High Blood Pressure - Treatment Overview
high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks or
strokes. The higher your blood pressure, the greater
your risk. Lowering blood pressure lowers the risk of
damaging blood vessels and getting atherosclerosis.
High blood pressure
usually can't be cured. But it can be
controlled. The two types of treatment for high blood pressure
- Lifestyle changes.
Your doctor will give you a blood pressure goal. An example of a goal is to keep blood pressure below 140/90. Your goal may be lower or higher based on your health and age. Your blood pressure goal can help you prevent problems caused by high blood pressure.
Treating high blood pressure with lifestyle
For some people, lifestyle changes may be enough to lower their blood pressure. Whether this is an option for you depends on how high your blood pressure is and whether you have other health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Your doctor may suggest that you make
one or more of the following changes:
- Lose weight. If you're overweight, losing extra pounds
may bring your blood pressure down.
- Get more active. Regular aerobic exercise can help lower blood pressure.
- Stop smoking. Nicotine
temporarily increases blood pressure and heart rate with each use.
- Limit alcohol.
Limit alcohol to 2
drinks a day for men, 1 drink a day for women.
- Eat less sodium. To help lower blood pressure, try to eat less than 1,500 mg a day.
- Follow the DASH diet. The DASH (Dietary
Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan can help you lower your blood pressure.
For tips on how to do these things, see the Living With High Blood Pressure section of this topic.
Treating high blood pressure with
If lifestyle changes don't lower your blood pressure to your goal, you may need to take daily medicines as
Medicines control—but usually don't
cure—high blood pressure. So you will probably need to take them
for the rest of your life. Most people need to take two or more medicines.
- High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?
Some people find it hard to take their
medicines properly. They may feel it's too much trouble—especially when they don't feel sick. Or they're worried about side effects. Some people find it hard to keep track of when and how to take their medicines.
If you have trouble taking high blood
pressure medicines for any reason, talk to your doctor.
- High Blood Pressure: Taking Medicines Properly