries and damage blood vessels in the brain, increasing the risk of stroke.

Hypertensive Crisis Is Divided into Two Categories

1. Hypertensive Urgency 

In this case, your blood pressure stays high without causing any damage to your organs.

2. Hypertensive Emergency 

It is characterized by extremely high blood pressure that damages your organs. This stage can lead to life-threatening complications; thus, it requires immediate medical attention.

Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hypertensive crisis.

See Also: Understanding Blood Pressure and Hypertension

Causes of a Hypertensive Crisis

There are several hypertension causes, which include:

  • Not taking blood pressure medication
  • Heart attack or heart failure
  • Rupture of the aorta (main artery)
  • Kidney failure
  • Interaction between medications
  • Convulsions during pregnancy (eclampsia)

Symptoms of a Hypertensive Crisis

  • Severe chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Severe anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Nosebleed
  • Blood spots in eyes
  • Blood in the urine

When Should You See a Doctor?

If your blood pressure reads 180/120 mmHg with no associated symptoms, wait for five minutes and take the readings again. If the reading is the same again, you must visit a doctor immediately as this high blood pressure range can be dangerous for your health.

Treatment Options for High Blood Pressure

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or both, depending on the stage and severity of your blood pressure, which include:

Prehypertension (Blood Pressure between 120/80 mmHg and 130/80 mmHg)

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, etc. Medication is typically not recommended at this stage.

Stage I Hypertension (Blood Pressure above 130/80 mmHg and below 140/90 mmHg)

Your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication along with recommending lifestyle changes.

Stage II Hypertension (Blood Pressure Above 140/90 mmHg)

Your doctor may recommend strict lifestyle changes and prescribe rigorous medications, including:

  •  Beta-Blockers:  Reduce stress on the blood vessels and heart.
  •  Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors or Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers:  Relax blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. 
  • Water Pills or Diuretics: Help kidneys remove salt (sodium) from the body, so blood vessels do not have to hold much fluid, and hence normal blood pressure (120/80 mmHg) can be maintained.
  • Vasodilators: relax muscles in the blood vessel walls.
  • Alpha-Blockers: Relax blood vessels to reduce blood pressure.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: Reduce the amount of calcium entering the cells to relax blood vessels.
  • Renin Inhibitors: Reduce the number of angiotensin precursors to relax blood vessels.
  • Centrally Acting Drugs: Send signals to the nervous systems and the brain to relax blood vessels.

See Also: When to Know It’s Time to Consult a Nephrologist

How to Prevent High Blood Pressure?

Follow these lifestyle tips to lower your blood pressure:

1. Eat Healthily

Follow a diet containing healthy foods, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Foods high in protein, calcium, potassium, and magnesium

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

You can lower 5-20 points of your systolic blood pressure (the first number in your blood pressure reading) for every 20 pounds you lose. Therefore, if you are obese, engage in activities that help you lose weight.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercising at least 30 minutes a day can help you reduce your cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight. You can start with simple exercises, like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.

4. Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Consuming sodium-rich foods is the leading cause of high blood pressure, so keep your sodium intake levels under 2,400 milligrams. If you have hypertension, your sodium intake level should be under 1,500 milligrams. Avoid processed food items that contain high salt. You should also eat potassium-rich foods that help remove sodium from the body.

5. Lower Your Stress

Stress can increase your blood pressure. Therefore, practice stress-relieving activities like meditation and yoga.

6. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

One alcoholic drink a day (for women) or two drinks (for men) is recommended. Exceeding that limit will make you susceptible to high blood pressure.

7. Quit Smoking

Smoking not only damages your lungs but also increases your blood pressure, so quit smoking.

8. Take Prescribe Medications

If you have hypertension and your doctor has prescribed medication for that, it is important to take it on time and as prescribed rather than skipping or taking too much at once.

9. Get Plenty of Sleep

Your blood pressure stays low or normal while sleeping. Therefore, if you don’t get enough sleep, it may remain high for longer, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Seek immediate medical attention if your blood pressure increases significantly. Untreated high blood pressure can cause serious health complications. Hospitalization for hypertensive crisis treatment may include administering oral or intravenous medications.

Are you or your loved ones suffering from high blood pressure and are looking for a nephrology specialist in Indianapolis, IN? If yes, contact us today at Kidney Physicians of Indiana. We have the best kidney specialists on board to treat your kidney issues.

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