Hypertension or high blood pressure is also known as the silent killer. It may cause no symptoms but can do immense harm to the body like it increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Treatment of hypertension aims is to lower high blood pressure to levels to protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. According to studies appropriate treatment of hypertension reduces the risk of stroke (by 35%-40%), heart attack (by 20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%).
The blood pressure treatment goal depends on your health and associated conditions like;
- 140/90 mm Hg or lower for healthy adults
- 130/80 mm Hg or lower for people with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease and people at high risk of coronary artery disease
- 120/80 mm Hg or lower for people who have severe heart disease (that is their heart isn't pumping as well as it should like people with left ventricular dysfunction or heart failure) or severe chronic kidney disease
For adults older than 80 years with very high blood pressure the target blood pressure goal may be set slightly higher than 140/90 mm Hg.
Treatment of high blood pressure involves:
- Lifestyle changes and
Lifestyle Changes: If your systolic BP is between 120-139 and diastolic pressure is between 80 and 89 it is considered as prehypertension. Prehypertension is known to increase your risk of developing hypertension later on. Your doctor will advice lifestyle changes (like losing weight, eating a low-fat, low-sodium diet, exercising daily, limiting alcoholic intake, and not smoking) and regular follow up to measure blood pressure. Most people with prehypertension do not need medications but if you have diabetes or kidney disease your doctor will start blood pressure medications at blood pressure of 130/80mmHg.
Medications: If your blood pressure is more than 140/90 mmHg your doctor will start medications to lower your blood pressure and advice lifestyle changes (like losing weight, eating a low-fat, low-sodium diet, exercising daily, limiting alcoholic intake, and not smoking). Your doctor will start blood pressure medications at BP of 130/80mmHg if you have diabetes or kidney disease.
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