Before The Damage Is Done — Keep Your Pressure Under Control

(Huffington Post) — One in three American adults have high blood pressure, a serious condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. High blood pressure can damage the kidneys without any warning, but the news isn’t all bad. By knowing your risk and keeping tabs on your numbers, you may be able to prevent blood pressure from getting out of control. Though there is no cure, treatment can lower blood pressure. If it is mild or considered “pre-hypertension,” it may sometimes be brought under control by making healthier lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and a low-salt diet.

What is pre-hypertension?

For most adults, high blood pressure consists of a systolic (upper number) pressure of 140 or higher, and a diastolic (lower number) pressure of 90 or higher. People who have systolic blood pressure of 120-139 or diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 are said to have “pre-hypertension.” Those who fall in the category of having pre-hypertension should talk to their doctors about lifestyle changes that can help them prevent high blood pressure. Optimal blood pressure is 120/80 or less.

How is pre-hypertension diagnosed?

Pre-hypertension is diagnosed during routine, annual checkups. It’s important to make sure your primary care physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant is checking your blood pressure on an ongoing basis, especially since elevated blood pressure usually causes no symptoms. Having these numbers checked routinely is critical in protecting your kidneys.

Are you at risk?

Unfortunately there is no single cause of hypertension. There are many causes of high blood pressure. The most common cause is that you inherit it from your mother or your father. However, some things may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.


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