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What Is Hypertension?
High blood pressure (HBP) or Hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.
"Blood pressure" is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
Blood Pressure Numbers
Blood pressure is measured as systolic (sis-TOL-ik) and diastolic (di-a-STOL-ik) pressures. "Systolic" refers to blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. "Diastolic" refers to blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.
You most often will see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number above or before the diastolic number, such as 120/80 mmHg. (The mmHg is millimeters of mercury—the units used to measure blood pressure.)
The table below shows normal blood pressure numbers for adults. It also shows which numbers put you at greater risk for health problems.
Prevention of high blood pressure
Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Following a healthy lifestyle helps some people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure. Eliminating salt, reducing stress and eating a balanced diet will be a great help in keeping blood pressure correct. Simple tips like eating a handful of blueberries every couple of days or drinking half a glass of beetroot juice will go a long way to regulating your blood pressure.
People who have HBP can take steps to control it and reduce their risk of related health problems. Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle, having ongoing medical care, and following your treatment plan.
Nutrition for Hypertension
There are many vitamins and herbs that may help with hypertension. A small selection can be found below.