Health Education

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pumped by the heart through blood vessels. If you have hypertension, or high blood pressure, it means your heart is working harder than normal. The force of high blood pressure damages the delicate tissues inside your blood vessels.

High blood pressure is very dangerous. It can cause a heart attack, stroke, damage to your organs, and other problems. Even slightly higher than normal blood pressure can shorten your life.

You are at risk of high blood pressure if you:

  • Smoke
  • Drink alcohol
  • Are overweight
  • Don’t exercise
  • Eat lots of sodium (salt)
  • Feel a lot stress or worry
  • Have a family member with high blood pressure
  • Have a chronic illness such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or kidney disease
  • Are pregnant


What Do the Numbers Mean?

This chart can help you understand your blood pressure numbers.

Tips to Manage your Blood Pressure

Small changes can make a big difference. Here’s what you can do to keep your blood pressure normal:

Test often.

Test your blood pressure at home, or at a pharmacy. Write down your blood pressure numbers and talk to your doctor.

Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about your medications, and any side effects.

Learn what substances can raise your blood pressure.

These include alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, some medications, and drugs. Talk to your doctor about what to avoid.

Don’t smoke, vape or use nicotine products.

These raise your blood pressure.

Eat less sodium (salt) and eat a heart-healthy diet.

Choose low-fat foods that are high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Read more about nutrition for high blood pressure.

Be more active.

Pick a favorite physical activity and do it most days of the week. If you have heart problems, talk to your care team before you begin any exercise program.

Call your HealthPoint Clinic Today to Talk about how to Manage Your Blood Pressure


Clinical review by Carolyn Halley, MD. HealthPoint Medical Director.

Reviewed November 14, 2019

Sources: American Heart Association

This information is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult your doctor with any questions about your health.