Is your blood pressure reading 161/86? Does that mean you have to worry? Here’s everything you need to understand about a 161/86 blood pressure level, along with some advice on how to manage it.
So you have a 161 over 86 blood pressure – is it good or bad?
A blood pressure of 161/86 indicates that you have STAGE 2 HYPERTENSION which is a health crisis that needs immediate attention and may require hospitalization.
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So what’s next? Scroll down to learn:
- What does a 161/86 blood pressure mean?
- What should you do if you have 161/86 blood pressure?
- Some easy to do home remedies and supplementations.
- Frequently asked question that will answer many of your queries regarding your 161/86 blood pressure.
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What does a 161 over 86 (161/86) blood pressure mean?
The blood pressure value of 161/86 clearly indicates that the person suffers from stage 2 hypertension. This is the medical condition experienced by an individual when the blood pressure readings of the person [>=160 for systolic />=100 for diastolic].
Blood pressure chart
mm Hg [upper #]
mm Hg [lower #]
Less than 80
Less than 50
Less than 90
Less than 60
Less than 120
Less than 80
Less than 80
Hypertension STAGE 1
Hypertension STAGE 2
140 or higher
90 or higher
Consult your doctor immediately
Higher than 180
Higher than 120
A blood pressure reading of 161/86 means that the blood pressure of the individual is very well over the ideal blood pressure range. And that puts him/her at an inherent risk of heart disease and other health problems.
In the medical condition of stage two hypertension, the pressure applied by the blood flowing through the vessels over those is remarkably high. And that might lead to the possibility of the rupture of the arteries, aneurysm, or even a hemorrhage.
Medication serves to be the most opted for the most effective way to overcome the problems of stage two hypertension. Therefore, you will do your best to consult a physiotherapist regarding your medication.
Following are some of the symptoms that can affirm the possibility that you are suffering from 161/86 blood pressure level.
- Intense nausea and dizziness.
- Shallow breathing and difficulty in breathing.
- Heavy sweating and faded vision.
- Blood spots in the eyes.
- Increased body weight.
What should you do if you have 161 over 86 (161/86) blood pressure?
Here is a set-by-step procedure to follow when you figure out you have a blood pressure of 161/86.
1. Consult your doctor for accurate blood pressure reading
If your blood is 161/86 and you have checked the same in your home setup, it is highly recommended to get it checked at your doctor’s office.
A trained professional has to clinically assess your condition and confirm that your 161/86 is, in fact, clinically valid.
There are instances when your reading at home setup might give you a reading which is incorrectly reported. It could be because of an error in reading it, damage to your device, your physical or mental condition on that particular day, etc.
Therefore, a doctor has to assess it over the course of 7 – 30 days periodically before he/she can confirm the accurate stage of your blood pressure.
In some cases, a patient might report wrong blood pressure in a hospital setup, called white coat hypertension. Here the patient may show higher blood pressure than their actual because of the anxiety inside a hospital environment.
In contrast, some patients may have masked hypertension in which the person may show lower blood pressure at clinical setup, but at home, they may have higher blood pressure.
All these conditions are linked to physiology and psychology and, therefore, better to be validated by a doctor.
2. Take immediate self-care measures to lower blood pressure
A level of 161/86 indicates an impending dangerous condition that might be affecting your heart, brain, or kidney.
Even though immediate medical attention is needed to treat this, there are some things you can do yourself to normalize blood pressure.
The changes you make in your lifestyle, taking into account your health, can be extremely helpful for your body. These changes can turn out to be significant enough aid for your body to fight against blood pressure problems.
- Rest yourself and make sure none of the heavy physical activities are happening.
- Consult your doctor immediately.
- Proper rest and sleep every day is a necessity.
- Check your body weight and decide if it needs to be trimmed.
- Critically limit the intake of sodium and other minerals that contribute to increased blood pressure.
- Immediately quit smoking and drinking.
- Try not to indulge in situations that serve to be full of stress and anxiety for you.
3. Consider using medications for blood pressure management
For a person suffering from stage 2 hypertension, medication is the most effective way to cure it. With a blood pressure of 161/86, major health risks are associated with the health of the individual.
Therefore, the use of medication serves to be the optimum way people turn to it.
Following are some of the medications that are greatly helpful in managing blood pressure for an individual:
- Water Pills: these are the medicines that regulate the retention of sodium ions in the bloodstream. By supporting the expulsion of sodium ions from the body and lowering their concentration, this help reduces blood pressure in people.
- Alpha Blockers: these are the medicines formed of drugs that restrict the formation of compounds in the body that lead to the contraction of blood vessels.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: these are the support medicines that stop the narrowing of the blood vessels and help in their relaxation. Therefore, moderate blood pressure is ensured in the blood vessels.
- Vasodilators: These are medicines that contain drugs that help in the relaxation of the vessels, therefore, widening those. These medicines oppose the narrowing of the blood vessels and help keep high blood pressure in check.
- Calcium Channel Blockers: These are the medicines that help stop the intermixing of calcium ions in the bloodstream. Calcium is an active ion that leads to the narrowing of blood vessels. By restricting it, moderate blood pressure is ensured.
4. Plan a diet specifically for 161/86 blood pressure
Your diet plan can majorly increase the possibility of you recovering from the problem of high blood pressure.
If you eat what is healthy and helpful for you and diverge from the usage of products that increase blood pressure, this will serve to be extremely beneficial for your overall health.
Following are some of the factors that you need to consider if your blood pressure levels are at 161/86:
- Cut your sodium intake: Excess sodium in the body leads to water or fluid retention within the body. This, in turn, leads to the possible risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, immediately cut your salt intake.
- No caffeine: Caffeine products are known to increase blood pressure in individuals. This can be harmful to the health of the said individual, especially when you have 161/86 blood pressure.
- No sweeteners: A large sugar intake can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure. When both problems are aligned together, these serve to be a dangerous outcome for the individual.
- Hydrating fluids: Support the intake of fluids in large quantities. This will help in the retention of sodium, as well as help regulate the increased blood pressure.
- Herbs and spices: Some natural herbs and spices are known to help in the regulation of blood pressure in individuals. If you were to introduce the usage of these in your diet, these would benefit your greatly.
5. Monitor for additional health conditions associated with blood pressure 161/86
With a blood pressure of 161/86, you are at risk of several other diseases, which can be harmful, while high blood pressure won’t alone be a risk.
You need to be extra careful, especially if you check any of the below conditions listed:
- Medical history of heart diseases.
- Massive weight gain.
- High intake of sodium salts.
- Old age.
- Indulging in situations full of stress and anxiety.
- Not supporting a proper diet and exercise routine.
6. Try natural supplements to support healthy blood pressure level
Sometimes managing blood pressure is all about supplementing your body with the right diet. Food is undoubtedly the best primary source to supplement your body.
However, in the current scenarios, we all know how much adultered our foodstuff is, and most of us are pushed towards processed foods to feed ourselves in this fast-paced world.
All these food are high in sugar and sodium and doesn’t contain any vital nutrients that are important for a healthy heart.
This is where some of the nutraceutical-based blood pressure supplements come in handy. These products combine all critical nutrients your heart craves, thereby assisting the better function of your cardiovascular system.
Generally, these supplements are a concoction of herbs, plant-based products, dairy products, and some animal products. They are 100% organic and natural and don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
If you are hearing about these segments of products for the first time, to start with, you may blindly go for Blood Pressure Support from Vita Balance Inc, Blood Pressure Optimizer from HFL, or Corsanum, marketed by PLT Group.
Blood Pressure Support
Blood Pressure Optimizer
Blood Pressure Support combines hawthorn berry, olive leaf, hibiscus, and some vitamins like C, B6, B12, niacin, and folate alongside a bunch of other medicinal herbs to support the healthy working of the heart.
Blood Pressure Optimizer has MegaNatural®-BP grape seed extract and Celery3nB™ celery seed extract alongside common vitamins and minerals, which can help increase your cardiovascular elasticity.
Corsanum is a refined combination of olive, iron, and grapevine alongside regular products like coriander, hawthorn, and oregano, all of which are foods known to maintain cardiovascular health.
The only one thing to keep in mind is that choose the best supplement supporting healthy blood pressure, because when it comes to the heart, there is no taking of risk!
Stage 2 hypertension in itself is a serious enough blood pressure problem.
Proper medication happens to be the only way to bring this problem within the check in a short period.
Therefore, if you support the likelihood of having high blood pressure, it is recommended that you consult a physiotherapist.
What should you do when your blood pressure is 161 over 86 (161/86) during pregnancy?
If your blood pressure is 161/86 during pregnancy, it’s an emergency situation requiring immediate medical attention.
This is considered a hypertensive crisis and places both the mother and the baby at serious risk.
Prompt evaluation and treatment are essential to prevent complications such as preeclampsia, premature delivery, or even stroke.
Head directly to the nearest emergency room or call an ambulance.
Is blood pressure 161 over 86 (161/86) too high for a men?
Yes, a blood pressure of 161/86 is exceptionally high for men and falls under the category of hypertensive crisis.
Immediate medical attention is crucial to prevent life-threatening complications such as stroke, heart attack, or organ failure.
If you find yourself with this reading, seek emergency medical help immediately.
Is blood pressure 161 over 86 (161/86) too high for a women?
Absolutely, a blood pressure reading of 161/86 is exceedingly high for women and represents a hypertensive crisis. Immediate medical intervention is vital to avert serious risks such as stroke or heart failure.
If this is your reading, go to the nearest emergency room or call an ambulance without delay.
Is blood pressure 161 over 86 (161/86) too high for an elderly?
Yes, for an elderly individual, a blood pressure reading of 161/86 is dangerously high and a medical emergency.
The risk of severe complications, including heart failure and stroke, increases substantially.
Immediate medical evaluation and treatment are necessary, so call for emergency assistance right away.
Is blood pressure 161 over 86 (161/86) too high for children?
For children, a blood pressure of 161/86 is alarmingly high and is a medical emergency.
Immediate hospitalization and treatment are required to avoid life-threatening complications such as heart or organ damage.
Do not delay in seeking emergency medical help.
Is blood pressure 161 over 86 (161/86) too high for an adult?
A blood pressure reading of 161/86 is extremely high for an adult and signifies a hypertensive crisis.
This is a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention to prevent critical complications like stroke, heart attack, or organ failure.
Emergency medical treatment is crucial; do not wait.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the blood pressure, and what are the normal values?
Blood pressure, in essence, is a barometer of the force exerted by blood flow on the walls of your arteries. This force is created by the pumping action of your heart as it circulates blood throughout your body. Imagine the heart as a tireless engine, tirelessly working to deliver life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body.
It’s your heart’s task, with every beat, to push the blood into the intricate network of vessels that reach every corner of your body. When the heart contracts and pumps, this generates a ‘high’ pressure wave. As the heart relaxes between beats, the pressure decreases, creating a ‘low’ wave.
For health professionals, two key figures represent your blood pressure. The first, or top number, reflects systolic pressure. This is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number denotes diastolic pressure, that is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.
Understanding normal blood pressure ranges is crucial. As a general guide, an ideal reading falls between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. These numbers represent the systolic and diastolic pressure respectively.
Let’s break that down further. A systolic reading below 120 mmHg is considered healthy. It’s an indication that the heart is efficiently pumping blood without excessive force on the arterial walls. The diastolic counterpart, if below 80 mmHg, is also deemed in the safe zone.
However, when these values rise consistently beyond the ideal range, problems may arise. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is diagnosed when readings regularly surpass 130/80 mmHg. Persistently low readings, under 90/60 mmHg, can also signal potential health issues.
It’s important to know that blood pressure can fluctuate during the day. Stress, exercise, and sleep can all affect readings. Regular monitoring, therefore, is essential to understanding your overall cardiovascular health.
What is Stage 2 Hypertension?
Stage 2 Hypertension is a serious medical condition characterized by a persistently high blood pressure, typically with systolic blood pressure readings of 140 mm Hg or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure readings of 90 mm Hg or higher.
This level of blood pressure significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, making it essential to seek immediate medical intervention for proper diagnosis and management.
How is blood pressure measured for Stage 2 Hypertension?
To measure blood pressure for Stage 2 Hypertension, healthcare providers typically use a sphygmomanometer, which is either manual or digital.
The process involves placing a cuff around the upper arm and inflating it to temporarily stop blood flow. As the cuff deflates, the healthcare provider listens with a stethoscope to identify the points where the blood begins to flow again, representing the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Multiple readings may be taken to confirm the diagnosis, and the results are usually confirmed through subsequent visits or additional tests like ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
What do the systolic and diastolic numbers mean in Stage 2 Hypertension?
In the context of Stage 2 Hypertension, the systolic and diastolic numbers are crucial for determining the severity of the condition.
The systolic number represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and pumps blood, while the diastolic number indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest between beats.
For a diagnosis of Stage 2 Hypertension, the systolic number is generally 140 mm Hg or higher, and/or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
These elevated numbers signify a high level of stress on the arterial walls and the heart, increasing the risk of various complications.
What guidelines does the American Heart Association have for Stage 2 Hypertension?
The American Heart Association (AHA) has explicit guidelines for managing Stage 2 Hypertension, emphasizing the urgent need for medical treatment.
Lifestyle modifications are strongly recommended but are usually insufficient on their own for this stage.
Antihypertensive medications are typically prescribed in addition to lifestyle changes.
Regular monitoring is crucial, and the AHA suggests that treatment should aim to reduce blood pressure to below 130/80 mm Hg, although the target can vary based on individual health conditions.
Patients are also encouraged to engage in regular physical activity and adhere to a heart-healthy diet as part of comprehensive treatment.
Are there symptoms specific to Stage 2 Hypertension?
Symptoms specific to Stage 2 Hypertension are often more pronounced than those in earlier stages but can still be quite subtle or even nonexistent for some individuals.
People with Stage 2 Hypertension may experience severe headaches, vision problems, chest pain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, and even blood in the urine.
Because these symptoms can also be associated with other health issues, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment.
What are the causes of Stage 2 Hypertension?
The causes of Stage 2 Hypertension often involve lifestyle factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. Age and genetics can also play a role.
Certain medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease and hormonal imbalances may contribute as well.
Medications like NSAIDs and certain birth control pills can raise blood pressure too. A healthcare provider can help identify the specific causes in each individual case.
What tests are used to diagnose Stage 2 Hypertension?
To diagnose Stage 2 Hypertension, healthcare providers generally start with repeated blood pressure measurements using a sphygmomanometer.
If consistently high readings are obtained, additional tests may be ordered to assess organ function and rule out secondary causes. These tests could include blood tests, urinalysis, electrocardiogram (EKG), and even imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI to check the heart and kidneys.
Sometimes, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is used to get a more comprehensive view of blood pressure throughout the day.
What lifestyle changes are recommended for Stage 2 Hypertension?
For managing Stage 2 Hypertension, lifestyle changes are often recommended alongside medication.
These changes can include adopting a heart-healthy diet that’s low in salt, fats, and cholesterol; regular exercise like walking, swimming, or cycling for at least 150 minutes per week; weight management through diet and exercise; quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake.
Stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and getting adequate sleep can also help in controlling blood pressure.
What medicines are commonly used to treat Stage 2 Hypertension?
To treat Stage 2 Hypertension, a variety of antihypertensive medications may be prescribed.
These can include thiazide diuretics to remove excess fluid and salt from the body, beta blockers to reduce the heart rate, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to relax blood vessels. Calcium channel blockers are also often used to relax the smooth muscle in the arterial wall.
It’s common for healthcare providers to prescribe a combination of these drugs to effectively control blood pressure in Stage 2 Hypertension patients.
Are there side effects from medicines for Stage 2 Hypertension?
Yes, medications for treating Stage 2 Hypertension can have side effects. Common ones include dizziness, fatigue, headache, and nausea.
Some medicines, like diuretics, can lead to frequent urination or potassium loss, while beta blockers may result in reduced exercise capacity and weight gain. ACE inhibitors could cause a persistent cough for some people.
It’s crucial to discuss these potential side effects with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment approach for you.
How to correctly check my blood pressure at home?
Keeping tabs on your blood pressure at home can be an important part of managing your health. With the advent of easy-to-use, accurate home blood pressure monitors, this task has become much simpler. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to correctly measure your blood pressure at home:
- Choose the right equipment: First, you’ll need a home blood pressure monitor. Look for a monitor that measures blood pressure on your upper arm for the most accurate readings. Wrist and finger monitors are not as reliable.
- Prepare for the reading: Avoid eating, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or smoking for at least 30 minutes before taking a reading. Use the bathroom and make sure to rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes before you start.
- Set the right environment: It’s important to be relaxed when taking your blood pressure. Sit in a quiet, comfortable place. Rest your arm on a flat surface at the level of your heart. Keep your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor.
- Position the cuff correctly: The cuff should be placed on your upper arm and should be snug, but not too tight – you should be able to slip two fingertips underneath it. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow.
- Take multiple readings: Take at least two readings, with a minute or so in between. It may be helpful to record your blood pressure readings each time so you can track them over time and share this information with your healthcare provider.
- Interpret your readings: Normal blood pressure is generally considered to be around 120/80 mmHg. However, blood pressure can vary based on many factors, so it’s important to discuss your readings with your healthcare provider.
Remember, home blood pressure readings should not replace regular check-ups with your healthcare provider, but they can be a useful supplement in tracking and managing your blood pressure.
What healthcare providers treat Stage 2 Hypertension?
Healthcare providers involved in treating Stage 2 Hypertension often include primary care physicians, cardiologists, and sometimes nephrologists if kidney issues are present. In severe cases, you may also be referred to a hypertension specialist.
These providers will work collaboratively to manage your blood pressure through medication, lifestyle changes, and ongoing monitoring.
What are the complications if Stage 2 Hypertension is not treated?
If Stage 2 Hypertension is not treated promptly and effectively, it can lead to severe health complications. These can include cardiovascular issues such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Kidneys may also suffer, leading to chronic kidney disease or renal failure.
The risk of vision loss and retinal damage also increases with untreated Stage 2 Hypertension. Additionally, cognitive decline including memory loss and difficulty focusing can occur over time.
Can other health problems occur alongside Stage 2 Hypertension?
Yes, other health problems can occur alongside Stage 2 Hypertension. These can include diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease.
Kidney dysfunction is also more common among those with uncontrolled high blood pressure. In some cases, sleep apnea or hormonal imbalances could be coexisting conditions.
How often should I monitor my blood pressure with Stage 2 Hypertension?
With Stage 2 Hypertension, frequent blood pressure monitoring is essential for effective management. Typically, healthcare providers recommend checking your blood pressure at least once a week, or as often as your healthcare provider advises.
In some cases, daily monitoring may be necessary, especially when newly diagnosed or when medication is being adjusted.
What emergency steps should be taken for severe Stage 2 Hypertension?
For severe Stage 2 Hypertension, sometimes referred to as hypertensive crisis, immediate emergency medical care is necessary. A hypertensive crisis is usually defined as a blood pressure reading above 180/120 mm Hg.
If you experience symptoms like severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, or vision changes along with significantly elevated blood pressure, seek emergency care immediately. Quick intervention is crucial to prevent life-threatening complications.
How to prevent Stage 2 Hypertension?
To prevent Stage 2 Hypertension, focus on lifestyle changes like a low-sodium, heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol can also help.
If you’re at risk or already on medication, regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are essential for monitoring and adjusting your treatment plan. Consult a medical professional for personalized advice.
Is Stage 2 Hypertension treatment usually covered by insurance?
Treatment for Stage 2 Hypertension is generally covered by most health insurance plans, but the extent of coverage can vary. This often includes doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and medications. However, there might be co-pays, deductibles, or limits on how many visits or what types of tests are covered. It’s important to check with your specific insurance provider for details on what is and isn’t covered.
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