High Blood Pressure - What is it and how to lower it?

High Blood Pressure - What is it and how to lower it? 

Learn how to tell whether your blood pressure is high and tips on how to lower it if it is high.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of the blood vessels that take blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

What do the numbers mean?

  • Systolic pressure (the top number on a blood pressure monitor) signifies the pressure generated
    when the heart contracts
  • Diastolic pressure (the bottom number on a blood pressure monitor) signifies the pressure generated
    when the heart is relaxed, which is more important to know than systolic pressure

Why is high blood pressure (HBP) dangerous?

  • HBP (hypertension) makes the heart work very hard
  • HBP increases risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness

 What can you do to lower HBP?

  • Weight reduction
  • Lower salt (sodium) intake
  • Try the DASH Diet 
  • Exercise more
  • Keep alcohol consumption moderate
Check out these two handouts for more information:
What is High Blood Pressure?
Tips on Lowering High Blood Pressure