Managing Hypertension: Strategies for Controlling Blood Pressure


More than one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. Many of these people do not know they are infected because there are usually no warning signs. This is dangerous because high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening diseases like heart attack and stroke. 

The good news is that high blood pressure can often be prevented or treated. Early diagnosis and heart-healthy lifestyle changes can prevent the serious health effects of high blood pressure. Blood pressure Blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes on the artery walls. Every time your heart beats, blood is pumped into your arteries. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is beating and pumping blood. This is called systolic blood pressure. When the heart rests between beats, blood pressure decreases. This is called diastolic blood pressure. 

These two numbers are used to measure blood pressure. The systolic measurement usually precedes or exceeds the diastolic measurement. For example, 120/80 means systolic is 120 and diastolic is 80. 

How to Diagnose High Blood Pressure: 

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Therefore, the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get regular blood pressure tests from your healthcare provider. The health care provider uses a gauge, stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff. Before making a diagnosis, your doctor will take two or more measurements at separate appointments. 

For children and teens, health care providers compare blood pressure readings with normal values ​​for other children of the same age, height, and gender. 

People with diabetes or chronic kidney disease should keep their blood pressure less than 130/80.

Who is at risk for high blood pressure: 

Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but there are certain factors that increase your risk: 

Age – Blood pressure increases with age 

Race/Ethnicity – High blood pressure is more common in African Americans Adult 

Weight – People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop high blood pressure – Before age 55, men are more likely to develop high blood pressure than women. After age 55, women are more likely to develop the disease than men. 

Lifestyle – Certain lifestyle habits can increase your risk of high blood pressure, including too much or too little sodium (salt), lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking. 

Family history – Having a family history of high blood pressure increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. How to avoid high blood pressure: You can avoid high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle. 

Eat a healthy diet: 

To control your blood pressure, you should limit the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet and increase the amount of potassium in your diet. It’s also important to eat plenty of fatty foods, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The DASH meal plan is an example of a meal plan that can help lower blood pressure. 

Get regular exercise: 

Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and lowers blood pressure. Aim for at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, causes your heart to beat faster and take in more oxygen than normal.

Maintain a healthy weight: 

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight can help control high blood pressure and reduce the risk of other health problems. 

Limit alcohol: 

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure. It also contains extra calories, which can lead to weight gain. Men should not exceed 2 drinks per day and women should not exceed 1 drink per day. 

Quit smoking: 

Smoking cigarettes increases your blood pressure and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you don’t smoke, please don’t start. If you smoke, talk to your health care provider to find out the best way to quit. Managing stress: Learning to relax and manage stress can improve your emotional and physical health and reduce high blood pressure. Stress management techniques include exercise, listening to music, focusing on quiet or peaceful activities, and meditation. 

If you already have high blood pressure, it’s important to prevent it from worsening or developing complications. You should visit your doctor regularly and follow the prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will also include healthy lifestyle recommendations and possibly medications.

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