- The wrong blood pressure cuff was used. Your readings can appear different if the cuff is too small or too large. It is important for your healthcare team to track your readings over time and ensure the correct pressure cuff is used for your sex and age.
- Get tips on how to prepare for a blood pressure test.
- Blood tests. Your dage, high cholesterol or diabetes that may raise your risk of coronary heart disease, or other problems like thyroid disease that may be causing high blood pressure.
- Blood pressure monitor. To gather more information about your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend wearing a blood pressure monitor to record readings over 24 hours. Your doctor may also teach you how to take blood pressure readings at home.
Treatment — High Blood Pressure
For most people with high blood pressure, a doctor will develop a treatment plan that may include heart-healthy lifestyle changes alone or with medicines. A risk calculator can help your doctor estimate your risk of complications and choose the right treatment. A healthcare team can help you best manage your blood pressure and prevent complications. This team may include your doctor, a nutritionist, a pharmacist, and specialists for any conditions you may have, including those related to your heart.
If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, it may improve once the cause is treated or removed.
Watch this video to learn more about treatments for high blood pressure and how they work. Medical Animation Copyright © 2022 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.
Your doctor may use a risk calculator to estimate your risk of having a stroke or heart attack or dying from a heart or blood vessel disease in the next 10 years or throughout your lifetime. This information can help your doctor choose the best treatment to prevent complications.
Healthy lifestyle changes
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle to help lower and control high blood pressure.
- Choose heart-healthy foods such as those in the DASH eating plan.NHLBI-funded research has shown that DASH combined with a low-salt eating plan can be as effective as medicines in lowering high blood pressure. Visit Living With the DASH Eating Plan or see Tips to Reduce Salt and Sodium.
- Avoid or limit alcohol. Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol you drink. Your doctor may recommend that you limit or stop drinking alcohol. You can find resources and support at the Alcohol Treatment Navigator from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
- Get regular physical activity. Many health benefits result from being physically active and getting the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Studies have shown that physical activity can help lower and control high blood pressure levels. Even modest amounts of physical activity , ask your doctor what level of physical activity is right for you
- Aim for a healthy weight. If you are an adult who is living with overweight or obesity, losing 5% to 10% of your initial weight over about 6 months can improve your health. Even losing just 3% to 5% of your weight can improve blood pressure readings.
- Quit smoking.Visit Smoking and Your Heart and our Your Guide to a Healthy Heart. Although these resources focus on heart health, they include basic information about how to quit smoking. For free help and support to quit smoking, you can call the National Cancer Soul Singles Institute’s Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).