3 Tips For Addressing The New Blood Pressure Guidelines
In 2017, both the American Academy of Cardiology and American Heart Association (AHA) updated existing guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. If you previously had slightly elevated blood pressure or were already diagnosed with hypertension, it may be time to talk with your doctor about ways to address your changing diagnosis.
Determine What Will Change
Since the threshold for diagnosing hypertension, which was previously 140/90, was lowered to 130/80, this may mean you may need to begin taking medication. For people who are already on medication, but still do not consistently have a blood pressure within the new acceptable range, you may need changes in your treatment including adding a medication. If you are now considered to have elevated blood pressure or Stage I hypertension, your doctor may recommend holding off on medication if you do not have any additional risk factors, such as a previous heart attack or stroke. Current patients with hypertension may need to try medications from a different class of anti-hypertensives. For example, many people start with ACE-inhibitors alone or in combination with diuretics. If your blood pressure is not sufficiently lower, your doctor might try you on a beta-blocker.
Be More Strict About Your Diet
Unfortunately, the changes in blood pressure guidelines occurred because it was determined significant damage might occur at lower blood pressure readings. One of the most important actions you can take is to be more mindful of your diet, especially your intake of salt and processed foods. For people who are more salt sensitive and already have problems with their blood pressure, it may be time to try and eliminate salt from your diet altogether. Talk with your doctor about using salt substitutes as you try to transition further away from added salt in your diet. Focusing your diet more on whole foods you fix at home or at least know how they are prepared will not only improve your overall diet but help you control your intake of salt.
Monitor Your Own Blood Pressure
When you need to gain better control over your blood pressure, invest in your own blood pressure monitor. There are many types of blood pressure monitors on the market, such as manual, semi-manual, and automatic. Although automatic blood pressure monitors are generally more expensive, they are better for at-home monitoring. You can achieve inaccurate readings from trying to inflate your own cuff with a manual or semi-manual device. Additionally, you will have better blood pressure accuracy and consistency when you allow the machine to handle the process. Another consideration when monitoring your own blood pressure is the cuff for your machine. You may need to buy a separate, larger cuff if you have a larger arm. If you cannot invest in a larger cuff, use the smaller cuff around your forearm when testing.
For many people, managing their blood pressure is a struggle, whether due to poor lifestyle choices or a strong predisposition to develop hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). With changes in guidelines, you and your doctor may need to work harder to reduce your risk of CVD and hypertension-related organ damage.
For more information, check out a website like http://www.bfpclinic.com.