High Blood Pressure
Signs and Symptoms
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is characterized by an elevated force of blood against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers, the systolic measurement of heart beats (the top number), and the diastolic measurement of when the heart is relaxed (the bottom number).
Normal blood pressure should read lower than 120/80. Hypertension is diagnosed when it reaches 140/90. Elevated blood pressure may lead to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, or vision impairments.
Treatment with medication is often recommended, but a combination of lifestyle changes and drug therapy is usually what doctors order. Eating healthier food, reducing the amount of sodium in your diet, losing weight, and getting regular aerobic exercise are all critical steps to lowering your blood pressure.