Saturday, May 7, 2011

How To Reduce Blood Pressure?

What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and it has two numbers. The fi rst is the systolic blood pressure, and is the pressure when the heart is contracting. The second is the diastolic blood pressure, and is the pressure when the heart is resting. A person has high blood pressure, or hypertension, when the fi rst pressure is above 140 mmHg or the second is above 90 mmHg.

What causes high blood pressure?
Some people have high blood pressure because it runs in the family. Blood pressure also tends to increase with age. But lifestyle factors can also cause high blood pressure or make it worse.

These factors include:
• being overweight or obese;
• eating too much salt in the diet;
• drinking too much alcohol.

High blood pressure can also be linked to some illnesses, such as kidney disease. Some medicines, such as birth control pills, can increase blood pressure.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?
High blood pressure makes the heart work harder than it should, causing it to get weaker over time. The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of heart attack and stroke.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
You cannot tell if you have high blood pressure unless you have it measured. You should have it measured once a year. The measurement is quick and painless.

What should I do if I have high blood pressure?
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Stay active.
• Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and fat and high in fruit and vegetables.
• Do not smoke.
• Do not drink too much alcohol.
• Have your blood pressure taken regularly.

If you are doing these things and your blood pressure is still high, your doctor can prescribe medicines. These do not cure high blood pressure, but they control it. You must take them as directed, probably for the rest of your life. You should have your blood pressure checked regularly.

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