Answering common questions about high blood pressure

high blood pressure

1. What is hypertension?

2. What do my blood pressure numbers mean?

  • Systolic is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (the highest pressure).
  • Diastolic is the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats (the lowest pressure).

3. How do I know if I have high blood pressure?

4. Why is hypertension dangerous?

5. Why is high blood pressure on the rise?

6. Should I limit my salt intake?

7. Can stress cause high blood pressure?

8. How do I know if I am at risk for hypertension?

9. Can I have high blood pressure if I’m young?

10. Why is my blood pressure always higher in the doctor’s office? Should I check my blood pressure at home?

11. What lifestyle changes can prevent or bring down high blood pressure?

12. Can exercise help with blood pressure control?

13. What if I do everything right and still have high blood pressure? Are there effective medications?

  • Experts have been studying blood pressure medications for many years. There are now many effective ones with good evidence showing that they reduce blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease, Dr. Turner says. The three categories of the most commonly used blood pressure medicines are:
  • Diuretics, the most commonly prescribed hypertension medication, reduce salt and water in the body, including the amount of fluid in the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
  • Calcium channel blockers cause the blood vessels to relax and dilate, which lowers blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) block a common hormone pathway in the body that is maladaptive, also lowering blood pressure.

14. What are the side effects related to blood pressure medications?

15. What if I need blood pressure medication, but I don’t like to take pills?

16. Should I consult a cardiologist about my high blood pressure?

17. What if I’m still finding it difficult to get motivated to control my blood pressure?

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