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How high is your blood pressure?

Updated: Jan 9


how high is your blood pressure

Understanding High Blood Pressure: Beyond White Coat Syndrome

In primary care offices, high blood pressure is a commonly diagnosed condition. While some attribute elevated readings to white coat syndrome, it's crucial to recognize that high blood pressure is a clinical diagnosis requiring two separate readings on different occasions for confirmation.


Recognizing High Blood Pressure

People with high blood pressure often show no signs or symptoms. In some cases, individuals may experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, but these symptoms typically manifest at advanced stages.


American Heart Association Guidelines


According to the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC), normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or less. Understanding the stages is essential:


  • Elevated: Systolic 120-129 and diastolic less than 80.

  • Stage 1: Systolic 130-139 or diastolic 80-89.

  • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg.


Risks and Consequences


Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to severe health issues, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and death. Risk factors include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, genetic factors, unhealthy diet, and diabetes.


Lifestyle Modifications for Prevention


While some risk factors are beyond our control, lifestyle modifications significantly reduce hypertension risk. Strategies include limiting sodium intake, adopting the DASH diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, engaging in regular physical activity, weight loss, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake.


Non-Pharmacological Approaches


Implementing non-pharmacological strategies, such as lifestyle changes, is crucial. The DASH diet and regular physical activity can lower blood pressure. A weight loss of 22 lbs can reduce blood pressure by 5 to 20 mmHg.


Seeking Medical Intervention


If lifestyle changes don't sufficiently control blood pressure, medication may be necessary. The choice of medication depends on overall health and blood pressure measurements.


Get Screened and Seek Assistance


Regular blood pressure screenings at grocery stores or pharmacies are accessible. If readings are consistently above 120/80 mmHg, it's advisable to seek medical evaluation and treatment to prevent complications. Contact us at 832-391-5300; we're here to help you manage your blood pressure effectively.


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