Each May, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) encourages everyone to actively learn about preventing and controlling high blood pressure.
When you have high blood pressure, the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is too high. When you’re active, it is normal for your blood pressure to increase. Once the activity stops, your blood pressure should return to your normal range. When it doesn’t, you may have high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is based on blood pressure readings. If you don’t get regular medical care or check your blood pressure regularly, high blood pressure can go undetected for years. It is often not discovered until some organs start to show the effects of long standing high blood pressure. According to NHLBI, some common high blood pressure complications are:
- Kidney disease
- Eye damage
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
A blood pressure check is quick and easy. It can be done in your health care provider’s office or clinic.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your health care provider will work with you to come up with a way to treat your condition. You may have to make lifestyle changes, like weight loss and exercise. You may benefit from prescription medications.
Whatever you do, be sure to follow your provider’s plan for your care. This may be the best way to lower your blood pressure and maintain normal blood pressure readings.