Is Your Blood Pressure Too High? How to Know

Article posted in: Lifestyle
Female medicine doctor measuring blood pressure

High blood pressure is no joke. It literally means that your blood vessels are under too much pressure. Untreated hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart and coronary arteries, which can result in a heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and damaged organs. Other conditions that can be brought on by untreated high blood pressure include stroke, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction, loss of vision, memory loss, fluid in the lungs, angina and peripheral artery disease. Keep these tips handy, since having high blood pressure is nothing to mess with.

5 Ways to Reduce Risk of High Blood Pressure

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Learn the Risks
There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of having high blood pressure. Obesity, over-consumption of alcohol, smoking and family medical history can increase the likelihood of developing hypertension. Utilizing a weight management program like Nutrisystem and maintaining a healthy weight can help alleviate strain on your blood vessels. Eliminating—or for starters, drastically decreasing—alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking will do wonders in support of a healthier blood pressure. If you know you have a family history of high blood pressure, face the future armed with this knowledge and aim to keep your blood pressure in check with a healthy lifestyle.

Know the Symptoms
There are some indications of high blood pressure that you’ll want to keep tucked in the back of your mind. Severe hypertension can cause nosebleeds, dizziness, vision problems, headaches and shortness of breath. But unfortunately, many people with high blood pressure do not experience noticeable symptoms until they’ve suffered a heart attack or stroke. This makes it vital to regularly track your blood pressure.

For Blood Pressure, Lower is Better

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­Measure It
The pressure on your artery walls when your heart contracts and pumps blood to the rest of your body is known as “systolic” pressure. This is the top number in your blood pressure measure. This number should be less than 120, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). The bottom, “diastolic” number is a measure of the pressure on your arteries between heartbeats. Less than 80 is a healthy, according to the American Heart Association. Readings of 120-139 and 80-89 indicate your heart is working with what’s known as “prehypertension” conditions, which can become worse when not addressed. Readings above 140 and 90 are diagnosed as high blood pressure.

If you find that your blood pressure is high, there are steps you can take to control it. Read this article for a few tips.