Understanding the Connection Between Asthma and Blood Pressure
There are over 34 million asthma patients in India, which accounts for 13.09% of the global numbers. Also, every 1 in 3 adults in India is suffering from hypertension. According to a study, patients with asthma are more likely to have high blood pressure, and, in turn, hypertension is associated with the increased severity of asthma. Another study discusses the history of allergies associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases.
It is safe to deduce from these research papers that there is a connection between these two health conditions. This blog will focus on understanding the connection between Asthma and blood pressure in detail.
The link between Asthma and Hypertension
Asthma is a condition that causes the airways in the lungs to become inflamed, making it difficult for air to pass through. It can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. On the other hand, high blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls is greater than it should be. This adds stress to your heart and in severe cases, may lead to heart failure or stroke.
When you have an asthma attack, your airway narrows, making it difficult for air to reach your lungs. You may also experience an increased heart rate during an asthma attack because your heart is working harder than normal to keep up with your breathing demands. When the heart rate increases, there’s less room for blood to travel through your heart, which increases the pressure inside your arteries leading to blood pressure. Many people with asthma also tend to develop high blood pressure over time.
Risk factors for this comorbidity
Asthma and high blood pressure are two diseases that can have a strong connection. The two conditions affect the heart and lungs, so it’s no surprise that they sometimes overlap. The reasons for this overlap are not entirely understood, but some of the factors may include the following:
Genetics: Both asthma and high blood pressure have genetic components inherited from one or both parents. If one parent has asthma and high blood pressure, there’s an 80 per cent chance their children will inherit at least one of those conditions.
Role of Treatments: Treatments for these two conditions may overlap as well. For example, beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure can also help manage asthma symptoms because they reduce adrenaline levels in your body (adrenaline makes breathing difficult).
Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of both asthma and high blood pressure. It also makes controlling either condition more complicated once you have it because smoking damages your lungs’ ability to filter out allergens and pollutants from the air you breathe.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese can cause both conditions because it strains your heart and lungs by forcing them to work harder than normal to pump blood around your body. Obesity also increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease.
Stress: Stress is another common cause of asthma and hypertension because it triggers the fight-or-flight response in your body. This causes your heart rate to increase, which can lead to high blood pressure. This causes your heart rate to increase, which can lead to high blood pressure.
Besides these significant causative factors, poor lifestyle choices, lack of physical activity, and improper dietary habits can add to risks of both Asthma and hypertension.
Treatments for Asthma & Hypertension
Treating both can reduce your risk of complications and improve your quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about treating asthma and high blood pressure together:
- Get tested for both conditions
If you have asthma and high blood pressure, it’s essential to find out which is causing symptoms first. This will help you get treatment for the condition that matters most to you and your family. It can also help you avoid unnecessary tests and treatments — not just for your heart but also for your lungs.
- Know how each condition affects the other
Asthma attacks can trigger a temporary spike in blood pressure during an attack (known as “acute hypertension”). Sometimes, a sudden spike in the blood pressure of an Asthma patient can trigger a full-blown hypertensive crisis if you don’t get immediate treatment with medication.
- Have an asthma action plan in place.
If you have asthma and high blood pressure, working closely with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan that includes medications and lifestyle changes is vital.
- See your doctor regularly for checkups and blood pressure monitoring.
Over time, your doctor will assist you in controlling your blood pressure and asthma while ensuring you receive the best care possible. You might need to take some drugs to treat your disease and alter your lifestyle. Your doctor can assist you in determining the optimal mix for you.
Thinking about suffering from both conditions simultaneously, knowing one can lead to another, can be overwhelming. But the good news is that both conditions are treatable. With the help of your doctor you can make a few changes to your lifestyle and that can help you progress in a positive direction.
Seek medical help to manage both effectively.
If you or someone you love is amid asthma attacks and high blood pressure, you must take the time to get consultation from an expert. Only after this step can you go about the process of finding treatment. Talk to your doctor to learn the correct way forward. If you want to connect with expert doctors anywhere in India and read more insightful information about hypertension, visit BP in Control.