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Hypertension

Hypertension

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the measurement of the pressure of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries, which carry the blood throughout the body. If the pressure in your arteries is above the normal range, it’s called hypertension.

Blood pressure is measured as two numbers; the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.  The first number, the systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills with blood. The second number, the diastolic pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

Type of blood pressure reading Normal blood pressure Prehypertension Stage 1 hypertension Stage 2 hypertension
Systolic less than 120 mmHg 120-139 mmHg 140-159 mmHg 160 mmHg and above
Diastolic less than 80 mmHg 80-89 mmHg 90-99 mmHg 100 mmHg and above

If you have high blood pressure it can lead to serious health issues, if not treated, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Kidney Disease/Failure
  • Enlarged Heart

If you have hypertension here are some things you can do to lower it:

  • Check your blood pressure at home
  • Eat healthy foods low in salt and fat
  • Achieve and maintain an ideal body weight
  • Quite smoking
  • Be more physically active
  • Reduce your stress
  • Take medications to reduce blood pressure as prescribed by your physician
  • Have regular blood pressure checkups with your health care provider

Don’t wait for more serious complications to arise. The sooner you take care of hypertension the better your health will be in the long run.