High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, in medical terms is one of the most common contributors to developing heart and kidney disease in the U.S. It also contributes to strokes, one of leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.
We call high blood pressure the silent killer because often times there are no symptoms of the disease.
The best way to check to see if you have it is to check your blood pressure- often there are machines at the mall or pharmacy that can do this for you.
Make sure that you check your blood pressure accurately. It is best done after resting for 5 minutes. The cuff should fit your arm properly and be at about heart level.
The cut off for high blood pressure depends on where it is measured. In the doctor's office, most people run a few points higher than they do other places, so the cut off is 140/90. At home, the cut off is 135/85. People who have coronary artery disease, kidney disease or diabetes should have a goal of 130/80, as they are at higher risk for complications. A reading over this should be verified on a different day.
Methods of lowering your blood pressure are:
- Aerobic exercise, like walking, ideally for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week
- Less than 2 grams (2,000 mg) of sodium in your diet per day
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as a diet high in calcium and potassium. Avoid potassium if you have kidney problems as this can build up in your body. Ask your doctor.
Don't be a victim of high blood pressure- check yours today!
Please note that these are for your general information only, and should not substitute for discussions with your doctor.