High Blood Pressure – Hypertension

Because WEB-MD slide show is difficult to read


What Is Hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition that will catch up with most people who live into older age. Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of the arteries. When it’s too high, it raises the heart’s workload and can cause serious damage to the arteries. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

Hypertension Symptoms

High blood pressure is sometimes called a silent killer because it may have no outward symptoms for years. In fact, one in five people with the condition don’t know they have it. Internally, it can quietly damage the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, and kidneys if left untreated. It’s a major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks in the U.S.

What Causes Hypertension?

Normal blood pressure readings will fall below 120/80, while higher results over time can indicate hypertension. In most cases, the underlying cause of hypertension is unknown. The top number (systolic) shows the pressure when the heart beats. The lower number (diastolic) measures pressure at rest between heartbeats, when the heart refills with blood. Occasionally, kidney or adrenal gland disease can lead to hypertension.

Prehypertension: A Warning Sign

Almost one-third of Americans have prehypertension. Their blood pressure is consistently just above the normal level — falling anywhere between 120 and 139 for systolic pressure or 80 to 89 for the diastolic pressure. People in this range have a higher risk of developing heart disease than those with a lower reading. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower your blood pressure.

The Hypertension Danger Zone

You have high blood pressure if readings average 140/90 or higher — for either number — though you may still have no symptoms. At 180/110 and higher, you may be having a hypertensive crisis. Rest for a few minutes and take your blood pressure again. If it is still very high, call 911. A hypertensive crisis can lead to a stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, or loss of consciousness. Symptoms of a hypertensive crisis can include a severe headache, anxiety, nosebleeds, and feeling short of breath.

Who Gets High Blood Pressure?

Up to the age of 45, more men have high blood pressure than women. It becomes more common for both men and women as they age, and more women have hypertension by the time they reach 65. You have a greater risk if a close family member has high blood pressure or if you are diabetic. About 60% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.

Hypertension and Race

African-Americans are more likely to develop hypertension — and to develop it at a younger age. Genetic research suggests that African-Americans seem to be more sensitive to salt. Diet and excessive weight can play a role, as well.

Hypertension and Sodium

Sodium, a major component of salt, can raise blood pressure by causing the body to retain fluid, which leads to a greater burden on the heart. The American Heart Association recommends eating less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. You’ll need to check food labels and menus carefully. Processed foods makes up the majority of our sodium intake. Canned soups and lunch meats are prime suspects.

Hypertension and Stress

Stress can make one’s blood pressure spike, but there’s no evidence that it causes high blood pressure as an ongoing condition. However, stress may affect risk factors for heart disease, so it may have an indirect connection to hypertension. Stress may lead to other unhealthy habits, such as a poor diet, alcohol use, or smoking, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Hypertension and Weight

Being overweight places a strain on the heart and increases your risk of high blood pressure. That is why diets to lower blood pressure are often also designed to control calories. They typically call for cutting fatty foods and added sugars, while increasing fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and fiber. Even losing 10 pounds can make a difference.

Hypertension and Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Guidelines from the American Heart Association state that if you drink alcohol, you should limit the amount to no more than two drinks a day for men, or one a day for women. They define a drink as one 12-ounce beer, four ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or one ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Hypertension and Caffeine

If caffeine can make you jittery, can it also raise your blood pressure? It might have a temporary effect, but studies haven’t shown any link between caffeine and the development of hypertension. You can safely drink one or two cups a day, according to the American Heart Association.

Hypertension and Pregnancy

Gestational hypertension is a kind of high blood pressure that occurs in the second half of pregnancy in women who have never experienced high blood pressure before. Without treatment, it may lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia that endangers both the mother and baby. The condition can limit blood and oxygen flow to the baby and can affect the mother’s kidneys and brain. After the baby is born, the mother’s blood pressure usually returns to its normal level.

Hypertension and Medicine

Cold and flu medicines that contain decongestants are one of several classes of medication that can cause blood pressure to rise. Others include NSAID pain relievers, steroids, diet pills, birth control pills, and some antidepressants. If you have high blood pressure, talk to you doctor about what drugs and supplements you are taking that may affect blood pressure.

‘White Coat’ Hypertension

Some people only have a high reading in the doctor’s office, perhaps because they’re nervous. Some will only have high blood pressure readings sporadically. Those people may have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure, a recent study shows. To get a more accurate reading, take your blood pressure at home, chart the readings, and share them with your doctor. It is also a good idea to bring your home monitor in for a check of the device and your technique.

Hypertension and Children

While hypertension is more often a problem for older people, even children can have high blood pressure. “Normal” blood pressure varies based on a child’s age, height, and sex, so your doctor will need to tell you if there is a concern. Children are at greater risk if they are overweight, have a family history of the illness and if they’re African-American.

Treatment: The DASH Diet

You may be able to lower your blood pressure by switching to a better diet. The DASH Diet — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — involves eating more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, and nuts. You should eat less red meat, saturated fats, and sweets. Reducing sodium in the diet can also have a significant effect.

Treatment: Exercise

Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure. Adults should get about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. That could include gardening, walking briskly, bicycling, or other aerobic exercise. Muscle-strengthening activities are recommended at least two days a week and should work all major muscle groups.

Treatment: Diuretics

Diuretics are often the first choice if diet and exercise changes aren’t enough. Also called “water pills,” they help the body shed excess sodium and water to lower blood pressure. That means you’ll urinate more often. Some diuretics may deplete the body’s potassium, causing muscle weakness, leg cramps, and fatigue. Some can increase blood sugar levels in diabetics. Erectile dysfunction is a less common side effect.

Treatment: Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers work by slowing the heart rate, which means that the heart doesn’t have to work as hard. They are also used to treat other heart conditions, such as an abnormal heart rate called arrhythmia. They may be prescribed along with other medications. Side effects can include insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and erectile dysfunction.

Treatment: ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors reduce the body’s supply of angiotensin II — a substance that makes blood vessels contract and narrow. The result is more relaxed, open (dilated) arteries, as well as lower blood pressure and less effort for the heart. Side effects can include a dry cough, skin rash, or dizziness, and high levels of potassium. Women should not become pregnant while taking an ACE inhibitor.

Treatment: ARBs

Instead of reducing the body’s supply of angiotensin II, these drugs block receptors for angiotensin — as if placing a shield over a lock. This blockade prevents the chemical’s artery-tightening effects, and lowers your blood pressure. ARBs can take several weeks to become fully effective. Possible side effects include dizziness, muscle cramps, insomnia, and high levels of potassium. Women should not become pregnant while taking this medication.

Treatment: Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers slow the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. Since calcium causes stronger heart contractions, these drugs ease the heart’s contraction and relax the blood vessels. They can cause dizziness, heart palpitations, swelling of the ankles, and constipation. Take them with food or milk and avoid grapefruit juice and alcohol because of possible interactions.

Treatment: Other Medications

Other medications that relax the blood vessels include vasodilators, alpha blockers, and central agonists. Side effects can include dizziness, a fast heart beat or heart palpitations, headaches, or diarrhea. Your doctor may suggest them if other blood pressure medications are not working well enough or if you have another condition.

Treatment: Complementary Therapies

Meditation can put the body into a state of deep rest, which can lower blood pressure. Yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing also help. These relaxation techniques should be combined with other lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Be aware that herbal therapies may conflict with other drugs you take, and some herbs actually raise blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you take herbal or other dietary supplements.

Living With High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often a life-long condition. It’s important to take your medications and continue to monitor your blood pressure. If you keep it under control, you can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.



Some Crumbs I found recently

here are some of the things that I have read about this week that I want to remember in my timeline here.

and now for some better news!

Jimmy Carter still working to make the world a better place. “I hope the last guinea worm dies before I do.” Jimmy Carter


wow wow wow, some people have too much time on there hands


and ha ha ha

and this seems a bit excessive.

A 26-year-old Turkish hacker named Onur Kopçak was sentenced Sunday to 135 years in prison for stealing 11 people’s credit card information and selling it to other cyber criminals.

With this new sentence approved by the Mersin third Criminal Court of General Jurisdiction and his previous 199-year sentence from 2013, Kopçak will serve a record 334 years in prison.

breadcrumbs I’ve followed

These are the articles I found interesting this week, hope you enjoy.

First on the list, one of my inspirations to get up off my rear end and do stuff, rather than sit in church and be complacent. Francis Chan. He points out how we in the American churches are strangely compelled to get comfortable in our pews, and not uncomfortable in the real world that Jesus called us out to be a part of. I know for me personally that this kind of thought process was how I lived for too many years. Please read the full interview, and please follow it up with the action that you are called to.

We are bombarded with messages urging comfort and safety. That’s what our flesh desires. We seek security through where we live or how much money we have in the bank. We’re so clouded by the world’s messages that we can’t see straight. We try to make American principles biblical principles. We’ve created a Christianized version of “the American dream.” We are tainted by the world, and it’s a fight every day not to conform.

People could read Crazy Love and for a moment say, “I want to live for eternity,” but they will hear contrary messages within a minute of putting the book down. Every day we’re pushed towards complacency and selfishness.


Next is an article on Theology, the author explains how his theology has grown though the years from I am right and you are wrong, into something more honest. I like the article as it really shows how many of us have changed in our beliefs, I however still cling that there can only be one right theology, and most of us will not fully understand it, as we are only human. Well worth reading.

…but there is another theology that I believe supersedes these – the theology of holistic reconciliation based on the life and words of Jesus who promoted love, grace, mercy and justice as the most critical components of our theology of the philanthropic God. When it comes to theology on issues, the most important theological question for me is “How does my theology of holistic reconciliation apply love, grace, mercy and justice to my theology on this issue that I have formed from my environment, noesis and experience?” And this, I hope, produces a more honest theology.

 Read Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here

Mock Drafts

With the NFL Free Agency starting this week, I am sick and tired of hearing all of the mock drafts, in the latest Mock draft Joe Montana is dropping to the third round, I guess this guy does not have what NFL GM and coaches are looking for in a NFL Quarterback. I mean give me a break! The mock draft has its place, but it is not now, it give only a small bit of insight in the week leading up to the actual NFL draft.

Try try again

You have heard that when you fail, try, try again.

Well here it goes again. Trying to blog up some things of interest.

Interesting articles that I have read and liked for various reasons.

Before I left to Honduras (on a mission trip) I started reading these blog posts from Red Letter Christians.

The first one I found was because of my love for missions, I found one about Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie). I enjoyed it and found that it related well with my beliefs, thoughts and convictions.

I have never been a writer, and want to be better at it then I am. I think I have grown quite a bit as a writer, but still have a ways to go.

I like the way that Bruce Schneier blogs, he puts up a one or two sentence summary of his thoughts and highlights a portion of the article that he is thinking is worth sharing. My Plan is to do similar once a week with as many articles as I find time to highlight.

wish me luck.



Moms Making Disciples

Should a mother focus primarily, or only, on discipling her children? Life can often be so demanding for a stay-at-home mom, for instance, that the thought of making disciples beyond her own children can seem like an insurmountable task. Maybe if there is only one child in the picture, but as soon as you have more than one, chaos sometimes does not even begin to describe the situation. Not to mention a home that takes time and attention. Is it even feasible for a mother to disciple someone outside of her own children in light of all of her other responsibilities?

These are questions that are being asked all the time, whether said, or unsaid. David and Francis give some biblical/practical principles through which to think, and a real life example to look to. Ultimately they help point us toward Jesus’ model of discipleship as the only sustainable way going forward.

via Moms Making Disciples.

The Real God relationship

The Real God relationship

While the beginning of a relationship is often filled with intense emotions and big dreams, a successful marriage is built on an enduring commitment that holds firm through all the thrills and disappointments of life. Even when we don’t feel in love, we continue to act out of love. Emotional intensity fades, but the relationship grows deeper.

This is grown-up love: Endurance that acts in hope and submits itself to not-knowing. Commitment that requires neither constant affirmation nor threat. Love beyond the crisis.


The post God Beyond the Crisis appeared first on Red Letter Christians.

Scott Walker: Wisconsin has created “just under 100,000” jobs since he took office.  

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin has created almost 100,000 jobs since he took office

Gov. Scott Walker’s top campaign promise was that the state would create 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term. Walker has made the vow in a variety of forums, including speeches, videos, and on his campaign and official websites. But the state’s progress in job creation was last in the nation in 2011 — and there have been no signs of a significant turnaround in 2012. During the 2012 recall election, Walker touted about 33,000 new jobs. So, where did a figure of …

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via Scott Walker: Wisconsin has created “just under 100,000” jobs since he took office.  .

The Lord’s Day and Discipleship

Thanks for this post, as a Sunday servant of the Lord, I sometimes lose my ability to attend church services. I was starting to wonder why I really needed to attend like I am bigger or better than those that should attend. (I am clearly not!)


Note from the editor: This article by James Harvey originally appeared here at Ligonier Ministries.


If you ask a Christian how to grow as a disciple, you may hear a wide range of suggestions: personal Bible study, one-on-one discipleship, small-group discipleship, men’s and women’s groups, attending conferences, campus ministries, community Bible studies, and so on. Within the past two decades, the Internet has grown to offer an abundance of additional resources. Audio and video presentations of sermons, seminary courses, and entire worship services are at our fingertips. We can all be grateful to God for these resources. To the degree that faithful, doctrinally sound study of God’s Word is taking place, all these endeavors will bear spiritual fruit. We are able to share in the gifts and graces of the church universal like never before.

A word of caution is in order, however. While God’s providence affords us unprecedented access…

View original post 763 more words

His Presence

I read this just this morning and it really hit me. I recall praying several times over the last few months to have God’s plan, His will, be done through us in the work we were doing. When we were finished I felt we were successful!

This morning I did a little reading in Exodus and saw this…

Exodus 33:15 “Then Moses said to him, ‘If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”

God promised Moses he would send his angel before them and guide them to their God-given destination. This is what Moses has been waiting for. This is a win. A huge win. He’s assuring Moses success, but Moses doesn’t want success. He wants God.

When I read this I felt like someone had hit me in the head with a shovel.  Far too often as a leader I make success my God. I make success the destination. I’m willing to make a lot of sacrifices, even some unhealthy ones, if it means achieving success.We’ve all sacrificed things for….

larger church attendance

more money

nicer car

corner office

bigger title

noticeable popularity

Moses reminds us that no amount of success, plans, or dreams are worth it if it means less of God’s presence in your life.

Just a few verses before in verse 11 it says “The Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend.” I think Moses had grown so accustomed to God’s presence that it became the most cherished and prized thing in his life. He couldn’t imagine going a moment without it.

Can I be honest? I’m not there… but I want to be. I want to get to that place. I want to get to the place where I want God and His presence in my life more than anything this world has to offer.

How would you feel if God promised you success and victory but without His presence? Have you experienced God’s presence so consistently you can’t live without it?

via His Presence.