When I get asked the question, “What can I do for high blood pressure,” I’m astonished by the misinformation pumped out by many writers, friends, the web and even doctors. Don’t listen to the rubbish. Follow the science.
The first step is to make sure whether or not you have this condition (a.k.a. hypertension).
There are a lot of things you can do. I’d recommend you start right at the beginning.
The ‘what can I do for high blood pressure’ question may not even be necessary. You may not even have high blood pressure. However, the odds are fairly high that you might have. The American Heart Association reports that 33% of American have high blood pressure and the majority of sufferers don’t even know it.
The first key to this question is knowing precisely what your normal BP numbers are. The standard average numbers for healthy blood pressure are considered to be 120/80. These numbers represent the pressure of the blood running through your body (measured in mg of mercury) when your heart is pumping and resting.
A study published (August, 2009) in the the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Hypertension indicated that one in six patients had “white coat syndrome” in which the patients pressure was higher in the doctor’s office than at home.
The same study reported that one in 10 patients had the opposite problem – masked hypertension. That meant that the patient’s BP numbers dropped abnormally in the doc’s office.
Many people rely on the supermarket/drugstore monitors that are free but notoriously unreliable.
Some doctors or clinics more often that not measure your blood pressure with a cuff that is not even the right size for your arm. The veracity of those readings are certainly suspect.
So, when you ask yourself, “What can I do for high blood pressure,” remember to make sure you actually have it before you do anything. I’m saying the first step is accurate monitoring of the normal pressure in your arteries.
Make sure your doctor knows this is a concern and ask him to double-check the readings. Get an arm of wrist cuff of your own to take measurements regularly. Calibrate your device with the one at your physicians to make sure you are both on the same page. Keep in mind blood pressure is normally lower in the morning and rises as the day goes own.
Keep a log of all your reading and update it regularly. Then review it with your physician and decide what to do next.