High Blood Pressure - Topic Overview
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
find out that they have high blood pressure during a routine doctor visit. For your
doctor to confirm that you have high blood pressure, your blood pressure must
be at least 140/90 on two separate occasions. It is usually measured
1 to 4 weeks apart.
You may have to check your blood pressure at home if there is reason to think the readings in the doctor's office aren't accurate. You may have what is called
white-coat hypertension, which is blood pressure that
goes up just because you're at the doctor's office.
How is it treated?
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will give you a blood pressure goal. Your goal will be based on your health and your age. An example of a goal is to keep your blood pressure below 140/90.
You can help lower your blood pressure by making healthy
changes in your lifestyle. If those lifestyle changes don't work well enough, you may also
need to take pills. Either way, you will need to control your high blood
pressure throughout your life.
Treatment depends on how high
your blood pressure is, whether you have other health problems such as
diabetes, and whether any organs have already been damaged. Your doctor may also check your risk for other problems, such as heart attack and stroke.
Most people take more than one pill for high blood
pressure. Work with your doctor to find the right pill or combination of pills
that will cause the fewest side effects.
What can you do to prevent high blood pressure?
Making lifestyle changes can help you to
prevent high blood pressure. You can:
- Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra
- Eat heart-healthy foods and limit sodium.
- Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a
day for men and 1 drink a day for women.