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Health Issues

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Hypertension

Living Your Life

Most of the time, high blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.

Prevention

Adults over 18 should have their blood pressure checked routinely.

Lifestyle changes may help control your blood pressure:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Excess weight adds to strain on the heart. In some cases, weight loss may be the only treatment needed.
  • Exercise regularly. If possible, exercise for 30 minutes on most days.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while reducing total and saturated fat intake (the DASH diet is one way of achieving this kind of dietary plan).
  • Avoid smoking.
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
  • Do not consume more than 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day.
  • Try to manage your stress.

Follow your health care provider's recommendations to modify, treat, or control possible causes of secondary hypertension.

Complications

  • Aortic dissection
  • Blood vessel damage (arteriosclerosis)
  • Brain damage
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertensive heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Vision loss