When your blood pressure is not high enough to be considered hypertension, you are at risk of prehypertension. High blood pressure means the force of blood pushing through your arteries is too high.

Prehypertension is not a disease and it usually causes no symptoms. You should not ignore prehypertension, it is at risk for developing hypertension and heart problems.

It is possible to reduce your blood pressure through lifestyle changes. These changes can help prevent hypertension.

Read on to learn more about prehypertension, what causes it, and how it’s typically treated.

Blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood against your artery walls. Arteries are blood vessels that bring blood from your heart to other tissues and organs in your body.

High blood pressure can cause damage to your arteries. Proper blood flow to important organs and tissues can be affected by this. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is important.

A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. Systolic blood pressure, or the top number, indicates the force of blood in your arteries when your heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure, or the bottom number, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests.

Blood pressure readings

Systolic blood pressure Diastolic blood pressure
Normal blood pressure Less than 120 mmHg AND Less than 80 mmHg
Prehypertension/elevated (at risk) 120-129 mmHg AND Less than 80 mmHg
High blood pressure (hypertension) stage 1 130 – 139 mmHg OR 80 – 89 mmHg
High blood pressure (hypertension) stage 2 140 mmHg or higher OR 90 mmHg or higher

Prehypertension is the range between normal and high blood pressure. If it surpasses this range, it becomes hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Is prehypertension serious?

Prehypertension should be taken seriously. It indicates that you are on the path to developing high blood pressure, which can lead to a wide range of health problems.

“That doesn’t mean it can’t be reversed. It is possible to lower your blood pressure and protect your arteries by making lifestyle changes.”

“High blood pressure does not cause symptoms. You won’t know if your blood pressure is going up.”

If you have prehypertension, you need to measure your blood pressure.

You can get your blood pressure checked.

  • Visit a doctor.
  • A blood pressure measurement machine is located at the pharmacy.
  • use a home blood pressure monitor

If you haven’t checked your blood pressure in a long time, consider visiting a primary care physician. This way, you can ensure the reading is accurate. Your doctor can also offer advice on how to check your blood pressure at home and what to do if your blood pressure is outside the normal range.

How often should you get your blood pressure checked?

If you check your blood pressure regularly, you can know if it is within a healthy range.

If your blood pressure is normal, the American Heart Association recommends checking it at least once every two years.

Your doctor might recommend more frequent readings if your blood pressure is high. The best frequencies are dependent on your medical and family history.

There are many reasons for prehypertension to develop. This includes:

  • Lack of physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle can increase the force of blood in your arteries. That’s because exercise strengthens your heart, helping it pump blood more efficiently.
  • Higher sodium intake. Sodium increases the pressure of blood in your arteries. Examples of high sodium foods include processed meats, store-bought soups and sauces, and packaged meals.
  • Smoking and vaping. The chemicals in nicotine can constrict blood vessels, which increases blood pressure.
  • Alcohol intake. A high intake of alcohol can also raise blood pressure by constricting (narrowing) your blood vessels.
  • Lack of sleep. Your blood pressure naturally decreases during sleep. But if you don’t get enough sleep, your blood pressure may stay high for a longer time.

The risk factors associated with hypertension are also associated with prehypertension.

  • Being older than 65 years old.
  • Being overweight.
  • Being black non- Hispanic.
  • Having diabetes.
  • A family history of hypertension.

Race may be a factor in the risk of hypertension and prehypertension.

Prehypertension treatment is to reduce your blood pressure.

Treatment involves lifestyle changes. These changes can include:

Prehypertension treatment generally doesn’t involve medications. But if you have certain risk factors or medical conditions, your doctor may prescribe antihypertensive drugs.

Prehypertension is a sign. It means you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

hypertension can damage your arteries and increase your risk of other diseases.

If you have prehypertension, you can improve your health and make lifestyle changes.

Ask your doctor the following questions. These questions can help you understand your health status and create a plan that works for you.

  • Does my family history increase my risk for hypertension?
  • What risk factors do I have?
  • Which risk factors can I reduce?
  • Is it possible that I am at risk for some of the problems of hypertension?
  • How often should I check my blood pressure?
  • How do I check my blood pressure?
  • I have trouble with a lifestyle change. Do you have any advice?

Prehypertension is the stage between hypertension and normal blood pressure. It is a sign that you are at risk for developing high blood pressure, which can lead to serious health conditions.

Increased physical activity, diet changes, and stress management are some of the lifestyle modifications that are used to treat prehypertension. Your doctor can help you create a plan that is tailored to your risk factors.

If you have prehypertension, you need to check your blood pressure. The general recommendation is to check it every 2 years. You need to check your blood pressure more often if you have high blood pressure.