A blood pressure of 197/120 indicates that you are at a HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS, which is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization and immediate medical attention.
This article tells you:
- What does a 197/120 blood pressure mean?
- What should you do if you have 197/120 blood pressure?
- Some easy to do home remedies and supplementations.
- Frequently asked question that will answer many of your queries regarding your 197/120 blood pressure.
What does a 197/120 blood pressure mean?
The blood pressure readings of 197/120 are a clear indication that you are suffering from severe hypertension or a hypertensive crisis. This is a medical condition that a person goes through when his blood pressure readings are over 180/110.
It can be further classified as an urgent hypertensive crisis if the blood pressure is above 180/110 but without organ damage. The second sub-classification is called emergency hypertensive crisis, where the patient suffers damage to end-organs and requires emergency care.
The blood pressure of 197/120 is extremely high compared to the ideal blood pressure range within the limits of 90/60 and 120/80.
It in itself is a clear indication that you are very far away from being perfectly healthy and needs immediate medical attention.
Speaking of the moment, your blood vessels are undergoing an outstanding amount of pressure offered by flowing blood over the vessels carrying it.
And that is not good for your heart in any way. It overloads your heart, resulting in a higher heart rate than average.
Along the lines of this, a hypertensive crisis can cause heart disease and problems if immediate medical attention is not sought.
Many other chronic ailments are also associated with the same problem. Hence, it is necessary to take measures against the problem of high blood pressure.
Proper medication serves to be the most effective way to counter this problem. By consulting a professional physiotherapist or a cardiologist, it will be relatively easier for you to make ends meet, and you will be able to take steps toward improving your health.
Following are some of the clear indications that you have 197/120 blood pressure:
- Blurred and faded vision.
- Nausea and vomiting (blood sometimes).
- Chest pain and higher heart rate (arrhythmia).
- Severe headache.
- Confusion and lack of comprehension.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Excessive sweating.
What should you do if you have 197/120 blood pressure?
Here is a set-by-step procedure to follow when you figure out you have a blood pressure of 197/120.
1. Your doctor has to diagnose
If your blood is 197/120 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 197/120 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. Change your lifestyle
At 197/120, you are needed to step into action to save your health and, more importantly, your life. Obviously, your doctor will immediately address this issue and stabilize you, but in the long run, you are needed to do some things.
Even though chemical drugs could ease your blood pressure, some lifestyle modifications are very important at this stage.
The first and foremost thing to keep in your mind is what goes inside your body. Your food is a critical factor to be bridled at this stage. You may need to critically scrutinize your eating habits as a first step.
Also, exercising needs to be incorporated only according to your doctor. Because at this stage, your body has already hit the maximum limit your blood vessels can handle. Therefore, consult your doctor and add some workouts to your life.
Some of the other things to watch for are:
- Have proper rest and sleep every day.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Eat healthy meals and exercise daily.
- Quit smoking and limit the consumption of alcohol.
- Bring the substitutes of sodium salts into use.
- Do not indulge in stressful situations.
3. You may have to use these medications
Medications and hospital care are the most important things at this stage. Your doctors might prescribe any one of the below classes of drugs alongside some treatment to handle comorbidities.
Here are a few of the popular classes of drugs that might be given to manage your 197/120 blood pressure:
- Water Pills: These are the medicines that help in the retention of sodium from the body by urination or sweating. This in turn, decreases sodium concentration in the bloodstream and helps lower high blood pressure.
- Calcium Channel Blockers: These are the medications that limit the mixing of calcium ions and compounds in the bloodstream. Calcium is actively responsible for the narrowing of blood vessels. By restricting it, relatively moderate blood pressure is ensured.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: these are medicines that consist of drugs that oppose the narrowing of the blood vessels. Using these, lower blood pressure is exercised in the blood vessels.
- Diltiazem: These are the medicines that control the minerals in the bloodstream that serve to be a possible cause of high blood pressure in people. These medicines regulate the concentration of the said minerals in the blood, hence lowering blood pressure.
- Beta Blockers: These are the medicines that help lower the pressure that is exerted over the heart, therefore lowering the heart rate. By lowering the heart rate, the pressure over the blood vessels is lowered.
4. Diet check for 197/120 blood pressure
As mentioned above, whatever goes inside your body is a big matter of concern at this stage and therefore needs to be evaluated.
As you might have guessed, yes, you can have everything if your doctor has clinically diagnosed 197/120.
You may need to follow a stringent diet plan to bring your pressure levels back to something that is more treatable and manageable.
The following are the factors that should be kept in mind when making your dietary plan:
- Lower the sodium intake: Sodium can serve to be a major elevator for blood pressure. Hence, to get normal blood pressure, limiting its concentration in the bloodstream is necessary.
- Limit the alcoholic beverages: alcohol acts as a vasodilator, but in higher concentrations, it can also serve to increase blood pressure. So, only limited consumption of it is needed to be supported.
- Sugar: Added alongside the effects of high blood pressure, intake of excess sugar may lead to problems like diabetes and such.
- Caffeine: caffeine products are known to increase blood pressure in people. For those suffering from hypertensive crisis, this is a big no.
- Salts: instead of making use of sodium salt, it would be good if you were to consider the usage of other salts. Calcium and potassium salts serve as good substitutes for sodium salts.
- Herbs and spices: some spices and herbs are known to lower blood pressure to a great extent. If you were to include those in your diet, these would greatly benefit you.
5. Watch out for these
If your blood pressure reading is 197/120, then you may want to be extra careful and watch out for some health concerns explained below.
If you are currently obese and your BMI is 30 or more, then a hypertensive crisis implies an impending stroke or heart attack.
In fact, obesity is identified as one of the major comorbidities that can aggravate your blood pressure condition.
Apart from that, kidney failure, diabetes, and sleep disorder are some of the other risk factors that can be associated with your 197/120 blood pressure.
One of the biggest risk factors is stress and anxiety, which can be deadly at this stage of your cardio condition. Therefore, you may want to calm yourself down to keep things smooth.
6. Natural supplements for your rescue
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!
A person suffering from a hypertensive crisis needs to get through to a medical professional as soon as possible. This condition can lead to many possible life-threatening diseases and problems shortly.
Hence, it becomes necessary to consult with a professional and come up with medicines that are best suited for you.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What is the blood pressure, and what are the normal values?
Blood pressure is the pressure that is exerted by the blood flowing through arteries over those. Alongside that, this is the efficiency with which the blood is pumped by the heart to all the parts of the body through the circulatory system.
The normal values for blood pressure are between [90/60] and [120/80]. If a person has a blood pressure equivalent to this much, then it means that the blood will be flowing through the arteries relatively easily.
2. What is considered to be high blood pressure?
Blood pressure over the value of [130/80] is considered high blood pressure. This signifies that high pressure is being exerted by the blood flowing through the vessels over those.
And therefore, it is difficult for the human heart to be able to pump blood to all the parts of the body rather efficiently. This is a problem that can arise when the size of the vessels is contracted compared to the original size.
3. What is considered to be low blood pressure?
A blood pressure lesser than the value of [90/60] is termed low blood pressure. This type of value means that low pressure is put forward by the blood over the vessels that are carrying it. It can also be taken as a measure that, the blood is not able to reach all the parts of the body.
Or, the heart is not capable of circulating blood to all the parts of the body in an effective way. This problem in blood pressure is mainly the effect of dehydration and pregnancy.
4. What are hypertension and hypotension? Are they both the same as high and low blood pressure?
Hypertension is the condition that emerges when a person is having high blood pressure. Because of contraction in vessels, the blood can not flow through the vessels efficiently, and therefore, high pressure is exerted over the blood vessels, this particular condition is high blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension.
Hypotension is the condition that comes into effect when the blood pressure of a person is lower compared to the ideal value of blood pressure. This means that the heart is unable to pump blood through the blood vessels to all the body parts. This type of situation when observed is called low blood pressure, or hypotension.
5. What will happen to your general health when you have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure puts you at an imminent risk of arteries rupture because of the high pressure applied over those by the circulating blood. This can, in turn, affect the circulation of blood to all the parts of the body, and your heart itself. And, the latter part can lead you to some serious heart diseases. The high pressure applied over the heart walls can put you close to the risk of heart attack and heart failure.
6. What causes high blood pressure and low blood pressure?
The medical conditions of high blood pressure and low blood pressure are both effects of the lifestyle that we lead. This means that if we adapt to a lifestyle that is in line with our body and overall physical fitness, then we will have ideal blood pressure.
But, if our lifestyle is deviated from what we had started, some medical conditions can arise. High blood pressure and low blood pressure are some of those problems.
7. What are the risks of having high blood pressure?
The most serious risk that is faced by an individual that is suffering from high blood pressure is the risk of heart attack, heart failure, or some chronic disease related to the heart.
Moreover, there are also the additional risks of strokes, vision loss, diabetes, kidney failure, unresponsiveness to external stimuli, chronic chest pain, artery damage, and vascular dementia.
8. What can I do to lower my blood pressure?
To lower your blood pressure, the foremost step should be to limit the intake of sodium salts. Then, it will be good for you to opt for a healthy lifestyle; eat healthy meals and exercise daily. Try to maintain your weight to healthy proportions. Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine-related beverages, and quit smoking.
Also, you need to have an adequate amount of rest every day and keep your stress and anxiety in proper check. If you continue to face high blood pressure problems even after making these changes in your lifestyle, it will be good for you to consult with a physiotherapist to discuss your blood pressure medications.
9. What are the risks of having low blood pressure?
The harmful effects that are associated with low blood pressure are not as prominent as what is associated with high blood pressure, but they can serve to be just as much harmful in the long run. Low blood pressure can lead to lightheadedness, dizziness, and confusion for a prolonged period.
This is a condition that can make you weak physically as well as mentally. Low blood pressure leads to a depletion in the effectiveness of motor senses, and the subject is likely to faint from time to time. This condition can also lead to blurred vision and can damage peripheral nerves over a long time.
10. What can I do to increase my blood pressure?
Increase the usage of table salts in your diet, and drink plenty of water. Limit your intake of alcohol as it is a dehydrating agent. Increase your diet by taking small meals multiple times with low carbs. Exercise daily and try to take up a lifestyle that will be good for your health and physical well-being.
Try to maintain a body weight that will be good as per your physical stature and age. Avoid changing positions abruptly, and wear compression stockings to improve blood flow in the legs. Also, consult a physiotherapist regarding your medications for low blood pressure.
11. Can smoking and alcohol affect my blood pressure?
Smoking and alcohol have an active impact on the blood pressure levels of an individual. These can lead to an effective change in the size of arteries that carry blood to all the parts of the body.
Heavy intake of alcohol can increase blood pressure in individuals to a significantly high level and this can even lead to long-term blood pressure issues in the individual. On the other hand, smoking is as bad as it can be. It leads to the contraction of blood vessels, which increases the pressure of blood over the heart walls. This puts you at risk of heart disease.
12. How to correctly check my blood pressure at home?
If you want to check your blood pressure at home, you can use portable blood pressure monitors to do so. These are highly adaptable and can help provide you with your blood pressure levels closest to accurate.
But if you are seeking precision in the readings, then it will be good if you were to follow certain measures. For once, avoid intake of caffeine and alcohol before taking the reading. And, have a proper rest of nearly 10 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
13. Why is it important to visit a doctor to confirm high/low blood pressure?
It is important to visit a doctor regarding blood pressure for the sake of the precision of the outcome or the result of the readings. Moreover, in a proper medical facility and care of professionals, you will be able to get guidance about how to keep your blood pressure in check if it is not per your ideal blood pressure.
Also, you can get a consultation regarding the changes that you will need to make in your lifestyle to bring your blood pressure back in check.
14. Should you be worried about high blood pressure during pregnancy?
High blood pressure during the latter half of the pregnancy is not that rare of an occurrence. However, it is not something to make light of either. If not treated properly, or significant steps are not taken regarding it, this high blood pressure may pose danger to the health of the parent as well as the baby.
This type of high blood pressure or hypertension is called gestational hypertension, and it is not long-lasting. It goes away after the delivery of the baby.
15. What are some of the symptoms to watch out for in high blood pressure?
The symptoms of high blood pressure are not something that can be ignored readily. These symptoms include severe headache, anxiety attacks, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, blood spots in the eyes, intense fatigue, blurred or distorted vision, and vomiting or nausea. These symptoms are not something to be taken lightly.
High blood pressure is not an incurable problem, but measures are needed to be taken against it in the due time. So, don’t make light of the symptoms and consult a physiotherapist regarding these.
16. What foods should you eat to lower blood pressure?
To lower blood pressure eat a diet that is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Besides this, it is good to take short meals that are low in curbs. Instead of deep-fried products, it will be good if you were to incline towards a diet that is mainly consisting of vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables.
Consume lots of low-fat poultry and dairy products. These will help enable a healthy diet for you and help you lean towards a healthy lifestyle.
17. What are the best herbs and spices for high blood pressure?
Many known herbs and spices are proven to have a significant effect on high blood pressure. Significantly, basil, parsley, Chinese cat’s claw, celery seeds, Brahmi, thyme, garlic, and ginger are the herbs that are most commonly made use of by people that are suffering from high blood pressure. Along with these, cardamom, cloves, ajwain, green oat, and flaxseeds are the spices that help manage high blood pressure.
- Borjesson M, Onerup A, Lundqvist S, Dahlof B. Physical activity and exercise lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension: Narrative review of 27 RCTs. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(6):356-361. doi:10.1136/BJSPORTS-2015-095786
- High blood pressure (hypertension) – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. Accessed October 10, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373417
- Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB, Anderson CAM, et al. Life’s Essential 8: Updating and Enhancing the American Heart Association’s Construct of Cardiovascular Health: A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2022;146(5):E18-E43. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001078
- Grundy SM, Stone NJ, Bailey AL, et al. 2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2019;139(25):E1082-E1143. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000625
- Brenner J, LeBlang S, Lizotte-Waniewski M, et al. Mindfulness with paced breathing reduces blood pressure. Med Hypotheses. 2020;142. doi:10.1016/J.MEHY.2020.109780
- Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical practice guidelines. Hypertension. 2018;71(6):E13-E115. doi:10.1161/HYP.0000000000000065
- Chernova I, Krishnan N. Resistant Hypertension Updated Guidelines. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2019;21(10). doi:10.1007/S11886-019-1209-6
- Agasthi P, Shipman J, Arsanjani R, et al. Renal Denervation for Resistant Hypertension in the contemporary era: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1). doi:10.1038/S41598-019-42695-9
- Flynn JT, Kaelber DC, Baker-Smith CM, et al. Clinical practice guideline for screening and management of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2017;140(3). doi:10.1542/PEDS.2017-1904
- Muntner P, Shimbo D, Carey RM, et al. Measurement of blood pressure in humans: A scientific statement from the american heart association. Hypertension. 2019;73(5):E35-E66. doi:10.1161/HYP.000000000000008