What is High Blood Pressure?

Dr. Rob discusses the danger of high blood pressure and explains how to treat it, talking about donuts and tattoos in the process.

Rob Lamberts, MD
5-minute read
Episode #29

Tip 3: Watch Your Diet

The Nutrition Diva didn’t pay me to write this (although she can if she wants to). Diet matters. Keep your weight under control, and if your pressure is even borderline, cut back on sodium and get enough potassium; doing so can keep you from needing medications.

Tip 4: Exercise and Stop Smoking

Exercise not only burns calories and lowers weight, it also lowers pressure by itself. A combination of aerobic exercise and weight training is probably best.

Quitting smoking will not only make you stop smelling so bad, it will lower your blood pressure.

Tip 5: If You Need to, Take Medication

There are a bunch of very effective medications for high blood pressure that are inexpensive and have very few side effects. As long as your blood pressure isn’t extraordinarily high, you certainly should first try the lifestyle changes before going on medication. But you should do what you can to treat hypertension early to avoid the consequences.

The medications that treat hypertension generally attack one of the bad influences I mentioned earlier. Many people have two, three, or even four different reasons for the blood pressure elevation, so it often takes more than one medication to bring it back to normal. As always, you should talk to your doctor and find out why each medication you take is important, as well as what side effects you should look out for.

Any medication is a trade off between negatives and positives. With blood pressure, many people don’t feel bad and so don’t take their medication like they should. That is a really bad idea.

Tip 6: Know When to Panic

Usually high blood pressure is not an immediate risk. The exceptions to this rule are:

  1. When the top number gets above 200 and the bottom number over 110, it’s time to get seen immediately. It actually takes a pressure higher than this to cause panic, but you don’t want to go there.

  2. When high pressure is associated with severe headache or chest pain. These mean you may be sustaining damage to your brain or your heart. You don’t want to go there either.

That’s all I’ve got for blood pressure.

If you have questions you want answered, send them to housecalldoctor@quickanddirtytips.com. You can find me on Twitter as @housecalldoc and on Facebook under “House Call Doctor.”

Let me remind you that this podcast is for informational purposes only. My goal is to add to your medical knowledge and translate some of the weird medical stuff you hear, so when you do go to your doctor, your visits will be more fruitful. I don’t intend to replace your doctor; he or she is the one you should always consult about your own medical condition.

Catch you next time!  Stay Healthy!

Blood Pressure image courtesy of Shutterstock


Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.