The two readings found determines the blood pressure: the top number is the systolic reading (the peak blood pressure when your heart is squeezing blood out), the bottom number is your diastolic reading (the pressure when your heart is filling with blood).
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120 on top and less than 80 on the bottom.
- Prehypertension levels are 120-139 on top and 80-89 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 1 is 140-159 on top and 90-99 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 2 is 160 or higher on top and 100 and over on the bottom.
The higher the blood pressure, more often the blood pressure should be checked.
How to avoid high blood pressure:
These steps can be taken to avoid or reduce the risk for high blood pressure:
- Lose weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat properly.
- Lower your salt intake.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Learn relaxation methods.
- Controlling your diabetes
You can consult with your doctors if the blood pressure tends to remain high as he or she can prescribe a different medicine.
Treatment begins with the changing of lifestyle to help reduce your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Doctors also prescribe antihypertensive medicines to keep the blood pressure low.
If the blood pressure can be controlled with medicines then you will have to take the medicine for the rest of your life. Do not stop taking the medicine without talking with the doctor, else you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Living with high blood pressure can some time become difficult. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake.
You will have to make sure you are going for regular blood pressure check-ups. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. You can also use an ambulatory (wear as you are moving about) blood pressure monitor.