In 2003, The American Heart Association reported that nearly one in three adults, or 65 million people had hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common and treatable condition. You have high blood pressure if your blood pressure has a reading of 140 over 90 or higher (140/90mm Hg). Prehypertension is a reading of 120-139/80-89 mm Hg. The AHA reports 59 million adults have prehypertension. Sixty nine percent of people who have a heart attack and seventy seven percent of people who have a stroke have high blood pressure.
When you have hypertension there are no symptoms you can feel or see. The only way to tell is to have your blood pressure checked. In most cases, diet and lifestyle changes can help control mildly high blood pressure. But sometimes, your doctor will prescribe medication as well as lifestyle changes.
Here are some tips to help lower your blood pressure. Stop smoking, smoking narrows your blood vessels causing blood pressure to dramatically rise. You should also try to maintain a healthy weight. Eat fewer high fat foods and increase your physical activity. Exercise regularly, aerobic exercise tones your heart, blood vessels and muscles and helps keep your blood pressure low. Drink alcohol in moderation and limit your salt intake. A diet high in salt causes the body to retain water, which increases the volume of blood in circulation and increases the pressure in the arteries.
If you are required take blood pressure medication, take all the medication as prescribed. Try to take your pills close to the same time each day, and never skip a dose. If you have side effects or don’t believe your pressure is high, see your doctor about your concerns. Make sure you refill your prescriptions before they run out. Do not stop medication because your blood pressure is normal, chances are it’s is normal due to the medication.
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