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Ways to Control Prehypertension

Treatment Recommendations for Prehypertension

The main goal of establishing the new prehypertension category is to alert people and their doctors so that early action can prevent serious health consequences later.
If a person is diagnosed with prehypertension, it is important for him or her to reduce the controllable high blood pressure risk factors (see High Blood Pressure Prevention). This can be done through a number of lifestyle changes. In fact, lifestyle changes that affect high blood pressure risk factors can not only help prevent high blood pressure, but in those with prehypertension, these lifestyle changes can often help lower blood pressure to a "normal" level.
Some of these lifestyle changes include:
  • Exercising
  • Losing weight
  • Eating more low-fat dairy foods, fruits, and vegetables
  • Cutting down on the salt in your diet
  • Drinking less alcohol.
According to the panel's report, 122 million people in the United States are overweight or obese, which adds to the rise in blood pressure. Changing the way you eat and getting more exercise can make a big difference.
You can start by cutting back on the amount of sodium in your diet. That means not only resisting the salt shaker, but also reading food labels more carefully when shopping; many canned and packaged foods contain a lot of sodium.
Use the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan as a guide. DASH encourages you to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, and to limit saturated fat and salt. The DASH eating plan can help you lose weight and maintain a healthier body. In fact, according to the report, sticking to the DASH diet can be as effective as some medications in lowering your blood pressure.
Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is another good way to help lose weight and lower blood pressure.
(Click Lowering Blood Pressure for more information on how these lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure.)
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