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What should I do if I have high blood pressure?

If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you should:

  • See your physician
  • Cut down on salt and fat intake
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep your weight in the normal range
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Take your hypertension medicine as directed

If you have high blood pressure, you should monitor your blood pressure at home between doctor’s visits. It is also helpful to remove risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, being overweight, high salt intake and stress.

Elevated blood pressure can result in poor health and needs to be treated. First, if this is the first blood pressure elevation and your blood pressure does not exceed 160/100, you should start the DASH diet and start daily exercise. In 3 months you should return to your primary care physician with your blood pressure log. If your blood pressure is still elevated your doctor will suggest some lab tests and start you on medication to lower your blood pressure. This is best monitored by yourself and your physician.

If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you can help yourself by doing the following:

  • Have regular medical checkups.
  • Take all your medicines as instructed, even if you are feeling fine.
  • Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations about diet and exercise.
  • Stop smoking, if you are a smoker.
  • Avoid drinking more than one ounce of alcohol a day.
  • Get your whole family involved in your care plan.

Don't hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or problems. If you follow your treatment plan, you can keep your blood pressure controlled and help to prevent serious complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.