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4 Practices that May Be Increasing Your Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association highlights the little-known habits that raise blood pressure.

4 Practices that May Be Increasing Your Blood Pressure

Did you know that almost half of American adults have elevated blood pressure? YES, it’s true and it’s important for everybody to understand that certain common habits may affect blood pressure and make the condition more challenging to control.

That’s the reason American Heart Association is offering healthcare providers quick reference tools to use in guiding their patients in discovering hidden “BP raisers” in plain sight:

  1. Improper measurement

Blood pressure taking mistakes can result in false high readings. If at all possible, patients will follow up in-office measurements with regular checks in their homes to rule out “white coat hypertension,” which happens because of anxiety in a clinic setting. In both place, patients should be requested to prepare for a blood pressure measurement and reading by emptying their bladder, staying away from cigarettes or caffeine for 30 minutes before the measurement, and sitting put and quietly for a few minutes before taking a reading. In the course of the test, a patient should rest their arm when being measured on a surface that’s chest level, with feet placed flat on the floor, and without talking.

  1. Over-the-counter medications

Common pain medications called NSAIDs, for example, naproxen and ibuprofen can increase blood pressure. Mind what you use to treat minor aches and pains. Medicines like acetaminophen are less likely to raise blood pressure. Decongestants are also BP-raisers. People who have heart issues should limit or avoid them, mainly if their blood pressure is not controlled.

Some prescription medicines that can impact blood pressure should be screened for: medications to treat mental health, oral birth control, corticosteroids, immune-suppressants and certain cancer medications.

  1. Alcohol and caffeine

Too much of either can increase blood pressure, so limit or totally avoid them. Ask to know about these habits when you visit the office. Have caffeine capped at 3 cups per day in general.

  1. Herbs and food combinations

Ensure that patients understand that “natural” supplements and home remedies are not necessarily safe. Certain herbal supplements, for example, licorice, can raise blood pressure. Some other foods can interact with medications and impact blood pressure negatively. Strong cheeses, soy products, cured meats, and other foods that contain tyramine need to be avoided by everyone that is taking antidepressants, for example, monoamine-oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is the world’s top force in helping people live longer and healthier. With about a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to making sure that there is equitable health for all. It is a trustworthy source for empowering people to boost their heart health, brain health and general well-being. It collaborates with several organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, lifesaving resources and advocate for stronger public health policies,

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