Hypertension (or high blood pressure) affects 47% of American adults and increases the risk of cardiovascular catastrophes such as stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. It is also an important cause of dementia. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Risk factors for hypertension include:
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much salt in the diet
Many Americans suffer from hypertension due to high salt, obesity-inducing diets, lack of physical activity, and high sugar diets. Hypertension can be well controlled in 90% of people, decreasing the risk of all of the above complications, and slowing the progression of kidney disease. We advocate a low sodium, mostly fresh food diet, regular physical exercise, and home blood pressure monitoring as cornerstones in hypertension management. We then tailor medications based on your laboratory testing and personal history.
Some people have high blood pressure in the doctor’s office but normal blood pressure at home. These patients do not have the same high risks traditionally associated with high blood pressure. To differentiate between high blood pressure just in the doctor’s office and high blood pressure all the time, the doctors of Idaho Nephrology will work with you to obtain an accurate record of your blood pressure. .
Online Hypertension Resources
Our physicians recommend the following websites to further your hypertension expertise:
- Staying Attuned to Blood Pressure – An informative resource from Harvard Women’s Health Watch on hypertension and managing blood pressure.
- DASH Eating Plan – The DASH eating plan contains methods for lowering blood pressure with a healthier diet (Adobe PDF File).
- Watch this video to learn how to measure blood pressure at home using an automatic monitor. “Mayo Clinic Video: Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors”
- Download our Blood Pressure Log to help keep daily track of your blood pressure.