by Emily McBride
(last updated October 1, 2009)
The tricky thing about high blood pressure is that you won't know it's a problem unless you have tested your blood pressure recently. Before you even do anything about blood pressure, you should first get it checked. However, once is not enough. Check it regularly to see how you're doing. If you are going in for a doctor's appointment, your blood pressure will get checked most of the time. Ask the nurse or doctor what your blood pressure is. You should get your blood pressure checked at least every two years once you are 18, and more often if you have high blood pressure and you're trying to lower it.
The nice thing about checking your blood pressure is that you can do it just about anywhere—grocery stores, drug stores, or health clinics. If you have high blood pressure, consider buying an inexpensive cuff and pump that you can use on your own at home. Make sure that you read the instructions, and if you are still confused, ask your doctor for help.
The disease stages are as follows: Normal is less than 120/80, Prehypertension is 120/80 to 139/89, Stage 1 Hypertension is 140/90 to 159/99, and Stage 2 Hypertension is 160/100 or higher. Now that you know if you have high blood pressure, here are some tips on how to lower it:
High blood pressure is something to take seriously because it can add stress on your heart and is the number one preventable risk factor for strokes. Other consequences are heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, kidney disease, and even blindness in some cases. Make sure to get your blood pressure under control!
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