What Is Prehypertension?
Prehypertension refers to a warning sign that you may develop high blood pressure (HBP) in the future. HBP raises your risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure. HBP has no cure. It has only treatment with diet, lifestyle and medications.
Starting as low as 115/75 mmHg, doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke every 20-point jump in systolic blood pressure or each 10-point rise in diastolic blood pressure for adults between the ages of 40-70.
Who Is at Risk of Prehypertension?
First of all, know that almost half of all adults above 18 of age have prehypertension or hypertension. This is based only on the measurements by average of two or more readings at two or more visits from the doctor.
People that have prehypertension may have a higher risk for other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. For example, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are seen in more people with prehypertension than in the ones living with normal BP.
Is Prehypertension a Result of Aging?
You may wonder if HBP happens with aging. Well, experts deny it.
Some populations worldwide have minimal rise in blood pressure with aging. In certain parts of Mexico, the South Pacific, and other parts of the world, people that take a lot of salt are few. In such areas, the age-related rise in BP is small compared the U.S.
Is There Treatment for Prehypertension?
Prehypertension is just a warning sign. It signals that your risk of developing high blood pressure is high. Based on your BP and risk factors for heart disease, you might have to only make a few lifestyle adjustments.
Check out some of these strategies to help you deal with prehypertension:
Lose weight if you are overweight
Remember that being overweight raises your risk of HBP.
Exercise is a healthy way to lose weight. Exercise also helps bring down blood pressure.
A DASH diet
Eat lots of different types of fruits, veggies, fish, whole grains, and low-fat dairy
According to studies, a DASH diet can prevent and reduce high blood pressure. It’s a diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and protein.
The diet to avoid, reduce or eat to lower high blood pressure
- Reduce on dietary salt/sodium.Any sodium-high diet can raise blood pressure. A diet with low-sodium diet can reduce high blood pressure or prevent it. Take less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily, which is around 1 teaspoon of table salt.
- Eat foods low in saturated and trans fat and cholesterol. Avoid diets high in saturated fat such as meats and high-fat dairy. Or those high in trans fats like margarine, snack foods, and pastries as well as cholesterol (high-fat dairy, organ meats, and egg yolks) because they cause heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
- Eat a plant-based or vegetarian diet. Mix high-protein soy foods in your diet. Add one serving of fruits and vegetables at a time (at lunch time and dinner).
- Drink only in moderation. Don’t drink alcohol in excess because it can increase your blood pressure. If you’re a man, limit drinking to a maximum of two drinks a day and one drink a day if you’re a woman.
Remember that prehypertension is a sign that you’re at risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). So, you have to prevent the HBP ahead of time.