While nearly half of US adults suffer from high blood pressure (commonly referred to as HBP or hypertension), many people with the condition have no symptoms that let them know there is a problem. We know—that’s a frustrating sentence to hear. But we’ve compiled the following info and tips to help you avoid risky blood pressure levels. If you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, these tips will not only help you understand what your body is going through, but will also help you learn how you can lower it back down to a healthier level.
Feel free to comment below with any additional tips and tricks you’ve found that helped your HBP journey. And remember to always ask a healthcare professional for advice on ways you can tackle high blood pressure levels. Hospitality Health ER is always a visit away.
So, what is HBP?
The American Heart Association defines HBP as when your blood pressure—the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries—is consistently too high. Blood pressure is the mechanism by which blood is transported through your body.
Why is blood pressure important?
Healthy blood pressure ensures that your entire body is receiving the blood it needs to function, but when your blood pressure is too high, it can cause problems. People with high blood pressure are at risk of strokes because the pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to burst or clog more easily. Likewise, it can damage the arteries around the kidneys and prevent them from effectively filtering blood.
Low blood pressure also has serious side effects that can potentially lead to fainting, dizziness, and, in worst case scenarios, heart attacks or kidney failure.
What is a healthy number for high blood pressure? And what do those numbers mean?
Your blood pressure is measured through two numbers in the form of a fraction. The first number, your systolic pressure, measures the pressure inside your artery when your heart beats and contracts. The second number, your diastolic pressure, measures the pressure inside your artery when your heart is at rest between each beat.
Blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mmHg are considered within the normal range.. If your systolic pressure is between 121-129, you have elevated blood pressure. If you get a reading of 130/80, your levels are considered stage 1 hypertension, and levels above 140/90 are considered stage 2 hypertension.
What are the common symptoms of high blood pressure?
Although symptoms of HBP vary from person to person, there are a few red flags you can keep an eye out for:
- Blurry or double vision
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Five Ways You Can Prevent High Blood Pressure
The main way you can counteract high blood pressure is by living a healthy lifestyle. Of course, this doesn’t mean HBP can’t be an issue if you eat well and regularly exercise (Stanford researchers found ⅓ of the high school, college and professional athletes who were screened by the Stanford sports cardiology clinic register as having high blood pressure). But it does lessen your chances of experiencing the symptoms that are a part of HBP.
Ways you can keep your blood pressure at a healthy level:
- Sleep well
- Avoid smoking
- Drink less frequently
- Exercise weekly
- Eat a healthy diet
When is time to seek help?
If your blood pressure has reached higher than 120/80, talk to your doctor about how to manage your blood pressure.If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical help immediately:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness or weakness
- Change in vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Severe headache
Keep in mind that nearly half of adults in the United States (47%, or 116 million people) have high blood pressure. You’re not alone.
Check out Heart.org for a list of high blood pressure tools and resources.
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