Preventing High Blood Pressure: Tips on Controlling Prehypertension

routine-check-and-control-your-prehypertensionWhen blood pressure increases slightly, also called prehypertension, you may not be too concerned about it. Many consider this not a serious matter. However, blood pressure that is less than normal can turn out to be a danger. Is this prehypertensive condition bound to develop into hypertension (high blood pressure)?

What is prehypertension?

Prehypertension is a new category in blood pressure measurement. In fact, prehypertension is a warning sign of hypertension. This sign is made so that you pay more attention to your blood pressure so it does not progress to worse in the future.

People with prehypertension have slightly elevated blood pressure, but cannot be included in the category of high blood pressure or hypertension.

You belong to the prehypertension category if you have systolic blood pressure (the top number in blood pressure reading) of 120-139 mmHg or have the diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mmHg. Meanwhile, people with normal blood pressure have blood pressure below that number (120/80 mmHg).

Will prehypertension be hypertensive?

Blood pressure in the range of hypertension is practically abnormal. This is because people with prehypertension are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure than people with normal blood pressure, according to Harvard Health Publishing. People with prehypertension also have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Although people with prehypertension have a higher risk of becoming hypertensive later in life, prehypertension will not always be hypertensive. This is true if you make lifestyle changes, such as exercising more and managing your healthier food consumption.

Conversely, if your lifestyle does not change and continue to poor living habits, you may experience hypertension later in life and health problems related to blood pressure, such as heart disease, heart attacks, kidney failure, and stroke, will be greater.

How to control prehypertension?

If your doctor diagnoses prehypertension, you may not need to take blood pressure medication. You simply change your lifestyle so that prehypertension does not develop into hypertension. Some things you can do to control prehypertension are:

1. Keep your weight in the ideal range.

Being overweight or obese may increase your risk of hypertension. So, lose weight if you are obese needs to be done so that blood pressure is more controlled.

2. Regular exercise.

Exercise can help you maintain your weight and reduce stress, so that blood pressure can be controlled. Do exercise for at least 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week, such as brisk walking, running, cycling, and swimming.

3. Organize your food consumption.

Food can affect your blood pressure. For that, you should keep your food intake. Increase intake of vegetables, fruits, food sources of low-fat protein (such as fish, tofu, and tempeh), and grains (like wheat). Choose low-fat dairy products and limit your intake of foods containing saturated fats and trans fats, such as fried foods and junk food.

4. Limit your salt or sodium intake.

Reducing the consumption of foods containing salt or high sodium can help you control blood pressure. Limit your sodium intake to only 2400 mg or equivalent to 6 grams of salt (about 1 teaspoon). Reduce extra salt on your food and limit high consumption of sodium foods, such as packaged foods, canned foods, and processed foods (frozen food).

5. Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages and stop smoking.

Too much alcohol consumption and frequent smoking can increase your blood pressure. So, you either limit or even avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking.

6. Perform regular blood pressure checks.

By monitoring your blood pressure on a regular basis, you can know of any changes in blood pressure early on. So, you can take steps earlier before the blood pressure problem develops more seriously.

Also read : Hypertension/high blood pressure-The Silent Killer.

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