Hello. This is Hypertension Prevention Tuesdays! Today, we’ll talk about normal blood pressure for adolescents. As children grow parents tend not to take them for physicals every year or two unless they require sports physicals for school activities. This may be a mistake since, although teens often appear healthy, this is a time in their lives when their bodies are able to withstand consistent assaults from chemicals, environmental stimuli, over eating and under exercise. Receiving a physical exam at least every other year keeps those problems in check as well as gives the physician a chance to evaluate the need for any other education or testing for any further medical problems.
High Blood Pressure
One of those problems that are silent is high blood pressure. You will want your teen checked for normal blood pressure for adolescents. Blood pressure is a numerical measurement of the pressure needed to push blood through the arterial system. There are two numbers. The top number is the systolic pressure. This number represents the mg of mercury needed to push the blood through constricted or tense arteries. The systolic number is generated when the heart is at the peak of pumping. The diastolic reading is the bottom number and it represents the pressure thats left in your arterial system when your heart is between pumps. When your doctor is evaluating your blood pressure the most important number is the bottom number because that pressure is consistently elevated while the top number is able to fluctuate more and drops to the bottom number between beats.
Normal Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure for adolescents is affected throughout the day by several factors that include: physical activity, emotional moods, anger, stress, age/height/weight/gender and the time of the day. Adolescents are also affected by white coat syndrome. This is a condition where the blood pressure of the patient is artificially elevated by the stress they experience being around the doctor.
Normal blood pressure for adolescents is determined by comparison against other adolescents and separated by gender. Boys tend to have blood pressure higher than girls, tall people have pressure higher than short people.
To help doctors evaluate what blood pressure is too high in teens the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBEP) put together tables that give values depending upon how old and how tall your teen is. If your teens blood pressure is higher than 90 to 95% of others in their category (age and height) then they may consider them to have high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Is A Silent Killer
Having normal blood pressure for adolescents is important because hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a silent killer. Oftentimes patients dont know that they have high blood pressure. The increased pressure in the arterial system will do permanent damage to the kidneys and heart leading to kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and coronary artery disease. The heart has to pump harder to circulate the blood leading to heart failure. Although heart attacks and strokes are very rare in children studies of children with high blood pressure show that by the time they are 20 they have permanent harmful effects of the heart and blood vessels even if the hypertension is mild.
Causes of High Blood Pressure in Adolescents
The causes of higher than normal blood pressure in adolescents are much the same as in adults high blood cholesterol levels, poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking and alcohol use. Sometimes hypertension in adolescents is secondary to another disease or illness, use of medication or severe pain with cancer or burns. When the secondary illness is treated then the hypertension often disappears. The higher than normal blood pressure in adolescents that is primary is more cause for concern.
In the adolescent years your physician will be very interested in helping your teen to change the habits that have gotten him/her the hypertension rather than throwing a medication at him/her. So the doctor will counsel you and your teen about weight loss, quit smoking, improve his nutrition and get some exercise. If the blood pressure is significantly high then they may also evaluate your teen for use of a mild anti-hypertensive medication to begin control while more natural methods are instituted.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
There is a common saying, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.” This is especially true when it comes to heart health. Diet is sooooo very important… Did you know that your diet could be the key to a healthy heart? It’s true – what you eat (and don’t eat) can have a big impact on your cardiovascular health. So, if you’re looking to keep your heart in tip-top shape, make sure you pay attention to what you put on your plate.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to eat a healthy diet in this day and age. It is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you need extra help in getting the nutrients you need, and/or are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Healthy Heart Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Heart Health Supplements to use! This Healthy Heart Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you lose weight and improve your heart health, naturally.
For best results make sure you use my heart health supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
It’s very important to monitor your blood pressure. I often recommend an automatic upper arm blood pressure cuff, but a wrist blood pressure monitor is also acceptable.
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Taking Charge Of Your Heart Health
Heart health is a big topic. It’s in the news, on our minds, and for good reason; heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But what if there was something you could do proactively to help protect your heart from future problems? Enter the CardiaX test—a revolutionary new way to take charge of your heart health!
What is CardiaX?
CardiaX is a comprehensive genetic testing panel that looks at mutations associated with common cardiovascular risks. It can be used to determine if there are any genetic factors at play in your heart health, and it can also identify potential areas of risk that may require further action. With this knowledge, you can make informed choices about your health today with the aim of improving long-term heart health outcomes.
Who Might Benefit from CardiaX?
If you have been diagnosed with or are at risk for atherosclerosis, abnormal cholesterol production, hypertension, stroke risk, and risk for heart attack then you may benefit from this test. Additionally, anyone who wants to know more about their genetic predispositions for common cardiovascular risks may also want to consider taking this test as well.
What Can I Do With My Results?
Your results will give you an indication of whether or not there are any potential genetic markers playing a role in your risk for developing certain conditions related to heart health. From there, you can work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan that takes into account these findings and helps you develop strategies for managing them going forward. In addition to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise modification, selecting medications that are tailored specifically to your genetics could be beneficial as well.
In A Nutshell…
The CardiaX test is an exciting new way to take charge of your heart health by learning more about how genetics might be playing a role in certain cardiovascular risks. With this knowledge in hand, patients can make decisions informed by their own unique genetic profile that will help reduce their overall risk for developing certain conditions associated with heart disease. This type of proactive approach is key when it comes to protecting ourselves against this all-too-common affliction—so don’t wait another minute! Take control of your future and get started with the CardiaX test today!
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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