High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is known as “the silent killer.” More than 80 million Americans (33%) have high blood pressure, and up to 16 million of them don’t even know they hoge bloeddruk verlagen have the condition. If left untreated, high blood pressure significantly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Hypertension is expected to increase by about 8 percent between 2013 and 2030.

Your healthcare provider will want to see several blood pressure readings for several days or weeks before diagnosing high blood pressure and starting treatment. Ask your provider when to call if your blood pressure readings aren’t within the normal range. Modifiable risk factors include unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and being overweight or obese. The best way to lower your blood pressure starts with the lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure.

First-line medications for hypertension include thiazide diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers. These medications can be used alone or in combination; the latter option may serve to minimize the counterregulation mechanisms that work to restore blood pressure levels to pre-treatment levels. Most people need more than one medication to control their hypertension. Blood pressure control medications should be implemented using a step-by-step approach when target levels are not reached. The goal of treatment is to lower your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medications that are easy to take and have few or no side effects.

There is some evidence that consuming green tea can help lower blood pressure, but this is insufficient to recommend it as a treatment. Consuming beet juice also significantly lowers the blood pressure of people with high blood pressure. To make an accurate diagnosis of hypertension, it is essential that a good blood pressure measurement technique is used. Incorrect blood pressure measurement is common and can change the blood pressure reading by up to 10 mmHg, which can lead to misdiagnosis and misclassification of hypertension.

Your healthcare team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by assessing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to the levels in certain guidelines. Although high blood pressure is more common in adults, children may also be at risk. In some children, high blood pressure is caused by problems with the kidneys or heart. But for a growing number of children, poor lifestyle habits, such as an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, contribute to high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems, such as heart attack and stroke. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to check it out.