Get answers to your heart disease prevention questions.
Hypertension - essential
The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. You and your health care provider should set a blood pressure goal for you.
Your health care provider may also recommend that you exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet. If you have pre-hypertension, your health care provider will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
You can do many things to help control your blood pressure, including:
Your health care provider can help you find programs for losing weight, stopping smoking, and exercising. You can also get a referral from your doctor to a dietitian, who can help you plan a diet that is healthy for you.
Many different medicines can be used to treat high blood pressure. See: High blood pressure medicines.
Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure. You may need to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications you were prescribed. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication.
Most of the time, high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.
If your blood pressure is not well controlled, you are at risk for:
If you have essential hypertension, you will have regular appointments with your doctor.
Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to have your blood pressure checked during your yearly check-up, especially if someone in your family has or had high blood pressure.
Call your health care provider right away if home monitoring shows that your blood pressure is still high.
Goldstein LB, Bushnell CD, Adams RJ, Appel LJ, Braun LT, Chaturvedi S, et al. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2011;42:517-584.
Kaplan NM. Systemic Hypertension: Treatment. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 46.
Victor RG. Systemic hypertension: Mechanisms and diagnosis. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 45.
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