We all know high blood pressure is dangerous and can lead to heart disease, but what should you do if you have prehypertension?
According to some estimates, around 59 million adults in the U.S. have prehypertension. Also known as stage 1 hypertension, prehypertension is a reading between 120/80 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg.
Most people don’t feel any symptoms, which is why high blood pressure (hypertension) is nicknamed “the silent killer.” Having prehypertension is a warning sign that you may experience full-on high blood pressure in the future – so what can you do?
What should you do if you have prehypertension?
The first step you should take is keeping track of your blood pressure readings. Get regular measurements by either visiting your primary care physician or using a high-quality home blood pressure monitor.
Because it has no symptoms, hypertension can cause great damage to your arteries before you even realize. Don’t rely on traditional signs of illness (headaches, nosebleeds, stress) to let you know that you need help.
As an adult, make it a goal to have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
Besides keeping track of your blood pressure, know your medical history and if you have additional risk factors. Some cardiovascular risk factors include diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, mental stress, tobacco use, and an inactive lifestyle.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, prehypertension is linked to 1.27-fold increase in overall mortality rate. The increase is a combination of both prehypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors.
Another report from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study shows that the risk is greater when multiple factors are present. By eliminating these conditions, you can reduce the toll prehypertension takes on your overall health.
How can you treat prehypertension?
Unlike those who already have high blood pressure, people with prehypertension can rely mainly on lifestyle changes. For example, you can adopt the DASH diet, an eating plan designed to lower blood pressure.
Also plan to exercise regularly, especially aerobic exercises, for at least 150 minutes per week. By combining these two plans, you can also maintain a healthy weight, which can also lower blood pressure.
In addition, limit your alcohol use to only two drinks a day maximum, as heavy drinking can increase blood pressure. If you lead a stressful life, learn ways to manage it such as meditation and yoga.
Finally, consult your doctor about taking medications that can reduce the probability of prehypertension evolving into hypertension. You can also add a heart supplement like L-arginine Plus to your routine if you want to support your blood pressure.
It works by increasing the nitric oxide in the body that relaxes blood vessels, resulting in better circulation and lower blood pressure. If you have prehypertension or want to decrease the chance of getting it, try L-arginine Plus along with these other tips for better health.