High blood pressure, also known as hypertension occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls is so strong that it causes health problems.
There are a variety of different measures that individuals can take to prevent themselves from getting high blood pressure. Mayo Clinic experts recommend these ten ways to control high blood pressure without medication:
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Reduce sodium in your diet
- Avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke
- Cut back on caffeine
- Reduce your stress
- Monitor your blood pressure at home and making regular doctor's appointments
- Get support from family and friends
“Do yourself a favor and get your blood pressure checked today before it develops into something more serious,” says David DeHart, MD, family physician.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31.3 percent of American adults today have high blood pressure and another 25 percent have blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal.
“Most of the time individuals with high blood pressure display no symptoms at all,” says Dr. DeHart. “This is why getting routine checks at the doctor is so important.”
A variety of different factors can put you at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure. A few of these risks include:
Age: As age increase so does risk.
Race: African Americans are more commonly found to have high blood pressure.
Family history: High blood pressure is hereditary.
Being overweight: The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues which if overweight causes increasing pressure on the artery walls.
Using tobacco: Smoking not only increases your risk but also can damage the lining of your artery walls.
Stress: High levels of stress can lead to temporary high levels of blood pressure.
“If undiagnosed, many complications can arise such as a heart attack or stroke that can have a long lasting effect on your life,” says Dr. DeHart.