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? Like most, he didn’t know there were two stages. Since stage 2 is the more serious one, let’s find out, what does high blood pressure stage 2 mean?
High blood pressure stage 2 means the systolic blood pressure number is 140 mm Hg or higher or the diastolic blood pressure number is 90 mm Hg or higher. It’s the second high blood pressure category on the BP chart.
The blood pressure categories were changed a few years ago. Because of this, I’ve decided to write this article covering everything you need to know about high blood pressure stage 2. I’ll explain how to know if your BP is in it, the causes are and the consequences.
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What Numbers Are Considered High Blood Pressure Stage 2
High blood pressure stage 2 numbers are a systolic number 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic number 90 mm Hg or higher.
It’s important to 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 the reading to be in the stage 2 range 1.
Therefore, if your blood pressure is 140/79 or 119/90, either reading indicates you’re in stage 2.
If the readings are consistently in this range, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Prescribing both medications and lifestyle changes mean the BP is serious and more drastic action is necessary.
It’s important 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 result in calling 911. I wrote a blog post about it right here, Hypertensive Crisis.
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 them. Therefore, how serious is high blood pressure stage 2?
High blood pressure stage 2 is more serious than stage 1 because the blood pressure numbers are higher and closer to a hypertensive crisis. In stage 2, a doctor is likely to prescribe medication instead of considering it.
The biggest difference is the blood pressure numbers and medication. In stage 1, medication is considered based on a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. In stage 2, medication is likely 2.
In addition, with stage 2 the risks of developing consequences are increased. The consequences are listed down further in the article.
I wrote an article about Stage 2 Hypertension Treatment. It covers everything in complete detail and provides tables informing you how much you can expect BP to lower for each treatment. You can read about it in this website by searching the title, Stage 2 Hypertension Treatment.
|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|
High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Symptoms
High blood pressure is when the force of blood pushing against the blood vessel walls, is consistently high. 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 3.
What are high blood pressure stage 2 symptoms? Typically, high blood pressure stage 2 has no symptoms until it has caused serious health issues. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure stage 2 is to have your blood pressure checked by a physician.
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. Check out their website by clicking eHealth Insurance.
High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Causes
The following are high blood pressure stage 2 causes:
- Improper nutrition
- Lack of physical activity
- Excess alcohol
- Illegal drugs
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Hormone problems
High blood pressure stage 2 is just one of the five ranges in my BP chart article. In addition, seven other related topics and a FREE printable BP Chart is included. Visit that article here, What Is The Blood Pressure Chart?.
High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Consequences
What consequences can high blood pressure stage 2 cause? The following are possible consequences of high blood pressure stage 2:
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure or disease
- Vision loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Peripheral artery disease
Always follow the physician’s recommendations and do your best to manage it before it gets there 3.
Avoid High Blood Pressure Stage 2
The following is lifestyle changes you can you make to avoid high blood pressure, including stage 2.
A Change In Nutrition
The most dangerous are the excess amounts of added sugars like processed corn syrup. Sugar can raise blood pressure in a number of different ways. Therefore, avoid foods loaded with sugar like soda, donuts and candy.
A study showed drinking 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 attention on the other white crystal which is sugar.
Potassium and Sodium
While lowering 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.
Those 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 4.
The 4:1 ratio is important because the kidneys help to control blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in the body. Generally, the more fluid the higher the blood pressure. The kidneys do this by filtering the 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 the 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 the body including the arteries and veins. This helps to prevent them from constricting which can raise blood pressure.
The Top 5 Foods High In Magnesium:
- Swiss Chard
- Dark Chocolate
- Pumpkin Seeds
Always check with your physician prior to changing nutrition.
Stress & Anxiety is a sure way to raise the BP numbers to High Blood Pressure Stage 2. Manage the stress with relaxation techniques which will help control the blood pressure 5. 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 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 the belly just below the ribs and the other hand on the chest.
- Take a deep breath in through the nose and let the belly push the hand out.
- The chest should not move in or out.
- Then breathe out through pursed lips as if whistling.
- Feel the hand on the 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.
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 Started
- High or Low Intensity Cardio
Start off with something enjoyable, 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.
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!
Always check with your physician prior to starting any exercise program.
Avoid any of these habits. Try to eliminate or reduce them as much as possible 6.
- 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 someone smokes, it causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. Over time this can help cause damage to the arteries.
Managing High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Is A Commitment
If you have High Blood Pressure Stage 2, it’s vital you listen to your doctor. Remember 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.
Read Next – More BP Related Articles!
- The Elevated Blood Pressure Range
- High Blood Pressure Stage 1 – The 1st High BP Range
- Normal Blood Pressure – Surprisingly It’s NOT 120 Over 80
- Diastolic Blood Pressure
Article Resources: Blood Pressure Explained follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
- American Heart Association: Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
- American Heart Association: What is High Blood Pressure?
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: High Blood Pressure
- National Institutes of Health: Sodium/Potassium Ratio Linked to Cardiovascular Disease Risk
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Relaxation Techniques for Health
- American Heart Association: Illegal Drugs and Heart Disease