High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health conditions seen in the United States. Elevated blood pressure leads to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and death if undetected.
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
New guidelines state:
- People < 60 years old have a blood pressure goal of < 140/90 mmHg
- People > 60 years old have a blood pressure goal of < 150/90 mmHg
How to achieve and maintain healthy blood pressure:
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help keep your blood pressure down. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetable in addition to foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Also limit amount of daily caffeine found in coffee, teas and soda.
High sodium is a known culprit for increasing blood pressure. Try to decrease the amount of sodium you add to you foods. Be aware that many processed foods (including canned soups and frozen “healthy” meals) and restaurant meals are high in sodium.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can raise your blood pressure. Losing weight can help you lower your blood pressure.
- Be physically active. Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
- Stop smoking! Smoking increases your blood pressure while increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and breathing complications
If lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your blood pressure at goal, medications may need to be added. Usually one medication is started and the dose is increased until you are able to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure. A second or even third medication may need to be added if blood pressure remains elevated after one month of treatment.
If you have questions, call the Tria Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.