High blood pressure affects millions of people throughout the world. The incidence of high blood pressure continues to rise. Responsible factors include stressful living, inappropriate diets, obesity, nicotine and alcohol use.
Blood pressure below 120 over 80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) is considered optimal for adults. A systolic pressure of 120 to 139 mmHg or a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mmHg is considered "prehypertension" and should to be observed carefully. A blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or higher is considered elevated (high).
Patients with hypertension frequently have no symptoms; therefore, it has been referred to as the "Silent Killer". It is usually found on a routine office visit or annual examination.
Your blood pressure can be lowered by medication and natural therapy. A change in your lifestyle and diet are important factors in naturally lowering you blood pressure. Lifestyle changes include stress reduction, exercise, and relaxation techniques.
Following a few simple tips can optimize your blood pressure. This will also lower your risk of the complications secondary to hypertension.
1. Use the appropriate sized cuff.
2. Take your medication as directed before your visit to the doctor.
3. Keep your feet flat on the floor when checking your blood pressure.
4. Keep your arm at the level of your heart when checking your blood pressure.
5. Invest in a blood pressure cuff for home monitoring.
6. Take your blood pressure cuff with you to your doctors appointment to compare the readings of your home monitoring to your physician's.
7. Do some type of exercise daily (even if you can only twirl your arms).
9. Work on weight loss.
10. Decrease the salt in your diet.
11. Decrease your alcohol intake.
12. Eliminate nicotine.
Some patients have normal blood pressures at home, but their blood pressure is always elevated in the doctor's office. This is known as white coat hypertension. This may be present in 15-20 percent of patients. Treatment may not be needed if your home readings are consistently normal.
Following the above tips will help improve your blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and eye disease. Financial benefits may also be seen by lowering your expenses for medications and physician's office visits.