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There are no warning signs and many people do not even know they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk for a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. The best way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.
You can take steps to control high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle and geting proper treatment by a healthcare provider.
If your blood pressure is always higher when you visit the doctor than your readings at home, take your blood pressure machine to the doctors office to see if the readings are the same. Then you and your doctor will know if your home readings are correct.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a good first step to a better lifestyle. The more you weigh, the more pressure it takes the heart to pump the blood. Sometimes shedding extra pounds can move your blood pressure back to the normal range.
Another idea is to eat a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt. Stop adding salt when you bring food to the table. Try other seasonings such as fresh herbs and spices to add flavor to your food.
Physical activity may help lower your blood pressure. Find an aerobic activity that is right for you. Take a brisk walk 3-5 times a week, for 30 minutes. You might even find your blood pressure is at its lowest fifteen minutes after your walk.
For many learning to relax is important. We all have everyday stress that our bodies are equipped to handle. Find ways to handle the stress: don't take on too many extra tasks and maintain positive relationships.
Regularly visits to your medical professional are essential. Answer any questions the doctor might have about your past medical history and your present state of health. The answers you give are vital to the treatment the doctor will recommend.
Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff