Yesterday, the American Heart Association announced new guidelines that set a lower threshold for diagnosing high blood pressure. High blood pressure will now be defined as anything above 130 over 80.
Here's the full breakdown:
—Normal: Under 120 over 80
—Elevated: 120-129 over less than 80
—Stage 1: 130-139 over 80-89
—Stage 2: 140 over 90
There's plenty of controversy surrounding this change. People are claiming AHA made these changes just so doctors can sell more blood pressure-lowering drugs.
In reality, these changes give people a more realistic and honest idea for who might be at risk of heart disease, stroke, and other heart-related problems.
And it's not just drugs that can help with lowering blood pressure. More importantly, it's lifestyle factors that will bring long term success. Losing weight, eating less sodium and sugar, eating more fruits and vegetables, making healthier lifestyle and dietary choices, exercising and moving more, not smoking, and lowering stress levels can all help reduce blood pressure and lower risk of disease.
In my practice I help clients focus on long-term solutions for managing health. If your blood pressure falls above normal levels and you're ready to make a lifestyle change, contact me now for a consultation and we will design a lifestyle plan that will help get your health back on track.