Covering morning hypertension definition, causes, symptoms and treatment
Normal blood pressure reading should be less than 135/85mm Hg. Morning high blood pressure is defined as the weekly average for morning blood pressure reading measured within 1 hour to 2 hours after awakening in the morning and exceeding 135/85mm Hg. As a result of what people eat, emotional stress levels and various physical activity, blood pressure varies through out the day and can be high in the morning leading to exaggerated morning blood pressure surge or morning hypertension.
Studies have shown that exaggerated morning blood pressure surge is a risk for cardiovascular events which includes ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Cardiovascular events have been shown to be exaggerated in the morning to coincide with morning high blood pressure. In fact heart attack, stroke and heart failure have been shown to fall particularly on a Monday among all the other days of the week.
Organ damage and diabetic complications have also been shown to be linked with morning blood pressure surges just in the same way as small artery disease and multiple celebral infarcts in elder members of society. Morning high blood pressure has shown some correlation with initial stage and progression of atherosclerosis. Patients with well controlled blood pressure may still have high morning blood pressure and this happens in 50% of the cases.
Patients with morning hypertension have a 78% more chance of stroke compared with 48% of other hypertensive patients without morning high blood pressure. Morning hypertension has also been associated with changes in heart size and rhythm. This may lead to heart attack or heart failure.
Due to the hormones released by the body such as adrenaline and noradrenaline to boost energy when we awake in the morning blood pressure raises. This is part of the 24-hour circadian rhythm cycle which affects sleep and wake patterns. This spike in blood pressure occurs between 6am and 12noon and if it raises too high it becomes harmful to the body.
There are several known risk factors associated with morning high blood pressure;
Due to the time of the day during which morning high blood pressure occurs, it becomes almost impossible to diagnose. If blood pressure raises during the early hours of the morning by the time a person visits the doctor the readings would have returned to normal. It is therefore of paramount importance to carry out own home measurements during the morning hours during which hours blood pressure is known to be high if one has morning high blood pressure.
Just as general hypertension symptoms are specific, some symptoms to watch out for morning high blood pressure are chest pain, severe headache and possible numbness or tingling in the face or arms.
As is the norm in labile hypertension treatment or general high blood pressure treatment regardless of subtype, doctors recommend that patients monitor their blood pressure at home using clinically tested and recommended accurate blood pressure machines such as the Omron blood pressure monitors. Specific Omron monitors are the only blood pressure monitors at the time of writing on the market cleared by the FDA in the United States to detect morning hypertension in patients. The specific models for the job are the HEM-780, HEM-775 and the HEM-790IT.
In treating morning high blood pressure, obvious lifestyle modifications must occur. Again as is the norm hypertension patients after doctor assessment can be put on specific hypertension medications in consultation with respected and regularly updated hypertension guidelines. Changes in lifestyle will also include changes in daily diet. Carefully crafted and renowned hypertension diet has less sodium and cholesterol and is inclusive of abundant fresh fruits and vegetables many of which are foods that lower blood pressure such as celery.
Patients will also avoid caffeine which is known to cause blood pressure spikes. These modifications can be said to be complete if accompanied by regular exercise which might be aerobic in nature. Patients on blood pressure medications will also need to be aware of possible blood pressure medication side effects.
As a matter of good practice, your blood pressure readings should be taken 3 consecutive times about 70 seconds apart for an accurate blood pressure reflection. This is done in the morning within an hour after waking up and about an hour before going to bed at night using the same arm in both cases. avoiding food, tobacco or caffeine some 30 minutes before taking the readings is important to avoid measurement distortions. Food intake is known to cause an artificial drop in blood pressure in older patients as blood rushes to the intestines to facilitate digestion and absorption of food into the bloodstream.
Doctors recommend home blood pressure monitoring for all individuals. Best monitors are those that are calibrated and clinically tested by leading hypertension institutions in Europe and the United States. As a bonus its good to go for one that also detects irregular heartbeat and morning hypertension.
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