Prehypertension, what it causes and how to reverse it

Prehypertension, what it causes and how to reverse it

Has your doctor told you that you might have prehypertension? If you are curious what prehypertension is and how to treat it, read on.

What is prehypertension? 

Prehypertension is when blood pressure values are above normal or optimal levels. The World Health Organization classifies prehypertension as a blood pressure reading that measures between 120/80 and 139/89. Those with prehypertension are likely to develop high blood pressure unless they take steps to lower their blood pressure, such as quitting smoking, consuming lower amounts of salt, and maintaining a healthier diet. If you know you have prehypertension, talk to your doctor about ways to lower your blood pressure.

Interested to know more about high blood pressure? Check our article ‘‘What is high blood pressure and what does it really mean?”

What causes prehypertension?

Experts don’t know with certainty what causes the blood pressure to rise from its optimal levels but they do believe it’s mostly attributed to lifestyle choices such as a lack of exercise and poor diet habits. It has been shown that too much salt and alcohol can increase blood pressure too.

What are the symptoms of prehypertension?

Prehypertension is usually without symptoms and hence hard to detect without regular blood pressure measurements. Only extremely high blood pressure, in rare cases, manifests itself symptomatically through headaches, visual changes, fatigue, or dizziness. As those are all very general symptoms that occur with too many other health conditions, regular blood pressure checks done with a clinically validated upper arm cuff such as QardioArm, are the way to detect prehypertension.

Can stress cause prehypertension?

Short term or occasional stress is not believed to be the cause of prehypertension, although stress-related spikes in the blood pressure levels can add up over time and put you in risk of developing prehypertension. It is more likely to become prehypertensive through poor diet, alcohol use, and lack of sleep. If you worry about stress and its effect on your blood pressure, a good idea is to introduce meditation time to your daily routine. You can meditate just before taking a blood pressure reading as it’s advisable to relax for a few minutes before taking a reading. That way you can immediately measure the effect of your meditation skills, not just your blood pressure!

Is prehypertension dangerous?

Prehypertension is a warning sign of the risk of developing long term high blood pressure (hypertension), which increases the possibility of heart attack, stroke and other potentially fatal heart health problems later on. If detected and treated early, prehypertension can be reversed.

What is the treatment for prehypertension?

There are several lifestyle adjustments that can help address prehypertension. Those include reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, introducing regular exercise into daily routine and ensuring your diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, fish and low-fat dairy. The DASH diet has been proven to lower blood pressure naturally by lowering salt intake and adding potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber to your meals. Limit your alcohol intake along with trans fats and cholesterol and drink plenty of water during the day.

If you are worried about prehypertension or want a better way to monitor your progress towards healthier blood pressure levels, QardioArm wireless blood pressure monitor makes it super-easy.

Health Central

Last updated: October 1, 2021