5 Stages of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Motus Health Stroke Recovery Hypertension

Hypertension stages are also known as categories of High Blood Pressure.

Our article will cover different topics and all you need to know about your blood pressure. So, let’s get started! You can use the links below if you want to skip some parts of this blog.

  • What do the blood pressure readings mean?
  • Which number on the Blood pressure reading is more important?
  • What are considered healthy and unhealthy blood pressure ranges?
  • What are the stages of Blood pressure?
  • What are the subtypes of Hypertension?
  • What are the symptoms of Hypertension?
  • What are the leading causes of Hypertension?
  • How is Hypertension treated?
  • Why is the Blood Pressure reading expressed in mm/Hg?
  • Hypertension Conclusion

If you are a stroke survivor, or not, we promise that you will find some interesting facts you didn’t know before.

What do the blood pressure readings mean?

The only way you can check if you have Hypertension (high blood pressure), is to have your blood pressure tested. Understanding the results is the primary key to controlling hypertension. And it can help you to decide what are your next steps.

Your blood pressure results are shown as two numbers:

  • The first number is Systolic blood pressure. It measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. 
  • The second number is Diastolic blood pressure. And it measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between the beats.

Which number on the Blood pressure reading is more important?

So know that you know what the blood pressure readings mean. You are asking yourself which of those two numbers is more important to look out for. 

Mostly, you should keep an eye on systolic blood pressure. As it’s the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases for most people over the age of 50. Usually, this type of pressure rises over the years, due to the increase in stiffness of arteries, and buildup of plaque.

But you should know that an elevated state of either one of those two pressures is enough to get a diagnosis of hypertension. Studies confirmed that the risk of death from Ischemic heart disease and stroke is directly connected to the increase in them. Usually, that doubles with every 20 mm Hg for systolic or 10 mm Hg for diastolic pressure. 

What are considered healthy and unhealthy blood pressure ranges?

Let’s learn together what is considered healthy and unhealthy for your next blood pressure reading.

Blood Pressure Category Systolic pressure and/or Diastolic pressure

If your pressure is in the range of hypertensive crisis, we suggest that you consult with your doctor immediately.

Side note: A diagnosis of Hypertension must be done by a medical professional. He should also evaluate any unusually low-pressure readings.

What are the stages of blood pressure?

So based on the table chart above. We can see that we have 5 different blood pressure categories. So let’s start explaining each of them.

Normal Blood Pressure

Blood pressure readings are in the range of less than 120/80 mm Hg. This blood pressure is considered within the normal range. If your results fall under this category, we suggest sticking with healthy habits. Such as a balanced diet and getting regular daily exercise.

Elevated Blood Pressure

In this category, the blood pressure readings are 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic. People with this kind of pressure are more likely to develop hypertension unless it isn’t regularly controlled.

Hypertension Stage 1

This category is for blood pressures 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic. At this stage of hypertension, medical professionals are likely to take action. Such as prescription of lifestyle changes and may consider adding some medication. Blood pressure medication is based on your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke or heart attack.

Hypertension Stage 2

The blood pressure is consistent in ranges of 140/90 mm Hg or higher. At this stage of hypertension, doctors should take immediate action. Such as medication for hypertension regulations, and lifestyle changes.

Hypertensive emergency

A hypertensive emergency category requires direct medical attention. If your readings exceed 180/120 mm Hg, first wait 5 minutes and then do another blood pressure test. If your results are still unusually high, we advise you to contact your doctor immediately. Because you might be experiencing a hypertensive urgency.

If your blood pressure continues to stay above 180/120 and you start experiencing other symptoms. Such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, weakness, and difficulty speaking. Do not wait for your blood pressure drops down, contact your local ambulance. Because you are experiencing a hypertensive emergency.

What are the subtypes of Hypertension?

Besides the 4 stages of hypertension mentioned above. There are also 4 known subtypes of hypertension that are also closely related to them.

  • Resistant hypertension

This type of high blood pressure is usually very difficult to control, even with medication. That’s why it got its name. It usually affects around 10% of people that are already suffering from HBP. Most people are treated with a combination of medication, and by identifying the secondary cause. 

  • Malignant hypertension

Malignant hypertension is a life-threatening situation. Because it’s responsible for organ damage. It’s usually described as the most severe type, but it has the lowest prevalence rate on this list.

  • Hypertensive urgency

Briefly mentioned in the list above, when we were describing the general stages of high blood pressure. Usually, the blood pressure results are the same (above 180/120 mm Hg), but there aren’t any visible symptoms. Treatment is needed before it transforms into a hypertensive emergency.

  • Whitecoat hypertension

Usually thought to be harmless. But recent studies proved that is directly linked to the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The term is used to describe the temporary spikes in blood pressure. When you are feeling stressed or uncomfortable.

What are the symptoms of Hypertension?

Hypertension is also known by the name “silent killer”. Because more often than not, people don’t have any symptoms.

In rare cases, hypertension is followed by symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Facial flushing
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Blood spots in the eyes

What are the leading causes of Hypertension?

Different causes might be risk factors for developing hypertension:

  • Family history
  • People with African heritage are more likely to develop hypertension
  • Gender
    • Men are more likely to have a high blood pressure than women until the age of 64.
    • At the age of 65, women are more likely to suffer from hypertension than men.

Risk factors for hypertension that are prevented:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol intake
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Sneep apnea
  • Stress

How is Hypertension treated?

The first line of hypertension treatment is lifestyle changes:

  • Balanced diet
  • Reducing the salt intake
  • Regular exercise
  • Regulating your weight
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Stoping the tobacco use
  • Stress management
  • Adequate sleep
  • Taking the prescribed medication

The second line of high blood pressure treatment is taking medication prescribed by the medical professional.

Why is the Blood Pressure reading expressed in mm/Hg?

mm/Hg is an abbreviation for millimeters of mercury. You might ask yourself now, why mercury? It’s because mercury was used in the first accurate pressure gauges. And because of that, it’s still used as a standard unit of measurement for pressure in medicine today. 

Hypertension Conclusion

We think that our article has covered the main aspects and our suggestions on how to deal with hypertension. And before you go back to your scrolling, and doing more research about hypertension or other stroke-related facts. Feel free to look through our other blogs, and get to know our work at Motus Health and how our team tackles the problems of stroke recovery.

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