The other day at work someone told me their blood pressure was in the high blood pressure range. I asked them which one, stage 1 or stage 2? He didn’t know there were two stages, like most people. There are actually 2 different high blood pressure categories. High Blood Pressure Stage 2 and Stage 1, stage 2 being the more serious one. Unfortunately, if it’s left untreated it can lead to life threatening health issues.
What is high blood pressure stage 2? High blood pressure stage 2 is the 2nd high blood pressure category. It’s when your systolic blood pressure number is 140 mm Hg or higher or your diastolic blood pressure number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
Most people don’t know about the different high blood pressure stages. In addition, the blood pressure categories were changed a few years ago with the release of the new BP guidelines. Because of this, I’m decided to write a detailed blog post covering everything you need to know about high blood pressure stage 2. I’ll explain how to know if your BP is in it, what the causes are and the consequences.
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How To Know When Your Numbers Fall Into High Blood Pressure Stage 2
This blood pressure category has a systolic number 140 mm Hg or higher OR a diastolic number 90 mm Hg or higher (resource). It’s important you take notice of the word or between the systolic and diastolic numbers. This means only one number has to be higher, not both numbers, for your reading to be in the stage 2 range. Therefore, if your blood pressure is 140/79 or 119/90, either reading indicates you’re in stage 2.
If your readings are consistently in this range, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of medications and lifestyle changes (resource). Prescribing both medications and lifestyle changes mean that your BP is serious and more drastic action is necessary. You’ll want to follow the doctor’s advice because the last thing you want is for your blood pressure to stay high or get even worse. The next BP category above this is hypertensive crisis which can possibly result in you calling 911. If you want to read about that, I wrote a blog post about it right here.
The Difference Between High Blood Pressure Stage 2 and Stage 1
Stage 1 and stage 2 are both high blood pressure but there are major differences between the 2 of them. The biggest ones are the difference in the blood pressure numbers and medication. In stage 1, medication is considered based on your risk of cardiovascular disease. In stage 2, medication is more likely.
I wrote a blog post about Stage 2 Hypertension Treatment. It covers everything in complete details and provides tables informing you how much you can expect BP to lower for each treatment. You can read about it right here.
|BP Category||Systolic||Diastolic||Lifestyle Changes||Medicine|
|High BP Stage 1||130-139||or||80-89||Likely||Maybe|
|High BP Stage 2||140 +||or||90 +||Likely||Likely|
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is when the force of your blood pushing against your blood vessel walls, is consistently too high (resource). Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, and many of them don’t even know they have it. That’s why high blood pressure is often called the silent killer.
There are normally no symptoms or signs but it can cause major health issues for you. Typically, more attention is given to the higher number, systolic blood pressure, as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. However, either an elevated higher or lower number ( Diastolic Blood Pressure ) may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure stage 2 is to have your blood pressure checked.
If you haven’t had your BP checked at a doctor because you don’t have a health plan, you may want to check out a health plan service I recommend. They can locate an affordable plan right for you at an affordable price. Visit my blog post about it by clicking here.
How High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Is Recorded
Blood pressure is recorded in 2 ways resulting in 2 numbers. The higher number and the lower number. The higher number is your Systolic Blood Pressure. This number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats. The lower number is your Diastolic Blood Pressure. This number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Millimeters Of Mercury – mm Hg
The higher and lower numbers are measured in the abbreviation mm Hg. The abbreviation mm Hg means millimeters of mercury. The 1st accurate blood pressure gauges used mercury. Today, mercury is still used as the standard unit of measurement for blood pressure. Therefore, someone who has a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg (often spoken as “120 over 80”) has a systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg and a Diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg.
Avoid High Blood Pressure Stage 2
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you may have High Blood Pressure Stage 2 already or you’re worried your pressure might be too high. The following are lifestyle changes you can you make to avoid high blood pressure.
A Change In Your Nutrition
Eat foods with less sugar. The most dangerous are the excess amounts of added sugars like processed corn syrup. Sugar can raise your blood pressure in a number of different ways. So avoid foods loaded with sugar like soda, donuts and candy. A study showed that drinking just 24 ounces of soda caused a jump in blood pressure in the hours that followed.
When it comes to lowering blood pressure the only white crystal most people hear about is salt. Many people are saying it’s time to focus our attention on the other white crystal which is sugar.
While lowering your sodium is important to lowering High Blood Pressure the average person should consume no more than 1,500mg of sodium a day. This doesn’t apply to highly active people like competitive athletes or workers exposed to the heat sweating all day. These people are going to require a higher sodium intake. Try maintaining the potassium to sodium ratio of 4:1 which is extremely important to help lower your blood pressure (resource).
The 4:1 ratio is important because your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. Generally, the more fluid the higher your blood pressure. Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and taking out any extra fluid. This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull out the excess water. The daily recommended amount of potassium is 4,700 mg and your sodium intake should be no more than 1,500 mg. The following foods are high in potassium:
- Black Beans
Magnesium causes a calming effect on your body including arteries and veins which will help prevent them from constricting which can raise blood pressure. Check out my review in this same blog of the Blood Pressure Formula which contains magnesium by clicking here. The Top 5 Foods High In Magnesium:
- Swiss Chard
- Dark Chocolate
- Pumpkin Seeds
Stress & Anxiety is a sure way to raise your BP numbers to High Blood Pressure Stage 2. Manage your stress with relaxation techniques (resource) which will help control your blood pressure.This can include:
- Listening to music
- Pressure Points
- Proper Sleep
There are different breathing exercises you can do to help relax. This breathing exercise, called belly breathing, is simple and easy to do. If you have never used breathing exercises before this is a great one to start with.
First sit or lie flat in a comfortable position. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move in or out. Then breathe out through your pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in and use it to gently push the air out. Take your time with each breath and do this 3 to 10 times.
If you’re up for a little experiment and have a home blood pressure monitor take your blood pressure before doing the exercise. Then take it again immediately after and see if there’s a difference. If you don’t have a home blood pressure monitor and you’re interested in getting one, check out my affordable recommendations in this blog post.
Get off the couch! Enjoy regular physical activity every day. Aim to get about 20-30 minutes of activity a day. Physical Activities Can Include:
- Walks – Take a Nice Leisurely Stroll In The Park or Window Shop At The Mall
- Join a Fitness Center – Many Offer Free Physical Training At Sign Up To Get You Started
- High or Low Intensity Cardio
Start of with something you enjoy, like taking walks or riding a bicycle. Research has shown physical activity is safe for almost everyone. Moreover, the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks. Connect with others and consider walking with a neighbor, friend or spouse. Connecting with others can keep you focused and motivated to walk more.
And above all reward yourself for all your hard work, dedication and commitment to being healthy. Set goals and pay yourself for achieving them with money, gifts or things like massages. This is a great way to stay motivated and keep you moving!
If you have any of these habits, try to eliminate or reduce them as much as possible (resource).
- Excess Alcohol
- Illegal Drugs
While smoking is a proven risk factor for stroke and heart attack, its connection to high blood pressure is still being determined. However smoking increases the risk for the buildup of plaque inside the arteries — a process that high blood pressure is known to accelerate. Every time you smoke, it also causes a temporary increase in blood pressure.
Managing High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Is A Commitment
If you have High Blood Pressure Stage 2 it’s vital that you listen to your doctor. Remember that you are a part of your healthcare team. You and your doctor are partners. Educate yourself about High Blood Pressure Stage 2 and learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home. Armed with this information, you can commit to living heart healthy.
If you found this Blood Pressure topic interesting check out these related blood pressure articles found in this site:
- Lower Blood Pressure Naturally With 3 Easy Methods You Can Do Anywhere
- Hypertensive Crisis – You’re CALLING 911 Or A Doctor!
- High Blood Pressure Stage 1 – The 1st High BP Range