Not all health conditions have obvious symptoms, and when it comes to high blood pressure, you may not have symptoms at all.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is often referred to as a "silent killer" because it's easy to be unaware of the condition, and it can put your health and quality of life in danger. Left uncontrolled or undetected, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease or failure, vision loss and more.
But there are many ways that high blood pressure can be managed. Check out these steps suggested by the American Heart Association, below:
Know your numbers.
Annual exams to keep track of your blood pressure numbers can help your doctor diagnose you. People with hypertension should keep their BP under control to avoid complications of high BP such as heart attack, stroke, brain aneurisms, etc. You should talk with your healthcare provider to discuss your personal target BP.
Eat healthier and reduce sodium.
Diet is an important part of managing your blood pressure. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy, while eating less saturated and total fat. For sodium, ideally stay under 1,500 mg a day, but aim for less than 1,000 mg per day. Check nutritional labels for sodium content. Try not to consume foods that have more than 5% sodium per serving at least a 1,000 mg per day reduction.
Get active and maintain a healthy weight.
Maintaining good activity levels and your BMI both have positive results. Aim for at least 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.
Keep checking your blood pressure at home.
You don't have to wait until you get in the doctor's office to see what your numbers are. Take ownership of your treatment by tracking your blood pressure at home, so you can be the first one to know if your numbers improve or if they need more management.
Take your medication.
Some people with high blood pressure will be prescribed medication to help them maintain safe numbers. If you are prescribed medication, it's important to take it exactly the way your doctor says.