Awareness is key. You can check your bp in almost any pharmacy for no cost. It's worth knowing where you stand :-) ~j
Your doctor may have told you that your blood pressure is too high. Maybe put you on a medication to help reduce it, or simply told you to reduce the stress in your life. No matter what you are doing to manage your blood pressure, it's important to know where you stand and what levels of blood pressure are considered optimal.
Both of your numbers (systolic and diastolic) do matter. For optimal health, you want both numbers to be within a certain range. If one number is high and the other is considered healthy, you still have and its associated risks. Remember that systolic blood pressure is the top number and diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number in your ratio (i.e. 120/80).The following chart will help you recognize the differences between optimal and high (hypertensive) blood pressure.
|High (Stage 1)||140-159||or||90-99|
|High (Stage 2)||160-179||or||100-109|
|High (Stage 3)||> 180||or||> 110|
Only a medical professional can truly assess your risk and provide proper diagnosis and medical advice. To lower your blood pressure, talk to your doctor first. Together you can start a treatment plan that will probably include lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes and exercise, stress reduction.
No matter where you lie on the chart above, you may find it comforting to know that even small reductions in blood pressure can have a big impact on your health. by just 12 to 13 points can lower your risk of heart attack by 20 percent; stroke by 37 percent and cardiovascular death by 25 percent.