More with High Blood Pressure after Risk Redefined
     March 2018

to ignore. It doubles your risk of cardiovascular disease—stroke, heart disease,
and a bunch of other not-so-fun stuff.1,2  

New numbers. You might think you’re in the clear when you’re not. Last fall
new guidelines redefined high blood pressure as 130 over 80. Before, 140 over
90 was considered the threshold of high blood pressure.1

Do you know your numbers? Hmmm, I didn’t think so. Lots of people don’t.
But it’s easy to find out. You can come into our store for a free blood pressure
reading, or you can buy your own monitor to check it at home.  Of course,
doctors and nurses also routinely check it when you come in for a visit. If they
don’t tell you your reading, be sure to ask for it.

Signs to watch for. Most of the time, high blood pressure is silent—it doesn’
t cause symptoms. But sometimes it does, especially if your numbers are very
high. Signs to watch for include mild, long-lasting headaches or brain “fog.” A
“hypertensive crisis” can cause a crushing headache. If you have one, don’t
wait: get to the emergency room right away.

Other uncommon symptoms linked with high blood pressure include bloating,
decreased urination, sudden vision loss, dizziness, or trouble keeping your
balance. Granted, many things can cause these symptoms, so don’t panic.  
When in doubt, though, see your doctor.2

How to lower your risk. You can inherit high blood pressure, so find out if
close relatives have had it. That includes your parents, siblings, or
grandparents. It’s especially important to know if any of them had a heart
attack at a young age.2

You can’t do a darn thing about your genes. But if you do have a genetic risk
or your numbers are high, there’s a lot you can do to reduce your lifestyle
risks. For example, your doctor may recommend increasing your exercise to
30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

The DASH diet is also a great place to start.1 The U.S. News and World Report
rated it the best “overall” diet among nearly 40 diets it’s reviewed. DASH
focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins,
among other things. When combined with a diet low in salt, it can be very
effective at managing blood pressure. Within just two weeks, it can lower
blood pressure a few points—with a drop of eight to 14 points over time. DASH
also gives you a two-for-one: It can also lower blood cholesterol.3  

If you need medications. You might need to take medications for high
blood pressure, especially If you have other risk factors for cardiovascular
disease. Be sure to let your doctor and me know if side effects are a problem.
We may be able to tweak your dose or have you try another medication. We
want to help you succeed at seeing those numbers go down!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional
advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you
have questions or concerns about a medical condition.


1.        MedicalXpress: “More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says.”
Available at:
pressure.html Accessed 2-1-18.

2.        Women’sHealth: “6 Signs of High Blood Pressure You Should Know About.” Available at: Accessed 2-1-18.

3.        NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “DASH ranked Best Diet Overall for
eighth year in a row by U.S. News and World Report.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.
Accessed 2-1-18.
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If you’ve got high blood
pressure (hypertension), you’
re in good company. The
American Heart Association
estimates that nearly half of all
adults in this country have
high blood pressure—when
blood presses too hard against
your blood vessels. That’s not
something you can afford to