What Happens When Your Blood Pressure Is Elevated? Blood pressure is the literal pressure of blood coursing through your arteries. When you have high blood pressure, it means that the blood is pushing very forcefully against the artery walls while making its way through the body. Over time, this can damage the artery walls and increase your risk of heart-related health conditions. In many cases, high blood pressure doesn’t cause any symptoms, which is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
Blood Pressure Ranges
- Normal—Less than 120 and less than 80
- Elevated—120 to 129 and less than 80
- High Blood Pressure (Stage 1)—130 to 139 AND 80 to 89
- High Blood Pressure (Stage 2)—140 or Higher AND 90 or Higher
- Hypertensive Crisis—Higher than 180 AND/OR Higher than 120
What Is the Treatment for High Blood Pressure?Blood pressure treatment will depend on the severity—in other words, what category it falls in. Slightly elevated blood pressure may be managed effectively by making lifestyle changes. But in other cases, medication may be required to help bring your blood pressure to a normal range and help you maintain it.
Ways to Manage Blood Pressure
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Follow a healthy diet.
- Reduce sodium intake.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Quit smoking.
- Cut back on caffeine.
- Reduce your stress.