High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition that occurs when the force with which your blood flows through your blood vessels, is continuously higher than normal.

High blood pressure is extremely common in the U.S. Experts estimate that nearly 50% of the American adult population has high blood pressure, whether or not they realize it.

Your blood pressure reading shows a top number and a bottom number. It’s important that you understand your numbers

Normal

A normal blood pressure reading shows the top number, or systolic number, as somewhere around under 120, and the bottom number, or diastolic number, under 80 (120/80).

Elevated

Between 120 and 129 over under 80 is considered elevated.

Stage 1 hypertension

If you have a top number between 130 and 139, or a bottom number between 80 and 89, you have stage 1 hypertension.

Stage 2 hypertension

If your blood pressure reading shows a top of number 140 or higher, or a bottom number of 90 or higher, you have stage 2 hypertension.

Hypertensive crisis

If your blood pressure reads as higher than 180 over higher than 120, or it shows either of these numbers individually, your blood pressure is critically high. If this is the case, seek medical attention immediately.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?

High blood pressure, which often presents no symptoms, is dangerous because of the pressure it puts on your circulatory system. Over time, high blood pressure can put you at a significantly higher risk for complications like:

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Heart failure

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Vascular dementia

  • Sexual dysfunction

Fortunately, high blood pressure is easy to eliminate or control with lifestyle changes.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

To lower your blood pressure, you need to take action with a variety of lifestyle changes. Examples of these include:

  • Limiting alcohol

  • Proactively managing stress

  • Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight

  • Eating a balanced diet

  • Getting regular exercise

  • Taking all medications properly

  • Quitting smoking

 

In addition, your doctor may recommend you manage high blood pressure with medication. Even with medication, though, for a meaningful and lasting change, you need to adopt healthy lifestyle changes.

The best way to know whether or not you have hypertension is by getting your blood pressure checked by a doctor. If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, or if you haven’t had a reading in a while, stop into Willis Urgent Care for a reading today.  We are open 8:00 - 8:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday.  

 

For more information on High Blood Pressure, see the following websites:

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/default.htm

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/high_blood_pressure/article_em.htm

Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of Willis Urgent Care. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.

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