If your blood pressure is high, it is important for you to lower it and keep it under control. Your blood pressure reading has 2 numbers. One or both of these numbers can be too high.
You are more likely to be told our blood pressure is too high as you get older. This is because your blood vessels become stiffer as you age. When that happens, your blood pressure goes up. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and early death.
If you have heart or kidney problems, or if you had a stroke, your doctor may want your blood pressure to be even lower than people who do not have these conditions.
Many medicines can help you control your blood pressure. Types of medications include:
In addition to taking medicine, you can do many things to help control your blood pressure. Some of them are:
Your doctor 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.
Your doctor may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. Make sure you get a good quality, well-fitting home device. It will probably have a cuff with a stethoscope or a digital readout. Practice with your doctor or nurse to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly.
It is normal for your blood pressure to be different at different times of the day:
Your doctor will give you a physical exam and check your blood pressure regularly. If you monitor your blood pressure at home, keep a written record and bring the results to your clinic visit. Your doctor or nurse may ask you these questions. Having a written record will make them easy to answer:
Call your doctor if your blood pressure goes well above your normal range.
Also call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
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