La high minimum blood pressure it is the medical condition in which the diastolic pressure value constantly exceeds 90 mmHg.
Generally, the minimum high blood pressure falls within a context of hypertension, therefore in a state in which the systolic pressure is also constantly, and exceedingly, above the norm (therefore not only higher than 120 mmHg, but also 140 mmHg).
Brief review of the concept of blood pressure and high blood pressure
La blood pressure it is the force that the blood exerts against the walls of the blood vessels, as a result of the pumping action carried out by the heart.
Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and in the resting state, blood pressure is usually defined through the values of systolic pressure e diastolic pressure:
- systolic blood pressure (or Max pressure or "maxim”) Is the blood pressure when the heart contracts
- diastolic blood pressure (or minimum pressure or "minima”) Is the blood pressure when the heart is in the relaxation phase.
In a healthy individual, resting blood pressure can have systolic pressure values between 90 and 120 mmHg and diastolic pressure values between 60 and 80 mmHg.
According to the medical-scientific community, the optimal blood pressure at rest it is equal to or slightly less than 120 (p. systolic) / 80 (p. diastolic) mmHg.
The permanent rise, in a state of rest, of blood pressure beyond the value of 120/80 mmHg lays the foundation for talking about:
- Pre-hypertension, if blood pressure does not exceed 139/89 mmHg,
- Ipertensione o high pressure, if the arterial pressure more or less abundantly exceeds 139/89 mmHg.
If pre-hypertension is a wake-up call that something abnormal is present, high blood pressure is a clinically relevant medical condition, which - in the absence of adequate treatment - can escalate into complications (atherosclerosis first and foremost) serious and potentially fatal.
For further information: The best blood pressure monitor: the most efficient models
What is low blood pressure?
La high minimum blood pressure it is the condition in which the diastolic pressure at rest is constantly higher than the value of 90 mmHg, that is the pressure level for the "minimum" that marks the border between the state of pre-hypertension and the state of hypertension.
In other words, with the terminology "minimum high blood pressure" doctors refer to a state whose peculiarity is a particularly high resting diastolic pressure, greater than 90 mmHg.
As a rule, the minimum high blood pressure falls within a context of hypertension, therefore in a state in which the systolic pressure is also constantly and exceedingly higher than the norm (therefore not only higher than 120 mmHg, but also 140 mmHg).
Lowest high blood pressure can result from a state of essential hypertension or from a state of secondary hypertension.
- Essential hypertension is a hypertensive state that does not depend on a precise and well recognizable cause, but on one combination of factors, such as overweight, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, high salt intake in the diet, hereditary or family predisposition to hypertension, aging, hormonal imbalances of various kinds and depression
- Secondary hypertension is a hypertensive state at the origin of which there is one very specific condition / circumstance, which can be for example severe kidney disease, severe heart abnormality, hormonal disease (e.g. Cushing's syndrome, hyperthyroidism, etc.), diabetes, sleep apnea syndrome, pregnancy, the use of certain drugs ( e.g. corticosteroids, birth control pills, NSAIDs etc.), renal artery stenosis, alcohol abuse, drug use (e.g. cocaine, amphetamines etc.) or licorice abuse.
Therefore, from what has just been reported, it can be concluded that the causes of minimal high blood pressure are numerous and consist, in some cases, of several combined factors and, in other cases, of a single specific condition, which can be a disease, a particular condition or certain behavior.
Risk factors for low blood pressure
Overlapping with the risk factors for high blood pressure, the risk factors for minimal high blood pressure consist of:
- Old age. Aging is responsible for an inevitable hardening of the arterial vessels, which, among other effects, also involves an increase in blood pressure;
- Familial predisposition to hypertension;
- Belonging to the African, African-American and Caribbean population. Reliable medical studies believe that the predisposition of Africans, African Americans and Caribbean people to hypertension and low blood pressure has a genetic basis;
- Excess salt in the diet. The intake of salt in the diet begins to be dangerous for human health when it exceeds 6 grams per day;
- Sedentary lifestyle. A particularly sedentary lifestyle is often associated with overweight or obesity, two of the main risk factors for hypertension;
- Overweight and obesity. According to the most reliable estimates, one third of people with high blood pressure (and low blood pressure) are overweight or suffer from obesity.
Overweight and obesity affect blood pressure, elevating it, because they put strain on the heart;
- Regular consumption of large amounts of alcohol. Among alcoholics, hypertension and low blood pressure are two very common problems;
- Smoking and smoking in general. Tobacco smoke leads to an increase in blood pressure, because it contains substances with a vasoconstrictive effect and because it determines the formation of atherosclerotic plaques (NB: atherosclerosis is, at the same time, the cause and effect of hypertension);
- Frequent / constant use of certain drugs. The drugs in question include the aforementioned NSAIDs, corticosteroids and contraceptive pills, some antitussives, nasal decongestants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors;
- Insomnia and reduced number of hours devoted to night sleep;
- Presence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, certain kidney diseases or sleep apnea syndrome.
As you can see from this list, many of the risk factors for low blood pressure (as well as hypertension) are behaviors that are contrary to a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it is not surprising that one of the main prevention rules for low blood pressure (and hypertension) is to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms and complications
Together with the other alterations induced by hypertension, low blood pressure represents a subtle condition, as it almost never causes symptoms, but acts in the shadows, developing very serious complications and, sometimes, with fatal consequences.
When does high low blood pressure cause symptoms?
Low blood pressure causes symptoms when, in the context of hypertension, the diastolic pressure and systolic pressure rise sharply and exceed, respectively, the value of 110-120 mmHg and the value of 180 mmHg.
In medicine, when blood pressure reaches the aforementioned minimum pressure and maximum pressure levels, it is referred to as hypertensive crisis.
Possible symptoms of hypertensive crises consist of:
- Sudden, throbbing headache affecting the whole head;
- Feeling heavy-headed
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Cold sweats
- Dyspnea and heartbeat;
- Sense of overwhelming anxiety;
- Nausea and vomit;
- Vision problems (blurred vision, sparkling phosphenes, punctate amaurosis, etc.).
The persistence of the minimum high blood pressure, and of the hypertensive state to which it is generally associated, involves deep damage to the blood vessels. Mainly identified in atherosclerosis, this deep vascular damage has negative repercussions on the blood supply of the body's organs, which, precisely because of a lower blood supply, are themselves victims of damage.
Among the various organs of the body, those that are most affected by the prolonged presence of high minimum blood pressure and the resulting atherosclerosis are:
- Heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular system).
At the heart level, the main problems are: myocardial infarction (o heart attack) is heart failure (o heart failure).
On the vascular level, however, the most common complications are: aortic dissection (o aortic dissection), formation of aneurysms e peripheral arteriopathy.
In the brain, the prolonged presence of minimal high blood pressure significantly increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and induces the stenosis (i.e. the narrowing) of the arterial vessels of the brain, a phenomenon that favors the development of a form of dementia known as vascular dementia.
The kidneys are subject to a loss of function, because the high minimum blood pressure and the hypertensive state it accompanies determine, in the long term, a narrowing of the renal arteries (so less blood flows to the kidneys) and a damage to kidney structures fundamental, such as glomeruli, tubules, etc.
At the ocular level, the prolonged alteration of blood pressure levels causes the stenosis of the arteries that supply the retina with blood; with less blood, the retina develops damage, which is responsible for vision problems and visual impairment.
- Organs of the reproductive system.
Men with low blood pressure tend to suffer from erectile dysfunction, while women with minimal high blood pressure are subject to a certain decreased libido.
The low minimum blood pressure and the hypertensive state which generally accompanies it are easily diagnosed through the simple measurement of blood pressure, by means of sphygmomanometer.
However, an accurate diagnosis of high minimum blood pressure (and hypertension) cannot be limited to the simple observation of elevated blood pressure at rest, but must also focus on the research of the triggering causes and on the characteristics of the problem in progress. This explains why doctors, when faced with a case of high minimum blood pressure, subject the patient to an accurate physical examination and to a precise one anamnesi, sometimes even prescribing:
- Blood tests;
- Urine tests;
- Un electrocardiogram, for an echocardiogram it's a stress test;
- Radiological examinations, such as chest CT scan or chest X-ray;
- Un pressure holter.
Why research the causes of low blood pressure?
The identification of the causes and factors favoring the minimum high blood pressure is important, because it allows the planning of the most appropriate therapy.
High minimum pressure: the best tools for monitoring
Keeping blood pressure under control is a good habit, since a wide range of factors affect its values and it is important to check that it is not subject to fluctuations. For several years now, i blood pressure gauges portable, which you can keep on hand and ready to use in case a measurement is required. Here are some of the most popular products that can be purchased online.
Among blood pressure monitors, it is particularly successful on Amazon OMRON X2 Basic, which offers an oscillometric method of blood pressure measurement with the support of a cuff, which allows you to check your blood pressure from the comfort of your home. Easy to use, it allows monitoring of blood pressure at home with reliable, accurate results and with the detection of irregular heartbeats. For accurate home monitoring, X2 Basic measures blood pressure by detecting blood movement in the brachial artery thanks to the 22-32cm cuff.
Sanitas SBM 21 is an upper arm blood pressure monitor that classifies the results with a colored scale, detects the heart rhythm and warns in case of possible arrhythmia. It is equipped with a large LCD display with date and time, automatic stop device. This product is particularly appreciated for its cost-effectiveness: it is intended for arm circumferences of 22 - 36 cm and comes with a practical carrying case.
Il HOMIEE blood pressure monitor has a 5 "backlit LCD sphygmomanometer, which offers a clear display of all measured values on a large screen, including date and time display, which is particularly easy to read for the elderly. Up to 180 readings can be recorded: the cuff size is 22-42cm, suitable for different arm circumferences. Two power options: Comes with 4 AAA batteries, which can be powered via the Type-C interface, although the charging cable is not included If no operation is performed, the machine will automatically turn off after three minutes.
The therapy of the minimum high blood pressure and the typically associated hypertensive state is based on the important goal of bringing the maximum and minimum pressure levels back to normal.
To achieve this, the following are essential:
- Respect for DASH diet;
- The reduction, in case of overweight or obesity, and the maintenance of body weight within the limits considered normal;
- Regular practice of physical exercise;
- Avoid all those bad behaviors that induce the pathological rise in blood pressure;
- Undergo antihypertensive drug therapies, if the aforementioned treatments are insufficient or the blood pressure increase is very high;
- Undergo appropriate causal therapy if the hypertension condition is secondary.
The DASH diet is a dietary regimen designed specifically for people with high blood pressure levels (therefore also for those with minimal high blood pressure).
The cornerstones of the DASH diet are diverse and include:
- The invitation to consume a lot of fruit and vegetables, because these are foods rich in dietary fiber;
- The invitation not to consume more than 5-6 grams of salt per day;
- The abolition of the addition of salt to food;
- The reduction of saturated fat intake to less than 7% of total daily calories;
- The abolition of the consumption of foods preserved by means of table salt;
- The recommendation to prefer low-fat milk and dairy products;
- The consumption of pasta and whole grains, instead of pasta and refined grains, due to the higher fiber content of the former;
- Consumption of fish 2 to 3 times a week.
A dietary approach based on the principles of the DASH diet, in addition to ensuring control of blood pressure, also favors the reduction of excess fat.
To learn more about the DASH diet: Example DASH diet
Reduction of body weight
For patients with low blood pressure, hypertension and weight problems (overweight or obesity), doctors recommend achieving and maintaining a body mass index (BMI o BMI) between 18,5 and 24,9 kg / m2 (normal weight), as this is of enormous benefit to health. In fact, medical-scientific studies have shown that:
- Every 10 kg lost, obviously by an obese and hypertensive person, benefits from a drop in blood pressure, both in the maximum and minimum values, oscillating between 5 and 20 mmHg;
- Each kg lost by a person with a need to lose weight lowers their blood pressure by 1 mmHg.
Maintaining a normal weight condition is important for keeping blood pressure under control and avoiding increases.
For patients with a need to reduce blood pressure, doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity (i.e. brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling) at least 5 times a week.
Behaviors to avoid
In the presence of low blood pressure, it is essential to avoid three bad habits: smoking, abusing alcohol (also one of the key points of the DASH diet) and sleeping a few hours a night.
There are several drugs with the ability to reduce blood pressure, both in minimum and maximum values. The drugs in question include:
- Diuretics, such as the so-called thiazide diuretics, chlorthalidone and indapamide;
- Beta blockers;
- Calcium channel blockers;
- Inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system (or ACE inhibitors);
- Direct-acting vasodilators;
- Angiotensin II receptor antagonists (or sartans);
- Medicines for the so-called hypertensive emergency.
Causal Therapy Example
In a context of minimal high blood pressure due to secondary hypertension, causal therapy - that is, the treatment of the triggering cause - is a cornerstone of the therapeutic plan, which is added to all the other treatments described above.
An example of causal therapy is the administration of synthetic thyroid hormones in the presence of hypertension due to hypothyroidism.
Other useful treatments: stress control
Patients with low blood pressure and hypertension can benefit from relaxation techniques, such as yoga, which teach them to control stressful situations.
Learning to control stress is important, especially when stress contributes to the pathological rise in blood pressure.
The low minimum blood pressure and the hypertensive state it accompanies constitute a very dangerous condition, the lack of treatment of which drastically increases the risk of developing complications with lethal consequences (eg: heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, etc.).
Minimizing salt consumption, maintaining normal body weight, regularly practicing aerobic physical activity, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and adopting a diet rich in fruit and vegetables are the main recommendations of doctors, when the topic of discussion is the prevention of minimal high blood pressure and, more generally, hypertension.