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How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure?

By    |   Tuesday, 25 March 2014 04:35 PM

Question: What’s the best way to lower my blood pressure, and what is a normal level?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Untreated hypertension is a known stroke and cardiac risk factor, and one of the most common reasons for premature kidney failure and dialysis. Persistent elevation of your blood pressure needs to be managed medically.
While obesity does not cause hypertension, weight management does reduce your cardiac risk. Some of us consume large amounts of salt, and restricting dietary sodium to less than 2 grams daily will reduce the medication requirements and the blood pressure in those who are salt sensitive. Some medications and stimulants will elevate blood pressure. Decongestant medications will also elevate blood pressure, and regular use is not advised for those with hypertension.
A normal blood pressure for an average adult is 120/80. Small allowances in the systolic pressure (the top number) are made for small increases as we age and our blood vessels lose their elasticity. The second number refers to the diastolic (resting) blood pressure, and should be kept under 85, with 90 as the threshold for getting medication for most of us.
If you believe you might have elevated blood pressure, be sure to see your doctor for guidance. Do not self treat hypertension. Sometimes it can be a sign that your circulation is poor, and may indeed be an early warning for heart disease or artery disorders that place you at risk for stroke, as well as kidney disease.

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Untreated hypertension is a known stroke and cardiac risk factor, but there are effective treatments.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 04:35 PM
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